You know, it’s amazing the power that a few kind words can have; the difference it can make in your mood, your day, etc.
Just yesterday, I went to do some stadium sprints to take advantage of the beautiful sunny day we were having here in Boston. As I got to the end of my workout, my legs were shaking, my hair was everywhere, I was a sweaty mess, and I am sure my face was beet red. But as I was walking back towards the entrance of the stadium, I passed an older gentleman who had been walking the steps while I was running. He was probably about 70, which is inspirational enough right there… if I’m still running those stadium steps when I’m his age, than I’ll know I’ve done something right! Anyway, as I passed him, I gave him a smile and nod (You know, the “Yeah this just kicked my ass but you know how it goes” kind of head nod) and he simply said to me:
“You looked strong on those stairs”
I nearly stopped dead in my tracks. Those six little words took him about a half of a second to say to me, but they honestly made my day. He probably has no idea how happy it made me to hear that (I mean, I wanted to give him a kiss but that would have been awkward I’m sure) but I did give him a big smile and a “Thanks!” as I continued on my way.
This brightened my day for a few reasons:
1. I’ve been feeling slightly crappy about myself physically lately. I’m pretty sure there’s not a chance in Hell that any of my shorts or spring pants will be fitting me right now.
2. I always watch other people while they run stadiums and think, “Gosh, they make it look so easy”
Like this chick. Come on, sweat a little, will ya?
3. I’ve always been fairly certain that when I run stadiums I bear some sort of resemblance to a hyperventilating Heffalump**.
**If you don’t know what a Heffalump is, you clearly need to do some brushing up on your Winnie the Pooh knowledge.
Anyway, in that half a second, Mr. Kind Sir lifted my spirits. He made me feel strong, empowered, and ready to face the rest of the day just by saying one simple phrase to me. So that got me thinking, when was the last time I did that for someone else? It can be so easy to pass by other people, especially strangers, and not give them the time of day, so to speak. But giving out compliments every once in a while is easy too! It can make some people nervous to talk to strangers, but honestly, 9 times out of 10, you’re going to make someone’s day better.
(In that rare 1 out of 10 case that you just creep someone out, maybe you just need to rethink your approach)
A few years ago in my old gym, I had a woman approach me while I was lifting, and she told me that I was too strong for the dumbbells I was lifting, that I should try a heavier weight. Sure, I could have been weirded out, but you know what? She empowered me! She didn’t know it at the time, but she was one of the people that inspired me to start lifting heavier. And she did so with a 2 second remark, in passing.
Who knows what You could inspire someone to do if you give out that compliment next time instead of just thinking it to yourself!
Has anyone ever caught you off guard with a compliment you weren’t expecting? Has a stranger ever inspired you just because of a simple comment or gesture? How often do you compliment strangers and other people around you?