On January 2, a government holiday where all the offices were closed, I went in for one client and felt like I was all alone in the office, except for the couple who came in. I was waiting for a ride from my wife to come and pick me up when I was surprised by an elderly man who popped his head into my opened door office.
He began by asking, “Do you remember me a year ago when I was moving into the complex?” I vaguely remember the incident as his face looked familiar. He reintroduced himself as Robert who mentored younger business individuals. We got re-acquainted with pleasantries and then Robert said something that put me back on my heels.
He continued by saying, “You had a big impact in my life when you gave me your philosophy of life. You said that you sought to live your life one day at a time and treasure each moment, not trying to live your life in the future.” I vaguely remember saying something to that effect to him, and I do seek to live my life-like that on a daily basis. What shocked me is that a conversation that took place almost a year ago and lasted for no more than 5 minutes could change the course of his life and cause him to live differently this past year was a shocker.
How many are changed by a word or two given at a very vulnerable time. It could be a word of encouragement by a parent, a teacher, or a coach that totally turns us around in terms of our direction either in a positive direction or a negative one. I am reminded of the story that Aaron Rogers, the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, told of a teacher at the University of California who discouraged him from pursuing a career in professional football because he wouldn’t make it. Not only did he make it, but when the players are introducing the universities that they came from, Aaron Rogers introduces his community college and not the alma mater of Cal.
We never know the impact we can have on people who drop into our lives if only we are ready to speak to them as the most important people in our lives at that moment. As I think about it. They are. I’m reminded of individuals who knew President John F. Kennedy. When they were in his presence, it was as if they were the most important people on the face of the earth. President Kennedy had the ability to make whoever was in his presence feel very valuable.
On this journey, we will have numerous opportunities to speak into the lives of many individuals over the course of this next year. Your words can be the nourishment someone needs to move them to reaching their maximum potential.