Being on top of the world changes everything

We’ve all had that experience when we feel on top of the world. We’re not just happy; we are ecstatic with a sense of accomplishment, achievement, complete satisfaction, and enjoyment.

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.

She’s grinning!


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.

You have to look closely to see Grace, which is the significant thing about this photo. She’s far away from me, but very close to some strangers, and she’s not afraid.

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.

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  1. didiwright on May 11, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I love the smile on Grace’s face, you can tell she’s happy and enjoying her walk. I think you’re both lucky to have a nice group of friends you can go for a walk with without worrying about what’s around the corner or what might jump at you from behind a bush. George loves his forest walks too, I think all dogs enjoy this sort of thing if given the chance.
    I can’t contribute much to this post, apart from agreeing with you that we all reach out ‘summit’ experience in different ways. They’re moments to treasure, because they’re so hard to achieve and don’t happen very often. Three of my most memorable ‘top of the world’ experiences that I can remember are the day I got married, the day Brianna was born and the day I heard my country’s national anthem during the opening ceremony of a European championship. Three completely different ways of getting there, but the feeling was the same.
    As for showing generosity and helping each other, I’ve never fully experienced it in the work environment, but I was lucky enough to find that kind of spirit within my sports team. Maybe the sweat and hard work brought us closer together and made us value each other more.

    • PeopleSense Consulting LLC on May 12, 2011 at 3:54 pm

      Thanks, Didi. Your contributions are always welcome and significant. I think that sports team provide enormous learning opportunities for teams in a business environment. When team members FULLY support each other, it is always obvious in a winning score. Perhaps your point about the hard work is key: there needs to be a unifying force for completeness. Thank you for offering your view; very helpful!

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