Every Single Day You Change The World In Some Small Way - But Are You Making It A Better Place?
I used to work for a non-profit organisation that helped disadvantaged youth get into work. Actually I’ve worked for a few non-for profits over the years and I loved it. BUT one thing really bugged me about it. I often crossed paths with individuals who were on a mission to save the world but made everyone around them miserable because they thought that either:
a)Their cause was the right one and all other causes were inferior (kind of like the God debate, if you think about it)
b) They were saving the world so it was ok to be rude, lie or be bitchy to everyone they met.
Now, don’t get me wrong, working for a non-profit is a great cause and there are so many super wonderful people in this area BUT it doesn’t mean you make the world a better place more so than Tommy Tepee, the builder down the road.
Normal people have the opportunity to make the world a better place every single day.
Tommy Tipee down the road hired a guy that he knew had a criminal record because he believed everyone needs a second chance and that guy he hired it now a functional member of society who sets a positive role model for others.
Donald Duck up the street has a reputation as a good listener and has provided informal counseling to young men in the area over a beer in the backyard for decades, informally preventing god knows how many suicides in the process because these are men that wouldn't be seen dead in a counselors office but venting to the old guy up the street over a beer? No drama.
Sally Smith just wrote a thank-you note to the girl that always serves her at McDonalds praising her on her customer service. That girl had just been abused by an angry customer and wanted to quit but gave it another shot because she got the letter.
Joe Donkey was made redundant and didn’t know how to write a resume so his neighbor Karen wrote one for him and he landed a new job.
Normal people make the world a better place EVERY SINGLE DAY.
The fact is that for every person you interact with, you have the chance to make their day better or worse.
I’m going to repeat what I just wrote because it is that important.
Every single person you meet today gives you the opportunity to make their day better or worse.
The new girl at the supermarket who is so slow bagging your fruit and veg? Frown and grumble and I’ll bet you make her day a tiny bit worse, but smile and tell her she is doing really well and you just made that five minutes a positive moment for her.
Here is my challenge to you.
This week I want you to keep a record of every single person you interact with and for each interaction (or if you see them all the time, make it for each day) give yourself a score out of 10. Six or above means you made a positive difference, five or below a negative.
A score of 10 means you went above and beyond to make this moment the happiest it could possibly be and a score of 0 means you made this moment the worst it could be. Your goal at the end of the week is to tally your scores up and see if overall you made a positive or negative contribution to the human race.
Don’t be surprised if you come up short. I fail at this ALL THE TIME. Often with my children who are the VERY people I LEAST want to fail for.
Let’s face it, toddlers are hard work and some days, in the words of my three year old, I’m just a mean mummy.
We are all human. Don’t beat yourself up if you fail, try again next week and the week after.
As I said, I FAIL all the time.
It’s important to remember that sometimes you are going to make someone unhappy and it can’t be helped. Maybe you need to break up with your boyfriend or make someone in your business redundant. You don’t need to give yourself a score of 0 for this.
Instead score yourself on how you handled the situation. For example if you dumped your boyfriend via text on his birthday that would be a big fat zero. On the other hand if you respectfully broke up with him to his face, by gently explaining the circumstances while still maintaining your boundaries you get a 10.
Sometimes we have to deliver bad news or make decisions which will upset others. It’s how you handle it that counts.
You don't need to join a non-profit, volunteer to rescue Alaskan Sea Turtles or join a monastery to make a difference (but it's totally cool bananas if you want to). We can all make the world a better place, right now, from where we are.