Todd Burier is a friend of mine and he works hard at helping people live healthier and happier lives. He does this as a motivational speaker and wellness expert. The other day, he sent me a really inspirational email, and I asked him for permission to share it with you. He said yes and you can read it below. Todd has two websites at the bottom of his email. Take a minute and check them out.
Sunday as I was traveling, I landed in Memphis and was picked up by the man who typically shuttles me to and from the airport. As we were walking to the van I noticed someone walking very closely behind us. Almost like they were going in the same direction as us, but didn't realize they were walking so close to us that it seemed strange. As we got to the van, this woman was still right next to us and at this moment the man introduced me to her as his daughter. This was the first acknowledgement that she was with us.
This woman is 40 years old, and the man had told me in the past about the disease that she and some of her other siblings were born with. Essentially they were born with no sweat glans, no ability to have teeth, and no hair. I don't know the name of the disease only that the things I descirbed are just the tip of the ice berg. For many years it was questionable that they would live very long.
As we were riding to our destination I learned that she had spent all day at a Zumba seminar to get certified to teach this aerobic dance/fitness style (which she must teach with an air conditioner blowing directly on her or her body will overheat and she could die). It was hard to get her to talk because she was very shy.
On the way back to the airport a few days later I asked her Dad some more questions. She is unemployed, has had a very hard life (as you can imagine...not just living with the disease, but dealing with the verbal abuse she took from schoolmates making fun of her) and is trying to start her own business teaching Zumba. She has no experience running a business and no money, but she rented a little warehouse space and is giving it a try. I told the man that if he had her call me I would be happy to help her in any way that I could.
I was surprised when she emailed me and said she would like to talk. I called her yesterday and spoke to her about 20 minutes. I learned that she has a passion for helping peoiple with their weight (because she has had her own struggles) and she has a passion for dance, and Zumba gives her a way to do both at the same time. Of course she is going out on a limb by renting space in a warehouse, with no experience and no way to pay her bills, and no understanding of how to run a business.
I gave her a few ideas about how to make sure she could keep the doors open first, while she kept a roof over her head. She was so thankful, because she had no idea how to even think about what to do. Basically all I did was encourage her and help her see that she can do it.
That phone call felt very good for me. There is no interest or gain in this for me. It was purely to encourage and help someone else. And that's the point of the story.
People who are trying to accomplish something need encouragement. They need people to cheer them on and be there for them. Not just because this helps them, but because there aren't many people who do it.
People spend more time telling people why it won't work or questioning the attempt. Why?
Sometimes out of ignorance...they simply don't know any better.
Sometimes out of jealousy....you are doing something which makes them reflect on themselves.
Sometimes out of fear....that you will succeed and things will change between you.
Sometimes out of concern...they genuinely are worried you might fail (unfortunately this is a limited view becasue it is far better in life to try and fail than to not try)
Sometimes out of selfishness...because your goal will take time away from them.
There's more, but this gives you an idea. Having been someone who has strived for goals in a very open way for years I can attest first hand that encouragement is a rare commodity. Anyone who is attempting to accomplish something is going to have struggle, doubt, fear, fatigue, etc. at various times.Help them. Be there for them. Encourage them.
Think of someone you know today who is working toward something. Call them up and let them know how much you respect what they are doing and how much you believe in them. Let them know that you know they can do it and that when times get hard, you will be there for them. Ask them if there is anything you can do for them. It will be a gift to them...and not bad for you either.
Todd Burrier-Making a Million Lives Better
"When we know about something that can help people we have a responsibility to share."