One of the best compliments I ever received was when I was told I stirred up good things in people. I needed to hear that because I had once been told I left a wake of destruction everywhere I went.
Therefore, I’ve made it one of my life’s goals to be a swizzle stick that stirs up good wherever I go. While there might be a few folks who will tell you I’m a long ways from it, nonetheless, it is my goal and I work hard to keep it. Oh, sure, it seems some folks get put in my way to test my commitment to the goal, but I plod onward. It’s the only New Year resolution I’ve ever kept.
I learned this lesson actually by watching other people. For those who make my life much better, I take inventory of what they do for me then I turn around and apply that to others.
So here’s what it means to be to be a swizzle stick to stir up good;
- Listen- It is amazing how much you can get people to like you just by actively listening to them. Not just nodding your head, but really paying attention to what they say because what they say tells you what they dream about.
- Look for opportunities to genuinely compliment– flattery is silly; but a thoughtful compliment is like a shot of Red Bull. In addition, passing on compliments from someone else is a great way to stir good stuff in people. People like to know that others are saying nice things about them.
- Recognize the gift they have to offer– Regardless of what you call them, I believe people have certain gifts that are unique to them and, if you can figure out what they are, you’ll go a long ways in helping them be better.
- Challenge mediocrity- People who make us better are people who challenge us to higher levels of excellence. Sometimes, “you can do better than that,” is not an insult but a challenge to excel.
- Develop- I’d like to know that people are better off for knowing me, not because I’m some cool guy, but because I somehow made them better at what they do and who they are. I look for openings to coach, encourage, challenge, and cheer.
Most folks know the opening few lines of Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want….” But they miss the best line at the end: “Surely, good things and kindness will follow me all the days of my life…”
Good things and kindness: now, that’s a good trail to leave behind.