Wednesday, August 7, 2013

See What's Possible, and Help Others Do the Same

You never know how who you help can go on to help the world.  If you make someone’s day, smile at them, give them a chance, coach them or inspire them,  hold them accountable or teach them lessons, they may go on to do the same for others in the future.

By doing good for just one person, in just one moment, you can affect the trajectory of many things, of many lives, all over the world.  Even if in some situations it’s not easy to be kind, gracious or positive, keep in mind it’s not just that moment that you are affecting, it’s many moments into the future. 
Let that motivate you to see beyond frustrating moments and contribute more kindness, respect and happiness in the world.  This requires an awareness of self, an awareness of others, a genuine desire to leave people, places and things better than you found them, and a basic belief in the good in people. If you don’t have those, what I am suggesting can be difficult to do.
I have always believed in and seen what is possible when many others do not.  My family and friends will tell you sometimes to the point of going after what is quite clearly impossible, but I rarely see things that way. I am acutely aware that most people are capable of more than they know.  And because people are capable of more than they know, so are families, communities, companies and countries.   
When I am around people every day, my heart and soul radiate with the awareness that I am in the presence of greatness.  Maybe greatness unfound, or greatness underdeveloped, but the potential or existence of greatness nonetheless.  You never know who will go on to do good or even great things or become the next great influencer in the world – so treat everyone like they are that person.
For these reasons and more, I believe we should all ‘assume positive intent’.  While believing that can put you in a position to occasionally be let down, that is by far the minority outcome. In general, when you assume positive intent, that is a version of believing in others more than they may believe in themselves, and often leaves a situation’s momentum moving forward for people to act more like the person they can become than the person they may have otherwise been in that moment.
Some people are farther away from the best version of themselves than others – they are affected by their environment over time, how much good or bad they’ve seen in their lives, and what they believe is possible at any given moment.  That is why it’s so important for each person to spread as much respect and kindness as possible.  If every person on the planet gave one effort of kindness or respect tomorrow, the positive ripple effects of that are so great that they are difficult to quantify. 
Every person has the possibility to do one small thing today that can create many more great things in the future.  It’s the small things, the little actions of respect and caring, and the expressed belief in others that can create big change in the world for the better over time. 
People believe more in themselves when they believe there is something to reach for, when they believe in tomorrow.  When people believe in tomorrow, when they feel they can be a part of progress, they almost always rise to the occasion.
See what’s possible not only in the world in general, but more importantly, in people you interact with every day.  See people for what they can do, not for what they are doing – and do your part to give them access to opportunity, respectful coaching, provide accountability, and help them see that they are capable of more than they know. 
Oh… and if you do encounter the occasional exception, the person who sucks life out of the world and spreads more negativity than they do positivity, move along…swiftly,  and focus again on the rest of the possibility and good around you. J


  1. "By doing good for just one person, in just one moment, you can affect the trajectory of many things, of many lives, all over the world."

    You lived this four years ago when you believed in me and my little project enough to grace us with your presence, opened a door for me, and gave me the opportunity to be something more than I realized I could.

    That was the tiny beginning of something that turned out to be very big, something that has touched millions of lives over the years, and something that continues to change and inspire people today.

    You were one of the major catalysts for affecting that shift in trajectory, and today I say, once again, thank you. Not only for doing what you did for me, but for walking the walk, and living what you believe.

    Much love (and respect),

    1. Thank you for doing a wonderful and thoughtful thing for people you met and recognized their capablity and saw the hard work they put in. It made me say"Hard work does pay off and people do care no matter their rank in life. I apperciate you and the joy you spread to the individuals in your company. Regards, Nicole M. Stevenson

  2. This is a great post, Kat. It goes along with my philosophy of life in that I want to leave everything better than it was when I found it. Whether that's picking up trash as you walk around or making a difference in a life when you can, it all has a positive impact. Keep doing what you are doing!


  3. Wonderful post !
    It shows the owner of Cinnabon has really gone through a lot herself to get to where she is and she wants to fulfill the dreams of others....
    Only someone who has undergone pain and hardship can understand it truly when it happens to others.

  4. Great post, Kat. I especially love this idea "...I believe we should all ‘assume positive intent’"

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  6. As someone that started life on the "wrong side of the tracks", I can appreciate how important this post is. If it wasn't for my mentor that took the time, effort and compassion to help me during my formative years, I would never have been able to get to where I am now. As a result, I now also take the time to volunteer and help because when it's all said and done, it's all about paying it forward. Once again, a very poignant and inspiring post!

  7. I just saw you on UB you are an extraordinary person!!

  8. I enjoyed this article very much and can definitely identify with it.

    Great article that really deals with just making someone smile, give them a shot, inspire them, teach them a lesson and they will go on to do the same. You can definitely change the trajectory of many things which can include many lives through out the world. I was able to see a lot of how I am as I was reading through this article. Hope you can take the time to read, enjoy and pass along.

  9. Hi Kat,

    You speech and the way you speak is so inspiring, always. I am so amazed that you never have any transcript in front of you but can speak so fluently and confidently, from AMA Atlanta, SHRM, to WFF. You always think about new ways to help others and the society, that's the biggest reason why I admire you so much. When I watched Undercover Boss, my most impressive part was that you thought about how to utilize the spoiled products to serve people who are in need, that's the spirit of social responsibility.

    Love your smile, and energy.


  10. Hola Kat acabo de ver tu programa en Undercover Boss y me has inspirado creo que eres una mujer maravillosa y me atrevo a escribirte para pedirte ayuda please help me