kindness

slow boat

Yesterday I experienced an unexpected gift. I was catching the Manly Fast Ferry into the city and had paid my fare and was queuing to board the vessel. Things were at a stand still and the crew weren’t letting anyone board. Folks waiting in the queue started to get a bit restless as the minutes ticked by and still no movement. Out of the corner of my eye I saw one my favourite dock crew motioning me towards him. I reversed through the line of passengers to connect with him. He let me know the ferry was experiencing engine trouble and probably wouldn’t be leaving the dock anytime soon. He also said if I very quickly scooted over to the next dock I could catch the Big Ferry into the city and would only be delayed by 15 minutes.

On a typical day this would be a kind and thoughtful gift. But on this day it was a perfectly timed miracle since I was heading into the city for an interview and any further delay would have made my first impression one of unorganised lateness! Thrilled to switch docks I was quickly on my way when John shouted behind me “And since you’ve already paid I’ll make sure to give you a few free trips!”

JOY is definitely the headline when things unfold with such synchronicity in life. Stay open and connected to the people around you . . . you never know when they might just deliver a miracle.

sprinkle some

I’m feeling inspired by the lovely words of the divine Maya Angelou:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

So how are people left feeling in your wake? Are they inspired, filled with laughter, knowing they’ve been fully heard or even just curious? Go ahead, sprinkle some of your JOY today . . .

life path versus purpose

Growing up within the decades of a hyper aware Oprah influenced culture, its impossible not to contemplate why we are here and what is our specific life purpose. Bookshelves are filled with experts willing to share their techniques in helping you fulfil your destiny and articulate your purpose. Its a daunting question for most and can often lead to negative thought patterns of not contributing to a noble enough cause. An unfulfilled dream or lack of purpose can be a dangerous backdrop to life. I’ve been through a few of these fleeting stages in my own life. Finding myself navel gazing and contemplating my role in the Universe – challenging myself to do something with real meaning and purpose versus pursuing the career that has brought me great levels of professional success and varying levels of fulfilment.

But recently there’s a growing sense of personal discontent and even slight annoyance with the notion of identifying my purpose in life. Instead, perhaps the WHAT we chose to pursue is infinitely less important than the HOW we conduct ourselves no matter the location, situation or audience.

Surely there are those who choose a grand and admirable WHAT such as saving the whales . . . and yet perhaps they do so with anger and negativity that becomes toxic. Just as surely there are banking clerks who serve with so much levity and kindness that it overflows onto each customer. For me, the HOW we behave and make others feel in our wake has to be more important than our identifiable “WHAT do you do?”

Maybe our real purpose on this planet is to let go of our obsession with WHAT we are doing as a career and instead be aware of HOW we effect each other. Our guiding light could be kindness, compassion or even to be a positive force. Imagine performing every task and greeting every stranger as well as friend with those intentions. For me that sounds like a solid path to JOY.