The little things that shape our lives…
Have you ever thought of how people have shaped your life in unintended ways by the little things they have said? I am amazed at how I can identify certain statements which have significantly impacted me, and yet the person who made the comment had no idea how it impacted me. In most situations, we have little awareness of how our words can impact those around us.
Take a moment and think of the millions of words that have been spoken to you during your lifetime. Why did certain words stick with you?
Most of us can think of those hurtful words we have experienced, like when my first boss out of college told me after I resigned from the company that he hadn’t seen anything in my work that I didn’t owe to my parents. I know he was trying to convince me to stay with the company, but it didn’t work. For most of us, we easily recall hurtful words individuals have spoken to us. It is important to be aware of how these words have scripted our current beliefs or behaviors.
However, for this blog, I want you to think of words that individuals may have said to you that have positively shaped you.
They don’t have to be grand statements but can often be said almost off the cuff. Little things people say can shape our lives. For instance, here are a few that come to mind off the top of my head:
- I had a trainer at the YMCA over a decade ago tell me that as people age, they lose their balance. So she challenged me to “bounce” on one leg, which I have done for the last 10 years, and as a result, maintain great balance.
- Thirty-five years ago, I had a mentor who was great at giving me pithy statements which continue to haunt me in a good way…for instance:
- A leader is one step ahead of others, and a martyr is seven steps ahead. Greg, you are more often a martyr than a leader…
- Don’t fret too much about life; make peace with reality and move on
- Find out where you have an unfair advantage over others and do it
- A friend told me that when he needs to hear the truth, he asks me because he knows I will “call it like I see it.”
- A more recent coach/mentor told me that God gives me passport into the lives of others, so I seek to use it for Him.
- A respected author told me that if I lose my passion for discipleship, I never had it.
None of these individuals had any idea they were shaping my life significantly. Each knew I had something to learn and offered honest wisdom, but these few comments have substantively changed my life and how I behave.
I believe God can use you to shape someone’s life today. It doesn’t have to be a major speech or heroic act. It may be just sharing something positive you see in another person. Let me suggest you ask God for insight to speak truth, wisdom, affirmation, and challenge into someone’s life today.
You may change eternity for them and others.