I usually try to start off these posts with some sort of witty opening (at least what I would consider to be witty). But this time I just have to say it! YOU MATTER!! Like Soooo much! The reason I say that is because I just realized that about myself. I’m not even talking about your contribution to the entertainment industry, the hair industry, the bottle making industry or whatever your industry is. I mean YOU the flesh and bones. You may have zero dollars in your pocket or a million but it doesn’t matter…its just your presence that makes all the difference.
So, where did this newfound revelation come from you might ask. Well, I observe the world, I observe myself and I have been reading Brian Tracy’s book “No Excuses” (great book and quick read!) A portion of the book really hit home for me and it was a section, “Seven Ways to Make People Feel Important.” This section (not that the information was really new) but it made me reflect on my own behavior and whether I made the people in my life feel important. It made me question myself about whether I really accepted people, show them appreciation and admiration or criticized them or didn’t really listen to what they had to say. As I read through that section I got tiny impulses to reach out to a few people and just show them some love. I said a “thank you” here and an “I appreciate you” there and it made me feel amazing! Not because I felt like some sort of appreciation rock star. It wasn’t a surface feeling at all. In fact when I received their responses to the messages I sent it seemed like a smile came across their face, as if they felt like I felt they were important to me. Like they were happy to hear from me and that made my day! It made me feel like I mattered to them. It may seem like a simple exchange took place but that made me reflect on why I did not feel that I mattered. When I was growing up my siblings were much much older than me (like my nieces and nephews are older than me type of “older”-Yep I talk about it in my stand up). Because my siblings were busy raising their kids when I came along I never got much attention from them which made me feel like I didn’t matter. As an adult, I carried those same feelings of “Do I really matter?” Years ago I remember not attending my friend’s going away party simply because I didn’t think my presence would matter to him. Later he finally confessed that it did. I’d hurt his feelings at the time. He has since forgiven me so that’s great but unfortunately he is not the only one I have felt that way with. How many others have I possibly left feeling abandoned because I did not see my value in their lives?
When it comes to pursuing a dream we tend to think that its about the big stuff that we do. Its about the airplay we get as a musician or the awards we get for being excellent at our craft. Many times its just the simple things like smiling at someone as they walk down the street or saying “Nice tie” to the guy in the cubicle next to you. People work hard everyday to feel good about themselves so maybe listening to their stories about how their child keeps getting sent to the principle’s office is the only time they have to communicate with an understanding adult. Maybe just listening to one aspect of their life makes them feel better about no one listening to the other (more painful) parts of their journey. If we understood how much we matter to even a stranger we would have an inclination of the impact we have on our own children, family and friends.
Let’s test the theory:
Whenever you get around some people (strangers preferably), compliment someone. Compliment a man on his tie or shirt (something small) and a woman on her hair, shoes or purse. Be genuine (only if you like these items) and smile afterward. Observe their reaction. How did YOU feel?
That person most likely lit up like a Christmas tree and it was over a small surface thing. But what you actually said to them was “You matter to me. The work you have put in has paid off and I appreciate it!” The cool part is that seeing them happy probably made you feel good too. It probably said to you, “Wow, you are just a stranger but you were awesome enough to put a smile on this person’s face. You probably made their day or at least their next 30 minutes.”
We all need to feel valuable. There is so much competition in the workplace, within families and so forth that can all contribute to a person’s lack of self worth. The cool part is that we each have what it takes to shift the atmosphere and that is just further proof of how much you matter!