What You Won’t Learn in a Bookstore

Photo by umjanedoan

Last week I sent a personal note to a woman I met at work.

Without thinking much of it, I asked this woman a few questions about herself. Then, following our conversation, I dropped her some lines of encouragement.

When I saw her again tonight, this almost-stranger skipped the typical pleasantries to go straight to thanking me for my note. She was really touched that I listened and remembered the details of what we had talked about in passing.

Is it corny to say I was so touched that she was so touched?

More importantly, I was reminded about how valuable it is to listen and to reach outside of ourselves. In the moment, I wasn’t consciously thinking about trying to Win Friends and Influence People. And–though Dale Carnegie would have been proud–what a blessing I received from this small exchange.

Have you perused the self-help section at your local bookstore lately? This is not the message doctors, gurus, and others interested in, well, self, are selling. But I was reminded again today that it is possible to ultimately receive the greatest joy in forgetting ourselves and focusing on others.

Perhaps herein lies our One Minute Manager, that we eschew those 50 Self-Help Classics in exchange for [Winning] Friends and [Influencing] People through an Organizing from the Inside Out and not participating in Man’s Search for Meaning and his eternal quest for Feeling Good.

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