Lift someone up today

I have heard this before and so have you.

  • Zig Ziglar said:  Be helpful. When you see a person without a smile, give them yours. 
  • Be careful placing judgment upon others, for you know not what battles they are fighting.

I was reminded of these two simple statements last night.  A person in our class came in late, which was not normal for them.  They contributed some, but not as much as they usually do.  But they showed up and stuck it out for the entire class.

We ended the class with an exercise where we have the participants write their name at the top of a 3 X 5 index card.  Then they take that card and hand it to someone else. Now the class participant has to take the 3 x 5 index card with one of the other participants name on it and write something about them that they have noticed about them that is unique, positive, and that the individual might not see in themselves.  Now there are about 20 people in the class. So over the last 6 weeks every Monday for roughly 3.5 hours, we all have been together.  So we have developed a lot of relationships and we all know each other fairly well.

This little exercise is probably one of my favorite that we do in this course.  Who doesn’t like to be told something positive about themselves.  Sometimes the participants get overwhelmed with emotion during this exercise.

So going back to the class participant.  This person had a bad day at work.  It was very clear.  I am not sure what exactly happened, but they were different.  So this one little exercise we did, and the 3 x 5 index card with the positive note about them on it, changed their day.  How do I know this?  They told us.  They told us how much they appreciated it after the day they had.

So what can you do today?  This is a pretty simple act that any of us can do. So who in your life needs this kind of appreciation, acknowledgement, encouragement?  Who can you send a note to?  Who is going through something right now, that needs some pick me up?  I would encourage you to be like Zig Ziglar states, lift someone up.



The old man at the coffee shop

I have purchased my morning coffee at the same place for the last 10 years, with very few exceptions. Yep, same place, and the same order.  I know everyone here and they all know me.

For the last two years, I have worked out of the coffee shop every morning for the first two hours of the day.  They open up at 6 and I try to be in there at that time and work until 8 and then I go to work work.  There are about 5 or 6 people who are in the coffee shop at the same time as I am.  We say good morning and have some other pleasantries, but for the most part, I am in there on a mission.  I am trying to get things done.

There has been an old man ( I learned his age later; 85) in the shop every morning since I have becoming here for the last 10 years.  Back when I would just come in and purchase my coffee, we would have our normal pleasantries as I walked in or out.  Then when I started working the first two hours of the day in there, I noticed that he would get in there about 6:45 or so every day.  He would come in, grab his coffee, say hi to everyone and sit down and read the newspaper. And then sometime between 7 and 8 a few other regulars would come in and he and all of them would talk about everything under the sun.

In the last two years I have had a couple of conversations with him about a few things. He wore a hat with his Union displayed on it most days.  It was actually the same union that I was apart of when I worked in a previous career.  So we had a long conversation about that.  We would also talk about other events going on around town.

Honestly though, we didn’t have very many conversations.  He liked to talk, so it was more of my fault than his.  He knew that I was on a mission and I would be working or reading. So being the kind of guy I knew he was, he probably didn’t want to bother me.

There was about three weeks where I didn’t see him. One of other regulars who was a little closer to him told me that he had gotten sick and was in the hospital.  Nothing major was really wrong with him, but after being in the hospital for that long some other complications with his health had occurred.  And he has now passed.

He and I would sit within 3 feet of each other everyday.  We had our normal pleasantries every single morning, but that was pretty much it. Kind of sad, that I didn’t know him any better than I did.

Today and going forward I am going to take more time and get to know the people who are in here.  Why wouldn’t I. We are not going to hang out on the weekend or anything, but getting to know these regulars is something I should do.

Rest in peace Bill (old man at the coffee shop)



What I’m grateful for before 7:00 am

I just finished a book on “How to be Rich”.  This book is not a finance book, it is a book that encourages you to realize how “rich” you already are, and how to live a life full of generosity as well.   The book states that the average income in the United States is about $37,000 a year and that makes you fall into the category of the Top 4% of wage earners in the world.  Meaning you are richer/have more than 96% of everyone else in the world.

This book also challenged me to think about what I am grateful for today.  Because I am rich (not monetary only) but in other ways, and I need to realize that more often.

  • I woke up
  • I have my health
  • I slept great on my comfy mattress and blankets.
  • I have a TV that I was able to watch the news on.
  • I have an awesome supportive family
  • I have friends that care about me.
  • I have colleagues that I call friends.
  • My house was warm.
  • My shower was really warm.
  • I was able to buy a $5 cup of coffee.
  • I put on a suit to go to work
  • I have a cell phone
  • I have a mac computer that I am typing this blog on.
  • I was able to read a book this morning that I was able to buy.
  • I know how to read.
  • I had a great breakfast
  • I have a job/career
  • I have a garage
  • I have a car
  • I have a home
  • I had some text messages from people who care about me to read.
  • I was able to look at Facebook and read some inspiring messages.
  • I am planning to help people grow today.

Be grateful today and realize how much you have already!

Brian Willett