“How do you think that makes them feel?
“Kill them with kindness.”
“If they don’t like you, they just don’t know you yet.”
These are the words that have echoed louder than any others from my childhood.
For 35 years, I have known my mom to be the most kind, considerate, ready-and-willing servant for her family and strangers.
As a short kid, I didn’t get picked for sports.
As a nerd kid, I wasn’t often at the cool kid’s table.
And as someone who got raised with an emphasis on feelings, rejection wasn’t always easy for me.
But the answer was always simple for her:
- Love them anyway
- Keep on trying
- Be helpful before you do anything else
I wouldn’t have even begun to see this as a benefit in navigating life as a kid. I thought that’s just what moms are supposed to say.
But today I know for certain that it has everything to do with why I am successful.
For 18 years, she fine-tuned the processor that would make me a highly effective marketer, consultant, and writer. Empathy is the #1 ingredient for success in all of those jobs.
But she also made me an infinitely better husband, dad, friend, and leader. Because it turns out, empathy is a deadly weapon in those ventures too.
My mom gifted me her sixth sense to feel other people’s feelings.
My mom ingrained in me her priority to spend time contemplating what other people must be thinking.
And it took me thirty years to be able to specifically thank her for it.
I have two questions for you today:
- What did your mom gift you?
- Have you told her lately? Not because of Mother’s Day or her birthday but because of what you were able to do today because of her. On earth or in heaven, she deserves to hear you say the words.
Thank your mom, my friend.
And go out and be everything she’s allowed you to be.