“Better!”: A Lesson on Positive Energy
I recently read the book The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon. This book. It was like facing a mirror and realizing what I needed to change. If you haven’t read it, I would highly recommend it. You might struggle a little bit with truly believing in the “rules”, but even if you don’t totally buy-in, I think you’ll find some nuggets of truth. Nuggets of truth that will directly impact your life (and thereby the lives of those you interact with).
But this post isn’t actually just about the book. It’s about a lesson I learned many years ago that the book brought back for me. You see, this book focus on positive energy and the example shared in the book reminded me that I met someone similar many years ago. It brought me back to the “better” guy. Someone who in a small and simple way, made others feel better through his interaction.
When I was in college over 15 years ago, I was a bit of a nerd (was? Okay, I still might be) and spent a lot of time in the library. I loved the quiet spaces that would allow me to get things done. Well, anyone who frequented that library at some point would come across the “Better” lesson. My memory on some of the details is a bit shaky, but it would go something like this:
Guy: “Hi! How are you?”
Me (or other overwhelmed/stressed student): “Okay, thank you. And you?”
Guy: “Better!” Always said with a smile and enthusiasm.
Which especially the first time this happened to me, caught me off guard. Who answers the question “How are you?” with “Better!”? I couldn’t help but have a confused expression which led to a more in-depth conversation about being “better”. And it was in that moment that the “better” guy shared his wisdom—that we have a choice to make each moment better than the last one.
I remember the first time I interacted with the “better” guy—I left feeling a sense of wonder, much less stress, and open to finding the better in each moment and day. Of course, overtime I forgot about that lesson, but in a way, life continues to find ways to remind me (most recently with The Energy Bus). We have way more power over our lives than we often realize or even believe we do. We can choose to make the next moment, day, thought, or interaction “better”.
Just think about it—one person who I met over 15 years ago, through a simple everyday interaction, positively impacted my life (and I know he did the same for several others because others shared stories of their own interactions with the “better” guy). I bet he had that impact on hundreds, maybe thousands of people. Through a simple positive interaction.
These kinds of interactions are around us all the time. Even more so in the field of social work because we interact with so.many.people. How often are we thinking about how to make this moment better for others? For ourselves even? I would guess more than often not, we are just trying to get by and miss out on the hundreds of opportunities we have daily to make a moment “better”.
What can you do today to embrace the idea of “better”? Whose day could you brighten by sharing your positive energy? How can you look at your life and find the better in it?
Need to refuel your energy and reframe your thinking? I would highly recommend this book!!
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