I read this cool post today… You are not defined by from The Persistent Platypus.
It talks about not being defined by your past, but by what good you do in the world – so what are you defined by?
For me it’s my little Family – my Partner and my Dog – they are my world and I hope I make them happy.
It’s also my friends – I have a small group of friends who mean a lot to me and a large group of friends that I have the most tenuous of connections with – but they are all important, as is the impact I have on them, so I try to make it positive.
It’s also my work. I’m lucky enough to do a job I love which helps people every day. As a Hypnotherapist I help people to make positive changes in their lives. Whether it’s helping them tackle personal problems or helping them achieve goals, I know I make a difference.
It’s also my community. I smile and say hello to people as I walk my dog. I chat to the people who serve me at the supermarket. I help out neighbours where I can. It’s not much, but when everyone does this we all get to live in a better place.
Am I changing the world – No.
Am I changing things for people – Yes.
I used to work in a bar. I’ve always been a chatty soul, and will happily make conversation with almost anyone. I’m sure it annoys some people.
After I stopped working in bars I started working for a Financial Institution. I was stood at the reception desk one day when a guy came up to me and asked if I used to work in a local bar. When I confirmed that yes, that was me, he asked if he could shake my hand. I laughed and said ‘of course’ – then asked ‘Why?’ His answer will stay with me for the rest of my life.
He said ‘I was suffering from depression. I had decided that I couldn’t go on any more and that I was going to kill myself. I was working up a bit of Dutch courage by having a drink in your bar, and you started chatting to me. It was the first conversation I’d had in ages. I decided to wait a bit before going through with the suicide. I came in every day for a week, and you always had a chat with me as I stood at the bar. That was 6 years ago, and I have never felt better than I do today. I promised myself if I ever saw you again I would shake your hand for saving my life’
I could tell you that I remembered these conversations, but I don’t. They were of no importance or significance to me at all. We probably talked about the weather or what had been on TV the night before. They were nothing to me – but everything to him.
Don’t undervalue a smile and a chat. Don’t think you don’t make a difference.