Wanting a Meaningful Moment? Look Up.

I’ve hardly been home in June…from West Palm Beach to Nashville, to Las Vegas, to Portland, and so on, it’s been an incredible month🙌🏻🙏🏻❤️✨. I got in late last night and I have many thoughts as I reflect on the month, but one over-arching meaningful moment I want to share with you right now.

The more I travel, the smaller I feel…

Going around the country to busy airports, jam-packed hotels, resorts, and conventions…there are so many people in this world. And, this world DOES NOT revolve around me.

The more I travel, the smaller I feel…

Those people who are standing right in front of you…

And yet, while I feel so small in this world of almost 8 billion people, I realize what a gift it is that my path gets to cross with some of them. I mean you, too. You’re here reading this message and you could’ve easily scrolled past or never even opened your phone to see it.

None of us will encounter all of us… This means that those people who are standing right in front of us…they’re a gift! ✨Think about your friends, spouse, coworkers, etc…one different choice by either of you at some point in your life could set you off in different directions in which you never would have known each other otherwise.

If I hadn’t taken PE in my sophomore year of high school, I don’t know that Joe and I would have met, fallen in love, and have the kids and the life we have now. One choice… one meaningful moment… it set off the rest of our lives. The same is true for you. 

You are not insignificant…

🚨🚨🚨Although you too may feel small in this world, you are not insignificant! It matters that you’re here. Make it matter that you’re here! 

Right where you are, the people you are with, in the smallest moments and in the largest seasons of life, be present. Don’t be distracted by things that don’t matter! 

When your path crosses with another, whether it’s a driver, cashier, or family member, don’t lose the opportunity to encourage someone or be encouraged by someone. You never know, you might just be able to gift an opportunity to someone that deserves it, or you might just get the opportunity for yourself by being fully present and intentional about the impact you have on the people you’re around.

Here’s a story for you…

I hopped in a Lyft in Nashville last week. With this thought in mind about being radically intentional about truly connecting with the people I come across every day, I start talking with the driver as if the 7.5 minutes we have together are destiny. 🤣🤣🙈🙈☠️☠️

And you know what? I think they were. 

Could this be a meaningful moment?

We went from being strangers to being deeply connected in seconds. He ended up telling me a story about being at his daughter’s house one evening years ago. His daughter was angry at him. She was yelling at him, saying she wanted him to leave because he was drunk. He swore to her he wasn’t. 

The next day, he went back over to his daughter’s house. When she opens the door, she invites her father in. They sit down at the table and she places her phone in front of him. She asks her dad to “watch this video”. She says she’s going to go on a 10-minute walk and she wants him to watch the video while she is gone.

So, she leaves… 

And her dad presses play. 

He begins watching the video. To his surprise, it’s a video of him…one she secretly took of him last night when he was at her house drunk. 

The man looked me dead in the eye through his rearview mirror and he told me — a complete stranger — that he has never been more ashamed of himself in his entire life than in that moment. He said I made a decision right then that I would never again drink alcohol. Never. He said I made a decision right there that I was going to take better care of myself so that I could be a better, more present father and grandfather. 

I had tears in my eyes. He was baring his soul. This gentleman was sharing his unquestionably meaningful moment with me.

Then the whole mood shifted…

A big smile came across his face. The tone of his voice went higher, he was instantly excited! He said “Guess how old I am! Do it! Guess! Be honest!” He was grinning ear to ear, y’all!

Me on the other hand… I could hardly see the man… I had no idea how old he was! More than that… I didn’t know if he would want me to guess older or younger 🤣🤣🤣. 

I guessed that he was in his 50s. He laughed…big time! He threw his head back and cracked up while he was driving….he made ME laugh by the way he was laughing! 🤣🙈 With one hand on the wheel, he turned quickly to me in the back seat, lifted up his hat, pulled down his glasses, and with the biggest grin, he told me he was 70 years old. He said he’s never been in better shape in his life! He said, “I believe in the power of choices.” He told me that he believed every day we have a choice to make, and it can change our life for the better. He wanted me to keep making good choices to help guide and encourage others through my work.

What if I hadn’t looked up?

Now, most of the time as a speaker, I’m delivering the inspiration. However, this was a rare and meaningful moment where I was able to receive encouragement and inspiration! It was SUCH a lovely moment that I needed and will always remember. But, it wouldn’t have happened if I would have kept my face buried in my phone and not tried to connect with the person I was sharing space with. How many times are we all guilty of that? We’re guilty of being distracted from the people we’re so lucky to interact with in this big world.

I want you, my friend, to have more encouraging, inspirational, meaningful moments with people in this life. I don’t ever want you to be sad, lonely, or disconnected. But make no mistake about it, it starts with you. Look up. Who are you with, focus on connecting with them…you might just find that exactly what you’re looking for is right in front of you.❤️

Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash

Alyson Van Hooser

Alyson Van Hooser, Pres & CEO, Van Hooser Leadership. With the grit that only comes from tough experiences, Alyson has learned a thing or two about personal and professional success. From her management experience with Walmart, as an elected city council member, bank manager — all before the age of 30 — Alyson has wisdom well beyond her years! Her podcast, Stake: The Leadership Podcast, offers a fresh perspective on leadership and helps multiple generations successfully work together! Connect with Alyson on LinkedIn.


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