I’m a Better Person Because of You

There are sentinel moments that shift our lives forever. These can be tragic accidents, deaths, or other catastrophic events. They can also be births, celebrations, and surprises that fill our hearts. We are all a culmination of our life experiences. Yet, the big moments are not the only things that have shaped you. Quiet influencers shape your life. You know the ones. The rock-solid people who come into your life with a quiet, but profound influence, who change you forever. The interesting thing is that we don’t always see their influence right away. It may take some reflection, but chances are, there are several people who have made you a better person just for having known them.

Saying Thank You

One of the best gifts we can give ourselves and others is to reflect on who has made a difference in our lives and tell them. Let them know how they changed you for the better. It could be a friend, a teacher, a role model, or someone you looked up to as a child, hoping to be like them one day.

Last month, I had the honor of helping to care for my sister-in-law during her final days. We had become very close over the years and it was important to me to spend quality time with her and my brother as they faced her terminal illness.

On the flight to Colorado, I spent time reflecting on why I loved Janet so much, and what she brought to me and my family. We shared a nursing background and strong mutual respect. I trusted her enough to bring her onto my consulting team, giving her some of the most sensitive projects. But it wasn’t these things that were the most profound. She was one of the quiet influencers who modeled a calm, human-centered way of being that drew people to her. Although quiet, she made connections easily because she valued and respected others. The impact she made on me was a collection of moments that, at the time, may not have seemed significant, but collectively changed me forever.

I was fortunate to spend time with her where I could say, “I’m a better person for having known you.” I’m glad I had that opportunity, but that changed me forever too. I learned not to wait until the deathbed conversations. I’m committed to telling people now.

Who has made you a better person? Pick up the phone, or a pen, and let them know.

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