Selected Life Lesson
Anything is possible, no matter what the age.
-Mary B’s Life Lesson from the Beyond Rubies Conference
We are powerful beyond our measure … no matter how young or old we are. That was no more apparent to me than at an event I volunteered at two weeks ago on Pier 60 here in New York City. It was with The Trevor Project, an organization that is near and dear to my heart. “Trevor Live” is an annual event to celebrate all the advocates and pioneers in the area of LGBTQ inclusion and safety.
And while listening to the band fun. perform and Susan Sarandon speak, it was the Colin Higgins Youth Courage Award recipients that took my breath away. They were, and are just kids, and they are changing the world for the better.
It was an honor to be there that night and serve the greater good. And Mary’s lesson is poignant on this, the day after the American Independence Day. Anything really is possible. It is never too late to change your life and the lives of others. Let’s get moving.
Talking to strangers is something I have never been good at doing. Perhaps it has come from bad airline conversations or super-awkward moments on the subways here in New York City, but I usually refrain from longer than “hello” conversations with people I don’t know.
All that began to change as I took my trip to San Diego for my recent marathon. I spoke to a wonderful lady here at LaGuardia when our early morning flight was delayed. Then I spoke to a great lady on the trolly in San Diego who actually grew up and once lived in New York City. And of course, at the race itself, I was more than happy to talk with other crazies like myself.
But what did all of these interactions teach me?
It’s simple really: That positivity breads positive experiences which can in turn change the life of someone you have never met and will likely never see again.
Case In Point: I was on a date my last morning in San Diego, enjoying a coffee with a wonderful man and this woman approached us. Now that I am an NYC cynic, I expected her to ask for money. Instead, she asked, “How do I look?”
I was surprised by her question and I gave her a quick look and said, “You look good.” She then went on to explain that her was on her way to a job interview and had been crying for the past few days because her mother had just died. In that moment, I felt terrible, so I reassured her that she did in fact, look good.
We wished her well, and luck on her interview. I’d like to think she did well and perhaps we had something to do with that. In that moment, I hope she felt comfortable come up to us because we were laughing and exuding positivity on an early Tuesday morning.
Do you notice a change in the world and your environment when you are positive?
Selected Life Lesson
You aren’t judged on your words, you are judged on your actions.
-Austin S’ Life Lesson from Basehor, Kansas
It doesn’t matter how it is said, but we have all heard Austin’s lesson before. But only recently have I been needed to be told this again. For me, it came from two people. One, someone I consider a friend and serious mentor, Gary Vaynerchuk. We had a meeting and he basically said you need to do XYZ. Don’t ask questions, just do it.
Sure. Right. Then I had a meeting with someone who is only two years older than me and faced similar life questions at nearly the same time in his life as I am now. That said, we had just met and as we ate our dinners he pushed me, and not gently. Sitting across from me, he basically told me, not unlike Gary, that I needed to do ABC.
Then it hit me. I needed to get going; and now. I can talk as good as anyone, but I need to do. And that’s what I’m doing now. Actions always speak louder than words and I’m excited to start showing what I’m doing, so stay tuned. But here is my question for you: What words do you want to turn into actions today?
Selected Life Lesson
I’ve learned how to be less shy. I had to give a speech in front of the whole school
and my legs were trembling. Now I have more confidence about myself.
-Anonymous Life Lesson from Olathe, Kansas
As a speaker I know just what this lesson is talking about. In fact, I asked my mentor if she still gets nervous when getting up in front of an audience. She did not hesitate to say, “Yes!” That helped reassure me that I was not in the wrong business.
I have a belief: If you are not nervous before doing something you are passionate about, perhaps it is time to change your passion and start chasing a different dream. It’s funny to think about because I know that I still get nervous walking onto a tennis court. It’s the fear of the unknown. With tennis, it is not even about the winning and the losing … it is that I have no idea how any of it will play out!
And life can be that way too. But you’re living it. You’re in it. Sure, there are nervous moments. And scary moments. And stressful moments. (And even more stressful moments.) But even with trembling legs, you can overcome your fears and achieve your dreams.