It's almost never about you
As I was going through the amazing website Amit Gupta Needs You and contemplating hiring their designers to give my own site some TLC, I had (or am having presently) a really important moment. People who attend my classes sometimes ask me questions about tactics, things that will increase their chances of getting in the door with people and the all-mighty "closing of the sale".
And I tend to loathe such questions, mainly because it's the wrong question.
It isn't about your powers of persuasion or you own personal leverage. That is always limited.
It's about everyone else.
You aren't selling a car, you're giving John his chance at a new job which he hopes will save his marriage.
You aren't selling an ad, you're helping Jose finally bring his boss something he's proud of.
Have you ever met someone who you felt their presence cut through your barriers, warm the room and guide you to a sense of peace? A place of trust?
That's the kind of person you need to be to save the world, grow a business and save a marriage. It's the same for anything great.
So here I sit wondering why Amit has cancer, why in Buffalo, NY (my hometown) every single person I know has a family member who has died of it.
And I'm reminded again of the person I want to be.
I contemplated giving my family and friends this holiday season "the smallest thing". My challenge would be to find the smallest gift possible that held the most charm, beauty and meaning. It's easy to buy big and forget but small things require attention, care and acknowledgement.
I think it's in the tiniest things we find the greatest joys and truths.
And still that doesn't feel big enough.
So I'm posing this challenge to anyone who chooses to read it. Throughout my life I've found the written word to be ever-so-impactful.
It's saved friendships, broken through barriers within myself, landed me dream jobs and made others laugh.
So I challenge you.
The money you planned on spending on gifts this year, donate it.
And if you'd like, maybe help out Amit.
And in place of the gifts you were going to spend, send letters. The most truthful, loving and daring letters of your life.
Let them be filled with joy, forgiveness and laughter.
I pray that I never have to be in Amit's shoes facing something like that head on, but I know that if I find myself in such a place, I'll hope that I would have thought enough about others that the love is returned.
Because even when it is about you, it isn't. It's about something far greater: the human condition.