My house guest this week was an old time friend and athletic swimming coach … and teacher. I promise to keep this on point. The message I am about to share with you is one I have been preaching for years. This very morning it came to the surface again … but from a different angle.
We were talking over coffee about the importance of “positioning” oneself as something worthy of another’s time and attention. He was referring to college graduates, and gym teachers in particular. I was making the connection to business entrepreneurs. This is what he said:
“Having been voted into the High School Coaches Hall of Fame recently I was asked to give an acceptance speech. I told the audience that I had no idea of my won-loss record throughout my career. Nor did I care. My job was to make a difference in my student’s lives … not to win swim meets thereby racking up impressive statistics for some unknown journalist.”
He went on.
“When I retired I had fifteen boxes of “stuff” which I had accumulated in my office over the past 30 plus years. I took just one box with me when I left. And that box contained the letters, postcards and handwritten notes from my students over the years. These pieces of paper I cherished. These were the notes that said, “thank-you coach” for contributing to a whole bunch of growth and personal achievements. These meant the world to me.”
I had again confirmed how valuable and appreciated the simple yet highly profoun thank-you note is, was, and will continue to be. Here again was an affidavit of why you should take my Note Card Friday recommendation to heart, and turn it into a weekly habit.
You can make a difference in people’s lives. Not by booking their trip to Disneyland. Not by offering them a cup of coffee or by upgrading them to a suite overlooking the pool. You can make a difference by showing your appreciation to those people who have made a difference in your life.
If you think that this is the last time you will be hearing this from me, I want to politely inform you that you are sadly mistaken. This advice may very well be the best advice I have given in the twenty-five years I have been waxing eloquent to audiences from all walks of life.
Today is Note Card Friday. (You can fill in any other day in place of Friday if the shoe fits.) Begin your new journey today. Begin putting a bounce in other people’s steps today. Begin making a real difference today. Pick up a pen and a piece of paper and write “Thank-You” on it. Then send it to somebody (anybody) in your world who has made a difference. Don’t think about it. DO IT.
CLIA readers, send me an email and I will inform you who really was at the “tiller” when we ran aground. HINT: I was not. firstname.lastname@example.org