Keith Wright reminds us that telling people how much they mean to us shouldn’t be at the bottom of our “To-Do” list
I was recently invited by Lifeline Canberra, an Australian Crisis Support, Suicide Prevention charity to speak at a special fundraising dinner about our work and the book LOVE IS. The event was to be attended by a number of influential people, with guest speakers including sporting legends and the CEO of the Australian War Memorial (a Museum commemorating the sacrifice of Australians who have died in war), Dr Brendan Nelson.
The night was a great success, with attendees being treated to a moving Last Post Ceremony, surrounded by stone walls engraved with the names of fallen heroes. Dinner overlooking the majestic Australian War Memorial was followed by poignant and entertaining speakers.
Some weeks later I was chatting with a very dear friend, Arran, about square shaped circles, the challenges as a new start-up we faced and the never ending mountain we seemed to be climbing. Arran, stopped, looked at me and said “Notwithstanding what the future holds, don’t lose sight of what you have already achieved and the impact you have had on people’s lives.” My response was somewhat cynical, questioning the degree of our impact… our success. Arran smiled and shared this story.
“On the night after the Lifeline fundraising event, we explained the dinner and the book to our 5 year old, Oli, when he asked us what we’d been up to the night before. On the Saturday just passed (so about a month after the event), Oli was examining your book when he came across the picture of the two girls Sally (artist, Sally West) had painted, he started explaining to my wife and I about how that was the picture the lady we had sat next to at the dinner drew. For context, he is like most 5 year olds who can’t remember where he put his shoe 2 minutes ago, so for him to remember that meant it must have struck a chord when we were telling him about the book and the idea behind it. Pretty cool I thought, and obviously demonstrates yet again how it would be nice if we could all turn our kid filters on a bit more.”
As Arran finished the story, I sat with tears in my eyes. After some 20+ years in the UK and Australian financial services industry, where we measure our success by numerous traditional key performance indicators, my impact in this world had never been more startling than at that very moment.
We travel through life often not telling people what they mean to us, the impact their lives have on us. Why? Perhaps because we are busy and the act of stopping long enough to tell someone how much they mean to us, ends up at the bottom of our daily ‘To Do List’.
Borrowing lines from ‘On Top of The World’ by Imagine Dragons:
If you love somebody
Better tell them while they’re here ’cause
They just may run away from you
You’ll never know quite when, well
Then again it just depends on
How long of time is left for you
Don’t wait… It only takes a moment to tell someone you love them, how much they mean to you. Light up their heart… bring a smile to their face… for just perhaps your words will create positive change in their life.