I am a big believer that it’s the simple things done well that makes the biggest difference to our outcomes.
In chatting with a team member just recently, I asked him what his fondest memories were of when we was growing up. A self proclaimed geek, he took me through what he was good at and how he wasn’t exactly accepted by the ‘cool gang ’. But his fondest memories were when he was delivering meals on wheels to the elderly for a few years. He’d take the time to sit down with them and chat. He mentioned the people he visited mostly lived on their own and some had no family. So he’d give them the gift of his time and his attention, a simple pleasure, and in return he gained so much, much more than what he believe he gave.
Now this guy is a very successful man, both in business and in life. He has achieved a lot. So it was interesting that he shared none of his academic or sporting achievements when I asked him this question. He was clearly very connected to the memories he created with the people he delivered meals on wheels to. This is what meant a lot to him and has stayed with him throughout his life so far.
The sharing of these types of stories is consistent throughout many podcasts I have listened to and recorded. Successful people looking back to moments with grandparents or parents that helped shape them into who they are today. And these are simple moments, words shared, moments and memories created, lessons learnt. Simple memories of time that was, that has made a lasting impact on lives lived now.
It often reminds me that it is the simple things that make the biggest difference to your outcomes. Investing your time wisely, being present with people and telling people how much they mean to you as an example are what means the most and what creates the most joy.
In the context of business, even the task of writing things on paper – such as a to-do-list or a thank you note to a team member, investing your time to be present with others; whether that be a coaching session or a relationship building meeting or putting thought into sharing your words wisely so they lift others up rather than cutting them down – are all simple things but the return on your investment is ten fold.
Life is complicated enough as it is. Look for the simple things that you can do well that will make a significant difference to your outcomes and also how you feel. You may be surprised by just how easy it is and how long these memories last with you and with others.