Earlier today I received a short letter from a new colleague. It was handwritten and accompanied by a couple of thoughtful gifts. “Every journey starts with a small step,” the note began.
The words, though well-chosen, weren’t important to me. The gesture, however, was: that someone had taken an actual pen to actual paper; that someone had written my name in careful block and signed theirs.
That someone had cared enough to take an extra moment.
As a gym owner, a sometime athlete–hell, as a person–it can become perilously easy to rely on external validation in pursuit of whatever journey we’re taking. We are taught to gauge progress in metrics and by anecdote, and those don’t often arrive unbidden or cut from whole cloth. We coax, we nudge, and sometimes we engage in the hoary little business of mining for support.
This is understandable. We’re human, after all. (Citation: The Human League, “Human”)
The crappy thing is, sometimes the world goes dark. You do something you’ve been planning for months; you succeed where you’ve failed; you share something of yourself…you do this, and the world gives you the Chuck D can’t do nothing for you man routine.
No one cared enough. Not this time.
So? You do it. YOU care enough. You put it in your journal, you pump your fist in the air (and contrary to popular advice this should be done like you just do care). You take a moment and you tell yourself that this was very fucking well done. Whatever it was.
It’s not about ego and it’s not about dotting your own I. It’s about remembering that maybe we take care of each other, but we damn sure need to take care of ourselves.
Because sometimes, maybe lots of times, the most important smile is the one in the mirror.