There was once a security guard named Duane who worked the front desk in my office building. He always greeted everyone with a big smile and hello.
It was amazing to watch and experience the transformations that Duane’s greetings created. Someone could arrive in the morning and feel tired or stressed out. Then, Duane would greet them, and they would perk up. The same thing would happen when people left and returned at lunchtime and when people left work at the end of the day.
Duane and I were both sports fans. We would always discuss the latest news or game. Somewhere along the way, we started giving each other a “pound hug” (a combination of a high-five and a one-arm hug) each time that we saw each other.
Seeing Duane was a highlight each day for me and many other people in the building. His attitude was so positive, and it was contagious. Duane always gave you a jolt of positive energy and left you feeling better.
Sometimes, Duane would be out, and another security guard would be working in his place. There was one woman who never said hello or looked anyone in the eye. It was like she was intentionally trying to ignore you. Her style could not have been more different from Duane’s. They had the same job, but a different approach and impact.
Make A Difference
If you want to make a difference, you don’t need to “find your purpose.” Set an intention to leave every person better off.
All it takes is a friendly smile, a warm hello, a positive attitude, and some genuine kindness and interest in the other person. You don’t need a position of authority or any special skills. All it takes is intention and effort.
Every day, you interact with many other people. That includes friends, family, co-workers, and other people that you meet randomly. When you leave every person better off, you unleash a positive ripple effect that extends well beyond you and your immediate network. The opposite is also true.
Think about the last five people that you interacted with. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being “Exceptional” and 1 being “Awful”), how do you think each of those people felt after interacting with you?
Set an intention that anyone you interact with in the future will feel and be better off after interacting with you.
Summary and Final Thoughts
You don’t need to “find your purpose” to make a difference. Throughout your life, you will meet thousands of people. You can make a difference by setting an intention to leave every person better off. This is the most powerful (and simplest) way to make a difference.
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About the author: Pete Leibman is the Creator of StrongerHabits.com. He is a best-selling author, keynote speaker, executive recruiter, athlete, and peak performance coach. His work has been featured on Fox News, CBS Radio, and CNNMoney.com, and over 500,000 people across the world have read his articles.