How To Know If You Matter.
Updated: May 13, 2020
Whether you’re waiting to be recognised at work, feeling underappreciated at home, or wondering if you make any positive difference to the world around you, this one’s for you.
Sometimes we’re fortunate to hear our friends and family express their gratitude for us, and appreciation for the things we’ve done. Perhaps on Thanksgiving, at a wedding, a graduation, or in some fancy award acceptance speech. If you’re lucky enough to have been explicitly told how much you matter to someone, that’s wonderful. But it's not the only indicator that tells you if you’re making a difference.
Instead, look at your normal daily interactions.
Think about when you smile at the cashier who looks tired, when you stop to pick up a baby's shoe for a stressed-out dad, when you let someone in front of you in line at the coffee shop, when you jog after the person who forgot their credit card, when you make an overwhelmed colleague laugh. These small interactions can be forgettable; you do what you do and get on with your day. But they matter. You matter. Whether the positivity is fleeting, or whether it changes the course of someone’s day, or life, you’ll never know. Either way, you made a difference.
Think of the kind words and gestures you’ve received and held dear over the years. The people behind them probably have no recollection of them. Yet, they made a difference to you. So why wouldn’t you be making a difference to others, in ways you can’t imagine, all the time?
Heart-to-heart conversations, speeches at events, and sorry-you're-leaving cards from the office are all lovely. But don’t solely depend on obvious expressions of gratitude to know whether or not you matter.
You just do.