15 Seconds

What can you do in 15 seconds?

Tie a tie?

Poor a glass of wine or beer after a long day?

Open up a package of Ramen Noodles?

I'm pretty sure in an emergency, I could even down a whole Cadbury Egg. ...I didn't say I would be able to actually enjoy it that fast, just that I could do it. (Editor’s note: The author does not condone wasting a Cadbury Egg to test this out. It's Easter, after all, so take the time to savor and enjoy the Cadbury perfection.)

But, could you make someone's day?  Possibly turn their day around even?

Last week - out of nowhere - a coworker of mine pulled me aside.  And said the following:

"Mike, I really appreciate you.  No - seriously. I've been really thinking about this a lot lately and I really appreciate you. The way you spend time with me to help me improve at what I do - talking me through it. It means a lot. I just wanted you to know."

I was shocked, floored, humbled and, after my face finally stopped turning the deepest shade of red, I managed to say, "Thank You."

So, why do I share this?  Well, it's definitely not to toot my own horn.  I share it because it changed the course of my day.  Literally.  I had a spring in my step and a swagger that would make Mick Jagger jealous the rest of the day. Why?  Because someone took a handful of seconds to so say share how they felt I made a difference in their life. And what did it cost this person?  15 seconds.  That's it.  15 seconds to make a difference.

So, here's the challenge: Today stop someone you who has made a difference in your life - no matter how big or small and spend those 15 seconds.  It doesn't have to be a coworker either. It could be a spouse, a significant other, a friend, sibling, a cashier - anybody. Share something you appreciate or admire about them.  Here's the trick: it has to be specific.  It's nice to say, "I appreciate all that you do," but it doesn't quite have the same ring as, "When you stuck up for me in the meeting yesterday, it was the first time I felt like I was a part of the team." 

Does that make sense?

I hope so. This little expenditure from your time bank of 86,400 seconds in a day will lead to happier employees which fosters greater teamwork and productivity. It will also foster a deeper connection to your friends and family as well.

For extra credit - start doing this once a week.  Just 15 seconds - you'll be amazed at the effect it has on those around you.  And...after a while, it gets addicting.  Soon, you'll be doing it every day.  The result? The people in your life will be happier knowing they made a difference and you'll be happier too as you feel the heart-shaped joy of gratitude for all those in our lives that make this journey worthwhile. 

So go spend your 15 seconds.  I'll do the same...but I'm probably going to go eat a Cadbury egg first.