Life Lessons Come From Unexpected Places

Minute Read

Let me tell you a quick story about something my son said to me and what you can learn from it.

My son, Ryan, has a developmental disability. His insights are breathtaking at times. Because he doesn't drive a car, I'm often taking him somewhere. He's also an extrovert with the gift of chatting it up with anyone within six feet of him. As a result, I'm often taking him to events or activities.

We have 'car time.' Have you noticed how much you can learn from someone when they are held captive in your car?

Like many parents, I find myself only half listening to him. Sorry, confession time. I'm often surprised by the conversation that he chooses.

There was a time when we would be driving and, he would ask me, mom, are you happy. My natural reaction was to say, of course, without thinking.

This happened repeatedly; I would always respond in kind - of course. It never occurred to me to think about the question.

As a person of faith, I should be thinking about how God uses others to speak to me.

Or how he is trying to get my attention.

Or how I'm living my life on autopilot instead of connecting with the most important people in my life.

So, this pattern of asking me if I was happy continued for so long that it became annoying. I began to think, why is he asking me this stupid question all the time.

I'm embarrassed to say that I dreaded the question. My instinct was to snap back with a sharp retort, but I continued with my robotic reply.

I felt like I was being hit over the head with this stupid question. Until one day, I started to think about it.

Am I happy?

Am I happy? I hadn't considered my happiness. I wake up, go about my routine, and do what I have to do without thinking about my happiness.

Just like a robot.

As I thought about my life, I began to look at what I'm doing and why. Asking myself, does what I'm doing make me happy, or should I even consider it?

I began my conversation with God, thanking him for hitting me over the head or, in reality, smacking me in the face to get my attention. I needed to take a minute to consider my big picture.

I need to be more intentional. To think about who and why I'm serving people in life and business.

The take-away is sometimes we all need someone to see things we don't see in ourselves.

I wanted a coach who would take the time to "smack" me around to get me to see what I couldn't see in myself. I've made many stupid mistakes on my own because I didn't have someone I could trust to tell me the truth.  

Once we start being adults, we don't have to be accountable anymore. No more mom or dad to tell you to watch out for the shiny object coming at you. It could be a freight train, not the bright shiny star you were hoping for.

Or understand as lonely entrepreneurs, the necessity for a trusted wingman to hear our lingering fears.

The greatest gift I've been able to give others is seeing the capabilities that they don't see in themselves. And isn't that what we all want.

I get so excited when I can share that with someone. Help clients see how special they are to the world. To see the gifts that they must share with others that no one else can fill.

A confession here, aren't we all just looking for someone to tell us which way to go. When coming to a stop sign, should I go left, right, or turn around?

So what this means to you in your life/business is we all need to have mentors to help us grow and believe in ourselves.

I've hesitated before asking for help. The money wasn't right at the time, and yet it felt like a missed opportunity. I had the lingering feeling that I should have stepped up… crossed over the bridge to shortcut my journey.

So here's your next step as it relates to what you and I just shared: joining my executive coaching program, so I can be the one who believes in you and shows you how you can be more than you think you can be.

You have nothing to lose.

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Linda James Bennett is obsessed with creating clear brand messages to help business owners win online. She believes that marketing shouldn't be complicated to be great. Let's face it, as a business owner you need to focus on the bottom line that drives sales, not being a copywriter. She is also an author of the book, Becoming A Seriously Happy Special Needs Mom ~ 21 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place, on Amazon.com

Linda James Bennett

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