There was a mysterious and delightful email in my inbox this morning and Saturday’s leisure allowed me to follow its trail. While I didn't recognize the sender’s name or address (nor anything on his LinkedIn or Facebook pages), based on what he mentioned in the text he obviously knew me. He mentioned having read a piece I wrote about inspiration that inspired him, he knew about my writer’s hat and was using a one-page instruction I peddle in my classes outlining key actions for self-care. Following it has made a difference in his life. There was a piece of me that felt badly I couldn't remember this man, but there was a larger piece that was blown away because a person I touched, likely teaching a college course, was living better because of a connection with me.
It made me think of DrewDudley’s TED video “Leading with Lollipops.” In it he tells the story of a chance connection he made years ago while doing a volunteer assignment during college registration. He was being his engaging self, making jokes and giving out lollipops when an encounter with a panicky freshman made an unlikely difference that changed the course of her life. His point is that we can (and do) make a difference with any or every encounter.
Once again I was reminded, my actions (can) have impact, and if what I send out sticks, I want it to be a piece of my best. It inspires me to “bring it” to every interaction and it makes me want to carry along real lollipops just to keep me on on track.