Last week contained several significant moments – our 20th Wedding Anniversary, a speaking engagement with an amazing audience, and a memorable photo shoot with a photographer I’d connected with in a split second.
Let’s revisit ANZAC Day for a moment (see this previous blog for the start of the story) where I saw hundreds – maybe thousands of cameras pointed our way as I marched with Grandad… of all the photographers there was one I asked as I marched by “Do you have a card?” I had no idea who he was or why he was taking pictures or if he’d be happy to share, but we’d connected. Within an hour of the march being over, my ANZAC-Day-photographer-friend had texted a request/offer – to take photos of Grandad if he’d be happy to sit for a portrait. Which he did last week, then drove Grandad, Lyndon and I to the city for the quarterly AMP Retirees Association luncheon where I had the privilege of being their guest speaker. Seeing Jonathan chatting with Grandad, hearing his stories as he clicked away, I was inspired to see someone in his element. Photography is clearly Jonathan’s passion, along with stories of mateship and courage.
Jonathan is creating a treasure for our family, because of a momentary connection that we both made the most of. When you feel drawn to connect with someone, just do it. Don’t let fear of what others will think get in the way, or other excuses that come up for you. Don’t miss the opportunities all around you to connect. Another interesting thing that came out of our conversations with Jonathan was that we have 3 friends in common! Amazing.
The AMP retirees (along with quite a few who are not yet retired and enjoy attending the quarterly events) were really interested to hear about my trip to Kokokda with Grandad 18 months ago, the conversations we had about attitudes of achievers, and about talking to strangers. There was a common theme in the feedback that many people love talking to strangers but “get in trouble” with family, with comments like “don’t talk to strangers Dad, you’ll get in trouble one day” but these beautiful gentlemen I spoke to have had a lifetime in a public role in sales or investment and they genuinely like to connect with people and put a smile on someone’s face. I also heard from them that “9 out of 10 people respond really well, or appreciate it” So why should we stop being nice to strangers because of the potential one who won’t be impressed, or will “take it the wrong way”. I know it’s awful to be misunderstood, but isn’t the occasional misunderstanding worth risking to make a whole lot of positive difference?! Tips for the week… 1. Go out happy (play some music or think about happy things, smile at yourself in the mirror… whatever it takes to cheer yourself on :) 2. Make eye contact – then a smile comes easily. 3. Do it again. And enjoy your day and the difference you’re making. You know how a smile helps. So give yours away and it will be even bigger. Another beautiful connection recently was a new friend who texted me to ask if he could blog about how we met recently and discovered a shared passion for connecting with people. Mike Rolls is an inspirational young man – click to read it here :) I really hope you’ll take the time to read Mike’s blog and connect with him. I’m grateful that we connected as he is a real difference-maker. Have a great day!!! Cheering you on, Kerrie PS. If you haven’t read a sample from the book – get a copy from here – http://kerriephipps.com/previewgift/ (I wrote it last year as a gift for a friends book launch, so you’ll notice the original title of the book is in there. The book was “Why It’s Great To Talk to Strangers and is now Do Talk To Strangers – How To Connect With Anyone, Anywhere