Normally I pride myself on connecting with people and I try to do this everywhere I go. Lately though, I have been so incredibly busy that I have felt like I am just running all the time, trying to keep up. And with all this “busy-ness“, it seems I forgot to connect.
While standing in line for check-out at the store though, a very nice clerk named Joe asked me if I was having a nice day. Something in Joe’s voice broke the spell I had been under–you know the one, the running dialog in my head with all the stuff that soooo important that I just couldn’t forget to do it. So, I looked up to see Joe smiling at me, patiently waiting on my reply.
That smile brought me to where I should have been all along–right there, in that moment. I couldn’t help myself, I took a breath and smiled right back at him. I thanked him for asking and told him that I was in fact having an unbelievable day and how grateful I was for so much exciting work–especially in light of how little work there had been not that long ago.
Then, I asked him how his day was going. The look on his face changed quickly to that of a bit of surprise. I know he could tell that I was genuinely interested and I believe that is what surprised him. Putting myself in his shoes, I bet he encounters so many people who were just like me, rapidly going about their day, running through their errands, and never even seeing him. Our pleasantries extended only until my items were bagged and placed back in the cart, but when we smiled and both said at the same time, “have a great rest of the day”, we were both standing a little taller, both smiling genuinely, both a little more energized.
You see that is what happens when you really engage with someone, rather than just going through the motions. Your energy and their energy combine and create so much more. It may sound cheesy, but try it today as you go about your life. Really engage the people you come in contact with and be open to where that might take you. You just never know who you might meet and how they might impact your life.
Thank you Joe, for reminding me to slow down and connect. After all, that is way more important than anything else I had on my to-do list.