Sunday, March 25, 2007
Recently I wrote an article in which I tried to point out that consistent effort was needed for success in many things. Persistence paid off, in other words. Shortly after posting that article on MySpace.com, a nice lady named Toni sent me a message about the article. She was not only kind enough to compliment the article, but in her message, she told me that she had been about to give up on something, and my article kind of pushed her back on track.
I have been paid in various ways for a lot of things in my life, but that has to be one of the nicest "checks" I have ever received.
You know something? Not only was Toni kind enough to say nice things about my article, but she took the time to let me know the impact I had had on her life.
Isn't that a great feeling? Years ago, I had the good fortune to train individuals in a new career. Many of these people had never had a job that paid as well, many had been going through a string of misfortunes, and I got to help set them on the road to success in a new career. A few came back to see me later and let me know how grateful they were for the difference I had made in their lives.
There, you go! Yet another "check".
You might be wondering why I put the word "check" in quotations.
Well, it's because Toni's response, and those of my ex-students, was not only a feel-good thing that brightened my whole day...and a payment of sorts...but it also reminded me of something we sometimes forget. It was a "reality check"...a reminder. One of the reasons we tend to forget is that we often don't get messages back telling us how we have done, what we have or have not accomplished, or the impact that we have had on someone else's life...for better or for worse.
You don't have to write an article to impact someone's life in such a way that they incorporate your message into their life. My wife has family members who are missionaries in foreign lands. She was telling me that in one country where they were missionaries, they were not allowed to preach or even tell others about their religion. They had to pass on their teachings and beliefs by being living examples of their faith.
We impact each other's lives almost every day, often without even realizing it. We may say one thing and five minutes later show our children, coworkers, or family members what our real core values are. Sadly, we sometimes say one thing and teach another through our actions. Often, our children, and others, may incorporate those values into their own lives. That's great as long as we have shown them the best lessons in life that we can muster.
Unfortunately, many of us continue teaching the wrong lessons and sending the wrong messages because we never get any response that lets us realize our mistakes and improve ourselves and our messages. Many motivational professionals and success coaches agree that to improve performance and achieve success, it is very useful to have some sort of feedback so that we can recognize our strengths and weaknesses, thus gaining an understanding of what we need to work on. Also, if we have been doing well, the positive message we get back from others can be a great reward while strengthening us in our determination to keep on doing the right things.
Several times in my life, I have received a "thank you", a compliment, or just a word of encouragement at just the right moment so that I was able to take hold of my life as it veered off track and put it back on the proper road.
That's why I say, "Thank you, Toni," for letting me know that I have made a difference in your life. I thank you also for reminding me that someone is watching and that my words and my life can have an impact, and it is up to me to determine what sort of message I wish to send. Your reality check not only rewarded me for my efforts, but brought back to my mind the need to write what I believe and live my life as it should be lived.
That sort of payment is worth a lot more than money.
Donovan Baldwin is a Texas writer and a University of West Florida alumnus. He is a member of Mensa and is retired from the U. S. Army after 21 years of service. In his career, he has held many managerial and supervisory positions. However, his main pleasures have long been writing, nature, health and fitness. In the last few years, he has been able to combine these pleasures by writing poetry and articles on subjects such as health, fitness, yoga, writing, the environment, happiness, self improvement, and weight loss.
He has a collection of articles on health, fitness, diet and weight loss at http://nodiet4me.com/articledirectory .