Updated: Apr 23, 2021
This morning as I was driving to Barnes and Noble to work on the website and on my Eight Pillars of Success program, I was appreciating what an absolutely beautiful day we were enjoying in West Michigan. Already in the 60’s, the weatherman said we would approach 80 on this early October day. Autumn is my favorite season and the short, sweet Indian Summer that falls within it is especially precious. It is the type of weather the Visitors Bureau dreams of. Who wouldn’t find Grand Rapids glorious on a day like today.
With that mindset in gear, I parked much closer than normal, a gift from a departing shopper just one row into the parking lot. My mind was firmly on the business at hand, with only one more day off my regular job, I knew I needed a productive and fruitful day. Upon exiting my car, I glanced casually at the car parked next to mine. There on the dashboard, stuck on the speedometer in all its Post-It Note glory was a little yellow message. On the paper, it said: “I hope your day is as radiant as your smile….Love K” . Wow! Suddenly, my mind went off task and my mind was filled with questions. Who is this “K”? And more importantly, who is this lucky devil who received such a meaningful and heartfelt message to begin their day? I think we all wish we were that person.
Ten simple words…Not a two page declaration of feeling, not a manifesto of complicated emotions. Ten words, only one of which has more than one syllable. And yet it says so much. To me, it reminded me of all of the times, I wanted to make that phone call to say hi to someone I cared about. It reminded me of how many times I wanted to put a note in my kids lunch box that they looked at and feigning embarrassment tuck into their pocket. It reminded me of how many thank you cards I wanted to write to family, friends, and customers who have helped me along the way. Most embarrassingly of all, it reminded me of how many people I told that I would pray for them versus how many times I got down on my knees. I didn’t intend this little message on the dashboard to spur so many “should ofs” in my own life, but maybe it is good that it did.
How long does it take to dial seven to ten digits to tell someone you are thinking of them? How long does it take to write your own sticky note message and place it on the dashboard or the lunch box or the bathroom mirror or the kitchen table if you are the first to leave in the morning? How long does it take to jot someones name down on a pad so that you remember their needs as you pray for your own? How long does it take to hang up your cellphone or take out your earphones and sincerely greet and thank the person serving you in line at your local coffee shop? The answer- not long.
So today, I take a new step. I set a new goal. I will begin to be more attentive when dealing with customers and baristas and salesclerks and waiters. I will be present when I am somewhere, not checking email, or listening to music, or playing mobile Scrabble. I will pray for someone when I tell them I will, thank them when they have helped me, and appreciate them when I do. I will seek to compliment others as it is a medicine more powerful than many on the pharmacists shelf. But most importantly, I will love, and never let anyone who is important to me doubt that they hold that place in my heart.
How long does it take? Not long. How difficult is it? Not very. What will it take to get you started? I cannot answer that for you, but for me it was ten little words on a sticky note on a dashboard: ” I hope your day is as radiant as your smile.”
I wish you a radiant day!!