One day during my Toastmasters meeting, I had the honor of listening to the speech of a co-worker. She mentioned how I had inspired her to take action in her life. Why me? I wondered as she started speaking. I’m no Mother Teresa, pay-it-forward woman living an ultra-noble life. I’m just an everyday, average woman trying to figure things out along the way.
My co-worker said two things motivated her: I had completed my MBA and I had traveled to France. And she thought, Hey, I’d like to do these things too!
My daughter also has told me that a comment I made long ago stuck in her mind. She is 23 and interested in getting a puppy. I love dogs, however, I already have two dogs. Since I’m supporting her, I don’t want another canine mouth to feed.
“Why do you want a dog?” I asked her.
”You always told me that people should learn to take care of a dog before they have kids.”
(While I still think that’s good advice, I think she can wait on both: dogs AND kids!)
My coworker and my daughter demonstrate that we could be influencing people without even knowing it! I had always envisioned only my grand accomplishments could inspire people. What I’m realizing is that it is my day-to-day words and actions that can make the most impact to others.
The question for me—and you: how can we live life more authentically so we can display our true selves to the world? Because if people are going to follow us, based on us just living our lives, we want to make sure that we are living as true to ourselves as possible. This doesn’t require perfection but the integrity to be ourselves.