I never used to worry too much about what I would do or say, because in my own self-absorbed mind, I didn’t give any attention to or thought about who may be watching or listening, nor the impact it may have on their life. As you go through life and bump into people you may have known and not seen for a while, are you ever amazed about what they say about you and how you influenced their life? Make sure you ask next time you see someone who fits that profile. You may be amazed as to what you hear. The reality is that everything you say and do will impact others, and, at any time, you never know who is watching you.
I had a random and joyful experience earlier this week. Last Sunday, I was very grateful to have the opportunity to appear on Weekend Sunrise, a national Australian breakfast show. During the short four-minute segment, I shared about the positive power of controlled and scheduled tantrums to help release pent up emotion, feel better, and gain clarity to make more considered decisions when faced with challenging situations. After the segment, I wasn’t sure how effective I had been in communicating my message as it was very rushed, and I was distracted by lots of background noise.
On Monday morning, as usual, I was up at about 5:30am and off to do my training. I live near a shopping centre with a large set of outdoor stairs which I enjoy running up and down and doing step ups on. So, I was doing my normal training routine, and at about 6am I was just up one flight and doing step ups on the bottom step of the second flight. At that moment, a man walked past on the ground below.
Now, keep in mind, it was still dark, I looked very dishevelled, and I was one flight up, when this man stopped, looked up at me and encouraged me. He had a long unruly beard, was wearing a hoodie and I couldn’t quite decide if he was a homeless man or not. I thanked him for his encouragement and started to walk away. Just then he stopped, looked back at me, and asked, hey, were you on television yesterday? Aren’t you the tantrum guy? How he possibly recognised me at that time of the day, in the dark, from that distance and with me looking a mess, I had no idea.
I said, yes, I am. He went on to say, I enjoyed what you said, and it really impacted me. It gave me hope that, when you are down, you can get back up again. Thanks. With that, he turned and walked away, as I yelled thanks to him. As he left, I smiled to myself, felt a warm glow in my heart and found an extra spark in my step as I finished my training session and headed home. It was amazing to me, even though I was on TV, I could have that kind of profound impact on that man. It just reinforced to me that you never know who is watching.
You don’t have to be on TV to have that kind of impact on people’s lives. In fact, because of that glorious experience, I have found myself smiling more this week. I have smiled at people more, I have helped people more, and I have encouraged people more. I have found more meaning in the things I do and say, because I know for a fact that people are watching and being impacted by my words and actions, no matter where I am. The same is true for you.
So, what is the point? The point is that you are powerful, and you are a wonderful force for good. Yes, you! It is the humblest person who has no idea who is watching, and is just getting on with their day, who is having the most wonderful impact on the life of people they have no idea are watching. You are changing lives every single day, whether you know it, believe it or not. Every time you smile, someone sees it or feels it. Every word you speak someone hears it and is affected by it. Every action you take someone sees it and is inspired by it.
In my podcast this week with Leanne Spencer called Slivers of recovery, Leanne tells the story of her first day of an incredibly demanding three-day skiing event. She said she was on the verge of giving up, when in the distance, as she approached the finish line on the first day, she saw a lady with arms outstretched facing straight at her. She said she skied straight into those arms and received the most amazing hug from this generous person. The result of that simple hug gave Leanne the impetus to keep going and finish the event.
I talk a lot about the ripple effect. You may not feel like you are making a difference in people’s lives, but trust me you are. You don’t need to be on TV, you don’t need to be high profile and you don’t need any special ability. You just need to spend every day being the very best version of yourself you can be and know and trust that someone is always watching. You just may never know who that is and how you have affected their life, but you have.