The other day my husband Nick and I were at the Farmers’ Market doing our weekly shop for organic veggies, and he stopped at this one stall. He began chatting with the man who owned it — and didn’t stop! Ten minutes goes by, then 20 minutes, then 30 minutes… meanwhile, I had wandered off to check out some other stalls, came back, and they were still chatting. Turns out that Nick — being the serial entrepreneur he is — was giving this man marketing and business advice, which the guy was completely soaking up and was immensely grateful for. They swapped numbers and off we went to the next stall.
We got in the car and I commented on how inspiring he is, and how he always has so much time for people, and how he is so giving, generous, caring and loving. (He is by far one of my biggest inspirations.) We then got chatting about a concept we both read about in one of our fave books, How To Win Friends And Influence People by Dale Carnegie. The concept basically states that every single interaction between two human beings is neutral, but you can then either leave them elated or deflated. Nick reminded me that each of those encounters with the two stall owners was an opportunity to leave a beautiful human being elated…
After picking my jaw up off the floor in admiration (and pinching myself that I got to marry this human being!), I thought to myself that I should probably just retire from MA.COM and hand it all over to him to take the reins.
I thanked him for the reminder, and since then, I have been pondering on my most recent interactions with people...
Yesterday at the health food shop, did I leave the young girl behind the counter elated or deflated?
Last week in my taxi, did I leave the man elated or deflated?
This morning at yoga, did I engage in conversation with the new girl in class or did I just put my head down and bum up?
I’ve been paying close attention every time I meet someone or interact with them. Not with judgement, of course — I don’t want to create a feeding frenzy for my Mean Girl! — but with an open, gentle curiosity about myself and how I’m showing up. Essentially, the question that has become my guiding light is this: Did I just give those people energy? Or did I suck the bejesus out of them?
You see, it is OUR responsibility for the energy we bring to every situation and whether you leave someone elated or deflated.