One of our daily promises:
“Wherever I go, I bring a gift. I may bring a compliment, good thoughts, trinket, flower…but I promise I will give something to every person I encounter.”
I have a friend who is brilliant but very unassuming. She started her own multi-million dollar company that allowed her to retire in her very early 40s while still maintaining a lifestyle many will never be able to afford. In her world and previous hobbies, she was driven, confident, and extremely successful.
Several years ago, she entered the sport I compete in and didn’t start with the right instructors, so she has struggled. She gets out there time and time again and usually has more times of failure than success, if you define failure by not achieving your goals. I have often watched her completely underrate herself and have admired her greatly for her perseverance and was inspired by her, though I am not sure I ever truly told her that.
While I was decluttering my life, I came across a dog tag I’d purchased that was a promotional item for my absolute favorite health and energy drinks. When the company launched the drinks, they said the name, Axio, was designed to mean worth, as they were designed to help you
with the mental focus, clarity, and positive mode to be all you were capable of. At the time, I thought of her, because she had SO much worth, and she didn’t even know it. But I didn’t say anything, possibly for fear of offending her by implying she seemed to lack self-confidence in this sport.
This time, when I was going through my stuff, I picked up the dog tag, thought of her, and that weekend, I gave it to her. I told her how much I admired her persistence and her willingness to keep going no matter what. I admired her determination and competitive nature that wouldn’t allow her to quit. I told her that I often didn’t think she realized her true worth, and I wanted her to know what an inspiration she was to me. As I struggled really hard to sync up with my new competition dog when my old one and I were so perfect together, I told her she was my role model and inspired me to keep getting out there and never give up, no matter what.
And then the unthinkable happened, and I have chills remembering it. She took the dog tag in her hands, looked in my eyes, and started to tear up. She told me just that day, after another bad run, she was so frustrated that she’d texted her coach that she wanted to quit. She said she’d always looked up to me and admired me for my abilities, and she was shocked to hear I looked up to her. She said she often thought people thought she was stupid for continuing to struggle out there time and time again and not give up, so to hear that SHE inspired ME just meant the world to her.
I had no idea that she’d looked up to me, either, and to hear that made me feel really special, and was a powerful gift to receive. I feel our friendship got much deeper sharing that moment together, and all because of a very small gift and the very big feeling behind it. She wore the dog tag under her shirt the next day at the show and made it a point to show me. We made a difference to each other, and we may not have even known if it weren’t for promising to bring a gift wherever I go.