Last night I got bit by a mosquito. It’s under my watch band on my left side of my wrist.
It feels good when I scratch it. It feels like I’m doing something; but every time I scratch it itches more.
I know that if I stop scratching and just let it alone it will get better.
But it feels so good to scratch.
Thinking of your problems is like scratching a mosquito bite.
For some reason it feels good to think about your problems. Discuss them. Poke at them. Tear at them.
But if you do they will get worse.
It’s better to focus your mind somewhere else and leave your own problems alone. A great way to do that is to think of others. It’s impossible to worry about your own problems when you're busy making something or someone else better.
Over ten years ago I decided to try and make every where I went a little better. If there was someone who need a compliment I’d just give it. If there was a paperclip on the floor I’d just pick it up. I had been doing this practice for over a year.
One night I took my kids to the movies. I stopped in to use the bathroom and then sat down with them in the theatre seats.
While the previews were playing I started to feel bad. I felt uncomfortable; I didn’t know what it was but something was wrong.
It hit me; I had noticed water splashed all over the sink in the bathroom and had walked out without making it better. I told my kids I’d be right back and headed back to the washroom, grabbed a few paper towels and wiped down the sink.
Ahhh… that was better.
A few month later I found myself visiting my brother in the Bethesda area. It just so happened that the largest Martial Arts Business consulting organization in the country had its headquarters there too.
I decided to pay them a visit.
The day I visited just happened to be the day they were scheduled to record a CD destined to be sent out to over 1,000 schools in over 12 countries. One of the people who was scheduled to be interviewed that day didn’t show for the phone conference.
They asked me to take his place.
They put a microphone in my face and asked me what I thought made me unique as a teacher. I got that deer in the headlights look. I froze.
But then I thought of something to say: I told them about my daily habit of always trying to make everywhere I go a little better. I told them about the theatre and wiping down the sink in the bathroom.
The published the CD. They kept my interview in. My story went out to over 1,000 schools.
At the annual convention people came up to me and shook my hand. They pointed at me and said: “Hey, you’re the wipe down the sink guy!”
The Chairman of the Association liked my interview. He was so impressed he made me an Advisory Board member to the largest Martial Arts Association in the world.
He opened countless doors for me. My relationship with this organization changed my business and my life.
When you do little things to help the world around you and take your mind off your own problems you are blessed in unimaginable ways.
Want to be more successful?
Don't scratch mosquito bites.
Keep some extra paper towels with you instead.