Here’s a gem from Darling Issue 10. We love this one because it reminds us what the real value of work is: to connect. To make this world just a little bit easier for someone else, whether that’s making someone coffee or designing a sweater from scratch.
Or, simply saying thank you.
More Often Than Always
Written by Sarah-May Bates
You know those days: You wake up and realize you set the wrong alarm, then you spill coffee on your favorite blouse because you’re rushing—now you’re 15 minutes behind and that means an extra 30 minutes of traffic on your way to work? Now, speed walking through your office, you’re like a shaken soda can of grouchiness because man, oh man, today is just not your day. Things are probably going to get progressively worse. Wait … that girl is holding the door for you. She’s smiling and waving you over. She even said your shirt is cute! Grumpiness … fading … smile … widening … You know, maybe this day isn’t so bad after all. In fact, this day is pretty great.
This transformation is the result of a very special super hero known as a Daychanger. These men and women have the potential to affect every person they meet in monumental ways, wielding a power anyone can master.
What you may not realize is that right now you possess a great amount of influence on even the most average of days. Think about each person you interact with in a day, from the moment you wake to the moment you fall asleep. Count each person, even the ones you merely pass, from the drivers on the road to the shoppers in line with you at the grocery store. Count your coworkers, neighbors and the yogis in your yoga class. You might not realize it but you play a very important role in each of their lives.
No matter how trivial it seems, each and every interaction holds the potential to effect change for the better. Whether it’s a subtle nod of acknowledgment to a stranger on the elevator or a “Thanks!” replied to a work email, just by acknowledging value, you demonstrate the goodwill of humanity at large.
It’s a gift so potent it fills you with confidence as it spreads optimism that is extremely contagious. A casual compliment delivered to your grocery store clerk is passed to hundreds of customers and the thousands of family members they eat dinner with that night. Your super power is multiplied exponentially when you affect an environment—for example, the place you work. We’ve all seen one statement of negativity hush the bubbling flow of inspiration in an entire room. Negativity is a toxin so extreme that it can even reverse progress, causing others to retreat inside of themselves like the petals of a flower when the weather grows cold. Because toxic energies can wither even the brightest of spirits, your super power is important to use wisely. You have the ability to undo pain and hurt and replace it with relief and positivity.
Just by acknowledging value, you demonstrate the goodwill of humanity at large.
Not only can you alter the course of a person’s day, changing it from dark to bright, you can also draw forth from them what is special—with just your words. All you have to do is voice what you see in them that is good: a strength they possess, their wisdom, or simply their kindness. Even if your compliment feels unimportant or obvious, your observations can make a pivotal impact on someone’s life—like that person always had a pair of wings but never noticed them before. Now that they see them, they begin to take flight. Whatever relationship you have with the person has little bearing on the power of the statement because the proof lies in the fact that you are genuine. Even if a person rubs you the wrong way, by choosing to focus on what is good, you bring more of that good to life. You inspire confidence and authenticity because you are inviting others to give more of their gifts. With just your words you can give people belief in themselves; it’s one of the greatest gifts one could ever receive.
You might be wondering how to activate this very special power you wield. Well, that part is simple: you decide to. Decide to leave every group you enter with laughter and inspiration. Decide to share your smile with everyone who needs it and to look at each moment you spend with others as an opportunity to change their day for the better. Decide to do all of this not because you have to or you should, but because it makes you and everyone around you feel amazing. Once you make that decision, honor that promise to yourself, make it a priority. Because whatever you give, you get back tenfold in ear-to-ear grin-inducing happiness.
The best part of all is that it comes back around to you, too. Just as your actions can shed light on another’s hidden greatness, they also reveal your inner beauty—to yourself. You make it more real, more true. Your gratitude grows deeper, your experiences richer, your laughs louder, your joy more ticklish. Because when you know you are kind and loving, you feel that way. You feel like a Daychanger: a powerful super hero who changes the lives of others for the better, every day.
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Images via Thayer Gowdy