Do you ever really stop to consider the impact of your words, what you say, how you say it, and what it means to the person receiving your message? …
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Do you ever really stop to consider the impact of your words,
what you say, how you say it, and what it means to the person
receiving your message?
If you are like me, you probably wish that in any given moment
you could be completely aware of what you are trying to say and the
positive or negative impact it might have. Sometimes we get so
caught up in the feeling of what we want to say, we blurt something
out that we are either proud of or we wish we could immediately
pull back into our mouths, delete, rewind or hide from.
You know that feeling, right — “open mouth, insert foot” or “did
my inner voice just come out?”
Well I want to share a real life story of someone whose life was
changed by a simple compliment, and how she now changes others’
lives with her glowing smile, personality and positive words.
A few weeks ago, I was traveling through Memphis on a business
trip. On my return trip after getting through security, I stopped
into a shop to purchase a bottle of water and a newspaper, and okay
a candy bar too. What can I say, I had a weak moment. The woman
behind the counter was so pleasant and so warm, she kind of took me
by surprise. I enjoyed the quick exchange so much so that I
couldn’t help but thank her for her smile and for giving me such a
great impression of Memphis before I left their city.
Here is where the story gets interesting. She volunteered that
several years ago she wasn’t this pleasant. She was kind of always
in a bad mood. Couldn’t wait to leave her job, hated going to her
job. Then one day, she was having a good day, not a great day she
said, but a good day. She smiled at a customer with that beautiful
smile of hers and encouraged her customer to have a good day. She
said that the gentleman thanked her for being so nice, and that her
smile made his day.
So the next day, she decided to keep it going, and sure enough,
more people complimented her and thanked her for being so gracious
and helpful. Her entire attitude changed. So for years, she has
been making the day for the hundreds of people who come through her
store just because one day, just one someone, acknowledged her. She
told me she doesn’t continue this for her own accolades, she does
it now because she knows she is making a difference for other
It’s the ripple effect, the tiny pebble in the water that starts
a wave, or the butterfly wings that create a breeze. It was one
man, one person who changed another person’s life, and now that
person brightens the day of everyone she meets and greets.
Think about what you say, how you say it, and the life you just
might change to create your own ripple effect in our world. I would
love to hear about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. Say
something nice to someone this week and I guarantee you will make
it a better than good week for you and them.
Michael Norton, a resident of Highlands Ranch, is the former
president of the Zig Ziglar organization and CEO and founder of
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