Last week, we described Jim Carrey’s commencement speech at the Maharishi University. In that post, we described Mr. Carrey’s wise words for the Class of 2014, “Remember, you can fail at what you don’t want to do, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
In that same speech, Mr. Carrey described the importance of being aware of how you show up in the world, saying:
The effect you have on others is the most valuable currency there is.
Those of you who know our work know that we agree with this statement wholeheartedly, but hearing it from Jim Carrey as he addressed this group of students launching into adulthood, we were struck once again by the importance of this truth.
Take a moment now and think about one or two people who have left you feeling proud of yourself, more confident about your gifts, and with a great sense of possibility. Now think about who you would want to hire, who you would want to work next to, and who you would want to rely on when a loved one is in the hospital. In each of these cases, you no doubt imagined being around someone who would have a positive effect on you because that is the “currency” you value most.
Similarly, think about someone who has left you feeling small or defeated. We doubt that you are eager to spend more time with this person voluntarily. In fact, studies show that people don’t want to work with or for people who negatively affect them because it’s bad for their emotional, physical and spiritual health. We each could identify people as far back as the 2nd grade who left us feeling bad about ourselves; it’s amazing how well we all remember those experiences.
This week, as you move through your world, pay attention to the effect you have on others. Do people leave interactions with you feeling seen and honored? Pay particular attention to your impact on others when you are stressed. It’s possible to have a positive effect on others even during challenging conversations or when you are giving them difficult feedback, because you can do so with respect and warmth.