It’s the feeling that a professional athlete must have after years of training to win a national title. Or a health care provider that saves a life in a difficult circumstance. Perhaps an executive who exceeds productivity goals established for the year. Or a dog who can enjoy running in the woods with a dozen people that she doesn’t know.
We all come to this grandiose sense of achievement from a different place. For many, it’s the culmination of hard work towards a complex goal that we’ve conquered. For Grace, it’s feeling like on one particular day, she enjoyed herself amongst strangers.
None of us climb to our summit alone. Years ago, Grace was terrified to be near anyone and even the thing she loves so much—running in the woods—was scary if other people were there. Nearly every weekend during the summer, we join a group for a two-hour walk in a variety of locations, in search of mushrooms. Grace could care less about the mushroom hunt, but she and I both enjoy the time outdoors in nature’s beauty. We couldn’t have continued to take her along if everyone else wasn’t welcoming to her.
There are some “regulars” who come each time and there are usually some newcomers, too. Without exception, each person has offered a calm voice and extended a friendly hand to her. One of the “regulars” commented to me this past Sunday how much Grace has changed. I replied that it’s because of how kind everyone has been. And that’s really the truth; without the help of others supporting Grace’s needs, the outcomes she’s experienced would be vastly different.
While not always so obvious, our teammates at work really need us. But we’re often too busy to stop and offer a hand. We don’t think to ask if someone needs our help or wants to talk about how to handle a situation. We rush through a meeting because there is so much waiting on our own desk.
Yet if we provided the same generosity of heart to help our co-workers reach the top of the world, think of how the outcomes might be changed.