In a modern world, it’s hard to slow down. Let alone to stop.
We’re addicted to being busy. Busy means we’re important. We matter. We control.
Have you heard the phrase “stop and smell the roses”? We shake our heads and find all kinds of excuses of not doing so. Who has the time? Who cares? We shrugged our shoulders and move on with our busy life.
Me included … until one day I stopped when passing by a young colleague at work in the hallway.
For some reason I felt an urge to reach out and extend my help if possible. “What’s your story and what’s going on with your internship?” I asked.
He hesitated for a brief second and told me that he’s seeking for new job opportunities both within and outside the company. One conversation led to another. Next thing I knew was that we’ve had a couple of discussions about what his goal is and how he can design his career path to reach that goal.
He is a quiet, intelligent and ambitious young man. He told me that he has a dream but that dream is not necessarily supported by his parents so he felt uncertain about the future. While talking about that dream, his eyes were lit with hope and excitement. Naturally I shared my own ups and downs, lessons learned and encouraged him to stick to his goal and follow his heart.
He listened, nodded and committed.
It seems that I have lost a couple of hours to listen to other people’s problems, but by coaching and mentoring him, I found renewed energy and meaning of my own life.
I carefully put his “thank you” card in my journal as a reminder of continuing listening to others and helping others whenever I can.
The expression “stop and smell the roses” is not simply about flowers, but rather about how to live our life with a deeper appreciation of the world around us.
Despite a busy life, it is important to know how to be present in the moment; and how to appreciate others through their stories.
Everyone has a story.
We just need to stop and ask. By learning other people’s life-defining moments, we can connect with him or her at a much deeper level.
Over the past couple of weeks. I didn’t take the time to write my blog posts, but I did take the my to have real conversations with other people and listen to them with an open mind and heart.
I laughed, and I cried.
Here are a few stories that I’d like to jot down in today’s post to remind myself of the importance of asking the million dollar question: what’s your story?
– the story of Audrey’s daughter, a young military officer who completed her navy training course while 20% of her male classmates failed.
– the story of Kathryn who lost her baby seven years ago to a vaccine preventable disease and became a strong advocate for vaccination
– the story of Rosalyn who saved up $40 for two years in order to pay her for guitar lessons when she was in Grade 6. (Good news is that the charity organization GuitarsForKidsToronto where my husband is volunteering listened to her story and not only donated a guitar to her but also 5 more to other kids in that ghetto school.)
I practice yoga. Yogically speaking, the way you make every minute count is to literally stop. Yoga and its principles, don’t deny us the external world but help us appreciate it by slowing down, by stopping the constant doing.
Next time, when you are in a hurry, remember to slow down, look at the other person’s eyes and ask the question.
So, tell me, what is your story, my friend?