I’m just back from my motivational speaker gig (or whatever you call it!) for a great group of classified staff in Tallahassee, Florida. One of my favorite things about every job ‘including this one in Florida’ was watching the “process” of the audience changing from a quiet, indifferent group of people into a cohesive, laughing, buzzing-with-energy audience.
It was a special group; they were worried about their jobs. And immediately before my keynote the president of the college reassured them that layoffs were not imminent. The message was upbeat, but the tone was pretty darned low. (Here’s a hint to anybody who is going to say, “We’re not going to lay YOU off:” They aren’t gonna believe you. You just sacked their friends. So during your talk, you can at least mention that they may have some anxiety….but I digress.)
So seeing them go from “slow” to “go” was totally gratifying. And a ton of fun.
Another highlight was talking to a member of the audience about his experiences with his mom. He was a self-proclaimed “fun seeker” and told me about some fun rituals he’s shared with HIS family.
He talked about paying tolls for total strangers, and buying drinks ‘d1 or even dinner ‘d1 for couples he though might need it.
But my favorite was a story about how his mom used to get luck with bingo by saving it for others. Let me explain:
His mom would take him to the local bingo parlor to play bingo. Unlike most of the other senior citizens would by a single bingo card and win. And win often. More than she should really; she had great luck.
But what made it so special, (and so much fun) is that she wouldn’t yell, “Bingo” when she won. My new friend, as a boy would beg her to claim her winnings, and she would explain that she wouldn’t do it, that they didn’t need the money, and that they were “saving the luck for those that really needed it.”
It created a sense of fun and abundance for her and her family. It sounds awesome.
Apparently one old lady across the table from this lucky woman one evening noticed that she, with her single card, won. “Why don’t you claim it? You’re acting silly!?” She was apparently almost angry, and definitely confused. “What in the heck was wrong with this stupid woman who wins but doesn’t claim her prize?”
The very next bingo call resulted in that very same cofused woman winning. At that point, my friend’s mom said, “I was saving my luck for somebody like you, who really needed it.”
My point? Sometimes these rituals of giving are not just fun, they are awesome. When you’re focused on helping others, it’s impossible not to feel great about yourself. Want an easy way to make YOURSELF feel better? Find a fun way to give something away!
Check out the motivational speech I gave in Florida here.