4 Words Can Change the World

When you Google “ways to change the world”, you come up with about 233,000,000 search results. There are a lot of different ways out there that people think we could change the world. Many of those options carry a ton of merit. For instance, simply volunteering comes up as one of the top options. Another is “paying-it-forward”. Overall, generosity seems to be a reoccurring factor. Giving makes a difference.

One way I believe we could change the world faster than any of these options is really simple. In fact, it’s just four words…and it’s one of the greatest ways you can be generous. Are you ready for this? Here it is…four words….

How was your day?

That’s it. Four words. How was your day?

“How was your day” has the power to break so many walls. It has the power to break the walls of insecurity. It has the power to break the walls of stress. “How was your day” can be the catalyst in helping move impassable rocky mountains from in front of someone so they can see clearly. Maybe for the first time in a long time.

An HONEST relationship paired with those simple four words has the power to decrease divorce rates in America. It has the power to stand up against bullying and help curb suicide in young adults. Those four words are literally a stepping stone towards breathing life into another person.

You see, “how was your day” is the one resource that can never run out. It’s the resource that is 100% renewable and contagious. It can have a 100% return on investment. It’s the one thing we can continue to give over and over again.

“How was your day” is the gift of caring. It’s the gift of an attentive ear. “How was your day” shows someone you’re genuinely interested in the workings of their daily life. “How was your day” is the question your Mom always asked that you never wanted to really answer, but if she hadn’t asked…you wouldn’t be where you are today. “How is your day” is the text you get from that special someone that makes you grin larger than a kid on Christmas morning.

Not only do these four words together give the gift of caring to someone else, but also the gift of processing. Too often we are moving so fast we don’t really think about how our day was. We may go to bed in a bad mood, and act grumpy but those are all knee-jerk reactions. “How was your day” helps you see the big picture. Focusing on what has happened since the hour you arose can help us see that right next to the thing that “ruined our day” lies a million things that made our day. Including the moment someone asked you those four words. 

So let me ask you. How was your day?

 

#MOPMonday–Charlton Cunningham

If you know anything about me, you’ll know I love Kid President (KP). The older we get, the more complexity clouds our vision and answers don’t seem nearly as clear as they used to. Kid President has a simple answer for anything. Some of my favorite KP solutions are “treat everyone like it’s their birthday” and “be more awesome.” Simple. Clear. To the point. But one of the most recent KP phrases that has stuck with me is “Less Selfies, More Other Peoplies.” 

KP brings up the question: what does a world look like where we are slow to talk about ourselves and quick to talk about other people? So every Monday, I’m going to highlight the people in my life that are making difference. 

Charlton Cunningham

There are a lot of qualities we look for in our friends. We want someone who listens, who cares and will hold us accountable to our convictions+dreams. Charlton does all of these (plus…he knows all of the best places to eat around Atlanta).

Charlton’s hands have been in a lot of different things over the last several years. Whether it’s serving as his campus ministry president or starting his own organization, Charlton brings special qualities to everything he is part of. The most telling of these ventures is his work starting HiveATL. When you get to the heart of it, HiveATL’s soul purpose is to connect local leaders in order to help them succeed. That is Charlton’s sweet spot. He’s a connector and he does so with no selfish ambition. He wants others to succeed and is willing to go out on a limb to do so.

Charlton is a visionary leader who speaks life into the dreams of others. And sometimes, speaking life into someone else’s vision means telling them something everyone else is scared to say. Charlton doesn’t let that hold him back. He is real, honest and humble.

Charlton, I am so blessed that you have been a part of my story. The ways you challenge me will have an impact on the rest of my life. For that, I am grateful! 

Get to know Charlton! Connect with him on Twitter! …then join me in celebrating More Other Peoplie Monday by telling me about someone who means a lot to you in the comment section below or by sharing this post with the hashtag #MOPMonday.

 

Dangerous Middle Ground

I recently had the opportunity to fly to Los Angeles for a work event. What a stinkin’ beautiful place. Mountains, beach, sun, palm trees….it’s just beautiful.

One of the most intimidating parts of my trip was that I was going to be traveling alone for the first time in my life. Once I arrived in California, I would be with my co-worker Stephen, but the 6 hours it took to get there I was alone. When you spend that much time alone, unconnected to the internet, you have a lot of time to watch + reflect.

As I was staring out the window (somewhere over Colorado) I had a moment. Above me I could see dark abyss with the light of the stars every so sprinkled throughout. On the ground I could see the nothing more than the lights of small towns and the snow that covered the mountain caps. But right in between the two, about where the plane was flying, there seemed to be a divider. Something keeping one from the other. There is no other way to describe it other than just grey.

It was a thick grey nothing barrier. Not really beautiful, but somehow peaceful.

It reminded me of a song I had been listening to by an artist named Sleeping at Last. If you’ve never listened to him, you should. One of the most creative and powerful lyricist out there. The song goes:

I know “the further I go and the harder I try” only keeps my eyes closed. And somehow I’ve fallen in love with this middle ground at the cost of my soul. And I know, if I stepped aside, released the control…you would open my eyes. 

The middle ground is attractive. It’s not quite everything you hoped and asked for but it’s easy. It’s not really beautiful, but you can be content in it. It’s not quite in the stars, but a couple hundred feet off the ground. 

We settle for a lot of “middle grounds” in our lives:

  • In Relationships: Keeping friends around to fill our needs for companionship
  • At Work: Keeping the job that pays the bill
  • In Our Thoughts: We see ourselves as the not-so-terrible human i
  •  In Our Faith: Sunday’s are the boost that keep us in the grey

We are offered so much more in life. We can fly past that dangerous middle ground!

  • In Relationships: As Kid President says, treat everyone like it’s their birthday
  • At Work: Find the job that pays your soul
  • In Our Thoughts: You are a gravity-defying two legged creation that’s loved by the creator of the stars!
  • In Our Faith: Look at Sunday as the day you’re celebrating the NIGHT and DAY difference the Lord has made in your life.

Escape the middle ground.Your soul depends on it.