Today as I walked out of the petrol station and back to my car a dear old lady with purple ear muffs, a long green cardigan and some warm, yet very oversized Ugg boots came up behind me and asked for a ride to the other side of town. Now I was in quite a rush at the time but she seemed desperate and it was evident that she had exhausted all other options. In addition it was raining so there was no way I was going to leave that little old lady there even if it meant I ended up running 15 minutes late to my next meeting.As I put her bags into the back and took my business cards and handbag of the front seat to make room for her to hop in I couldn’t help but wince for her as she fell into the seat looking exhausted and beaten from her morning about town on her feet. As we drove across town she told me of her troubles, the struggles she puts up with daily and how much she was struggling with the selfish society that she was now an elder in. She reminisced about the ‘good old days’ when you could borrow milk off the neighbour, catch a ride with a stranger (which she was doing 😉 or simply stop and talk to anyone in the street about anything. As we pulled up to her destination, I helped her out of the passenger side and handed her her bag. I drove off flashing a friendly smile and a big wave which was more than reciprocated back towards me. In that moment I felt a sense of joy happiness that I’d helped that lady get about her day a little bit easier. But the conversation we had has left me thinking about the truths that she spoke!To make matters worse it’s been an afternoon of sales calls, some positive but the majority negative. I know that this is the nature of the beast and if you speak to anyone in this industry they’ll tell you that NO is a just a part of the process. But I struggle when you get a NO and a really crappy attitude to go with it. I am left frustrated….. questioning why they wouldn’t take a brief moment to at least listen and see if it’s an opportunity that might be of some use to them. It is at this point I think of the movie “The Yes Man”. Its lead character Carl, (played by Jim Carrey) is withdrawn after his divorce and coincidentally starts saying NO to everything. It is then that his old colleague suggests he attends a motivational “Yes!” seminar which encourages its attendees to seize the opportunity to say “Yes!”. Carl decides to attend the seminar and meets inspirational guru Terrence Bundley who publicly browbeats him into making a deal with himself, which results in him reluctantly promising to stop being a “No Man” and vows to answer “Yes!” to every opportunity, request, or invitation that presents itself thereafter. Whilst it was a comedy based film, the underlying message has travelled with me both personally and professionally since I watched it. I am always open to others peoples point of views and perhaps that’s the very reason why I dislike NO’s so much. ·
- That little old lady I picked up today made me realise that our society does lack compassion.
- That little old lady I picked up today made me realise that many people are withdrawn and therefore unable to connect with others.
- That little old lady I picked up today made me realise that people struggle to see the good in others.
- That little old lady I picked up today made me realise that many people out there don’t even take the time to listen to others
But most importantly that little old lady rewarded me for my ability to say Yes today because she simply reminded me that every time I get a NO it’s not me that they are saying NO to. It’s their life in general!
So thank you little old lady………..with the purple ear muffs. You are beautiful, you’ll never know what our chat meant to me and I enjoyed our short but brief trip together.