Saturday, August 3, 2013

Overwhelmed with Gratitude

Never underestimate how you can impact someone else's life.

Last weekend I was at a training and motivation conference for our Amway business. It was absolutely phenomenal! Aside from the thing that make all of these conferences amazing - the road trip, the awesome speakers, the time with my amazing husband - this one was special. This year I took some time to compare myself as I am now, to myself as I was a year ago. What a difference!

At this same conference last year, my husband and I fought the whole time and for a week after. Why? Because I wasn't handling myself. The stress of traffic on the way to Portland got to me, and I found something to fight with him about. At the hotel, the stress of feeling like we hadn't met our goals or even made progress got to me, and I found something to fight with him about. On the drive to the conference arena the stress of driving in Portland (why does heading west to go east even begin to make sense?) got to me and I found something to fight with him about...and that's how our whole weekend went! We lost 90% of the value of that conference because I was too busy distracting us with our fights!

This year was much much different.

Sure, we hit challenges. Traffic to Portland is always bad, the hotel booked our reservation wrong and we had to sort it out, I forgot to pack some of the things we needed, traffic in Portland is always bad...that kind of thing. We even had a fairly major incident when I turned the wrong way on a one-way road and there were headlights coming at us! But despite all of this, we didn't fight. Not once. I handled the things that came at us and moved on, re-aligning my attitude as necessary. Even realigning my attitude wasn't very difficult for me, because none of it really seemed like a big deal.

I'm not saying this to boast or say that I'm awesome. Although, I am. (lol). I'm saying this because this week as I reflected on the difference between this year's conference and last year's conference, I found myself a little bit awestruck. I've grown so much, become so much more well-adjusted and so much better able to handle life. I've come so much closer to being ready to be a leader, and a mom - my two biggest aspirations in life. And all of it is thanks to the amazing mentorship I have. Without the men and women who mentor me - both directly in counseling sessions and through phone calls, and indirectly through books and CDs - I wouldn't be who I am today. I'd still be a kid, bouncing from job to job and relationship to relationship, stacking up emotional damage and never being able to handle normal life.

I'm so overwhelmed with gratitude.

What's the message here? What can you take away from this?

Never, ever, suppose that your influence on someone's life doesn't matter. I'm connected to my mentors because of one person who came through the drive through at Jack in the Box in the wee hours of the morning almost three years ago. He and his wife aren't in our lives anymore. They've quit working with Amway and with our mentors. But they helped bridge the connection between me - a brokenhearted, emotionally unstable kid in desperate need of guidance and growth - and my mentors. And that connection changed my destiny. That connection, that introduction, completely redirected the course of my life.

Never underestimate what you're doing for someone, how you're impacting their life, just by using the resources you have to help them how you can. And never stop working to increase those resources so you can help more people. Unfortunately, the couple who initially introduced me to my mentors chose to stop expanding their resources. They chose to go their own way, and live for themselves instead of other people. But because they reached out to me, and because my vision is bigger than that, my life is forever changed. And not just mine, but my children's and grandchildren's lives as well. I'm going to be able to impact hundreds of thousands of destinies the way that I was impacted...all because one person was willing to think outside of himself for long enough to help me.

And that, my friends, is what it's all about. That's why I do what I do.

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