Isn't it amazing how one small gesture, good or bad, can set the tone for the rest of our day, or maybe even the week? I've been thinking about this quite a lot, because it's a topic we've been discussing at work lately, and it's something that's been affecting people I know, so I thought....hmmmm. Maybe I can control my destiny, just a tiny little bit, by passing on a small act of kindness. Nothing too time-consuming or expensive. It could be as simple as paying $0.40 for someone's toll, or buying someone a cup of coffee, or offering to help them with a project that they're working on. Now these are things we probably all do at one time or another without even thinking about it. But tomorrow I am consciously going to go into work with the plan to do as many nice things as I possibly can. Not so that I complimented, though that would be nice (LOL), but because it really can put a smile on your face to do something nice "just because". Just because I woke up this morning. Just because I felt like it. Just because you happened to be here. Just because.
I think what really motivated me was that at work, part of my developmental plan for the 2nd quarter of this year was to come up with a book for myself and my co-workers to read that pertained to what we did for the company (branch operations for a credit union - in other words: dealing with the public) and how to improve customer relations, both internal and external. Well, not everyone I know reads. Gasp! (I know, it shocked me, too). So I had to select a book that was going to be easy to read, and if it didn't have pictures, it had to have a lot of quick, concise points that would reduce the overall glazed-eye effect. I eventually found one called "The Fred Factor". Now the success of this project was already in peril just from the name alone. See, we have a colleague named Fred, and his name does not generate positive thoughts and certainly not happy ones. But once we got past the name, to my pleasant surprise, my co-workers really enjoyed the book and got a lot out of it. We had a breakfast meeting with our manager, where I lead the discussion, and it was really eye-opening to get such overwhelmingly positive feedback, and I felt really happy about the whole project. What's fun is to watch each other use the "Fred" factor everyday. To consciously be aware of others doing good deeds really does motivate a person to try to do the same. I guess you'd call that learning by example, something our parents (!) have been trying to each us for years.
Now what exactly is the "Fred" Factor? Well, if you didn't click on the link to read all about it, the Fred factor is named for an amazing mail carrier (named, um, Fred) that loved his job so much, he went above and beyond his normal carrier duties everyday just to take care of the people on his route. He noticed when people went on vacation so he would box up their mail and keep it safe so it wasn't taken while families were away from home. Or remembering people's names, asking about their children, their jobs, and even going as far as to show up in his neighborhood on his day off to lend a helping hand to someone in need. He's really an amazing person, and yes, Fred does really exist. He is the person we all wish we could be. And truly, we could. No matter what we do in life, if we do it with passion, we can become extraordinary, too.
So tomorrow, instead of cursing at the semi who cuts in front of me so I slam on my brakes and end up wearing my Starbuck's white chocolate mocha, I am going to take a deep breath, put the coffee down until I park my car, and just enjoy the 4-mile drive to work. Now if I can manage that much, then the rest is a peace of cake *g*