Have you ever had someone say something positive about you to you that stuck with you? Maybe it was a teacher, parent, friend, or stranger who saw something in you and felt so strongly about it they told you about it and in doing so, it changed how you thought about yourself for years if not your whole life? These are a few of those stories for me and hopefully, they’ll remind you of some in your own life.
When I was in elementary school a teacher noticed there was something different about me and recommended me for advanced classes, which I stayed in throughout high school. I was also chosen to be a part of the school play (it wasn’t something that you auditioned for then). Since then I’ve had other people notice things that they feel are special about me in some way. Kudos to them for sharing those thoughts with me in an attempt to lift me up. I have remembered them and I’m documenting them here today.
When I was in high school I took a psychology class and one of the exercises was to draw in lines around ‘gibberish’ lines on the page in order to make a painting or tell a story. What I saw stood out right away. I drew a picture of Spock from Star Trek by connecting the lines as I saw them. When the teacher saw it, he said no one had ever done that before in all of the classes he’d taught with that exercise. Similarly in that same class, when a right brain and left brain test was given in that class, the teacher told me I answered the test differently than every other person in the class.
In college, I had a friend (a girl) who liked one of my friends and as a result, we hung out a lot. She once told me that my brain works differently than anyone she had ever met. She was 18 at the time and hadn’t met that many people. I hadn’t met that many people at that time either. She really liked my friend. He didn’t like her as much.
When I was at Old National, just out of college, I had my name printed on my monitor as one letter off from the home keys like this: RTOVJ. One day an IT guy was fixing something at my desk and asked me about it. When I told him what it meant he said something like, “I can tell you’re going to be a successful person in life.” Looking back, it strikes me that he may have been sarcastic, but I remember his body language as being what I found to be overly impressed. It struck me as odd at the time that he would say that, but since then I have noticed that several people have told me that I think differently than other people.
One day I was driving home after my last day at First Merchants Bank and I was a little unsure about my career, my source of income, and my life in general. I was now a full-time, independent IT/web consultant and there would be no more regular, biweekly paychecks. As I was pulling into my town, I noticed a man with wood that used to be in the back of his truck had turned the corner and the wood was now laying on the street. I pulled over and helped him load the wood back in his truck. Afterward, he turned to me and said, “Everythings going to be alright for you.” I think he was an angel.
Shortly after I become a full-time, independent IT/web consultant, I started working more with one of my client’s wife, Joy, and her son. I helped him start an import/export company that eventually became Skinny & Co. Coconut Oil, but before that we worked on fixing her husband’s dentist office. While working with her I got to know her better and one day she said to me, “I’ve never met anyone who thinks like you do” and then later added, “There is no doubt in my mind that you will eventually be a millionaire.” I’m not one yet, but I have a friend who told me he believes I will one day surpass him in income. I believe I can if I change into someone who can.
If you ever think about these things about others, I encourage you to tell them as it may be something they remember for the rest of their lives. We never know what impact even the smallest comments can make on another person’s life. I’ve heard stories of a single comment changing a person’s goal in life, what college they went to, and what career they chose. And the person telling it hardly remembered saying it. It goes to show we all have an impact on each other. Words matter. They hold the power of life and death. All things begin as ideas in the minds of man and it is only when they are shared that they can take life. Like mustard seeds, they grow.