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3 Surprising Personal Things That Changed My Life

Something a Bit Personal

I was recently challenged to a 21 day “All About Me” social media incentive. I was instructed to write something personal about myself daily. The purpose is to introduce myself to my customers and allow them to get to know me a bit more personally. Well, no worries, I’m not going to write 300-700 words about myself daily for the next 3 weeks. I’m pretty sure there aren’t that many interesting words about me out there.

I don’t think I could read 21 days straight about Princess Diana or HRH Grace Kelly (both of whom I obsess over.) So, seeing as how I’m not a princess, I’m not going to splash myself across your inbox for the next 21 days. What I will do is write a little about myself once a week in hopes that I will learn something new about you in the comments. My challenge to you, dearest friend, is for you to share something similar about yourself
in each post. I’m going to share 3 things today that I believe have shaped me into the person I am today  I’ve challenged myself to dig deep and not to casually list 3 people who made a difference.

something personal

First of all, there have been 3 writings that taught me to get comfortable within my own skin.

  1. The Holy Bible
  2. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnage
  3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The Holy Bible

As a child, I remember feeling a bit scared of God. There were all these rules and punishments and do’s and don’ts. These instructions gave me the impression that God is like a wicked piano teacher just waiting to slap your knuckles when you missed one note. Then I had an encounter with God in my 30’s that changed my life forever.

Through Kay Arthur and Precept Ministries I learned to study the Bible inductively. I learned to read it for myself, study the text meaning in its original Hebrew or Greek and to ask the 5 w’s and an h with each chapter of each book. I’ve learned how to mark my Bible in a way that in one glance I can know who said what about a particular subject. I’ve learned to make lists and to ask questions.

Something Personal About Me

I believe this method of study helped me in other areas of my life as well. I don’t have to accept things as being true just because someone else said it is true. I can do my own research into any topic. I have discovered that you learn more by listening than talking and that includes listening to the Almighty God of the universe. Keeping an ear open, being watchful and studious is key to having a relationship with God. Meditation on the Word has led to some pretty incredible revelations throughout my life.

How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnage wrote a best selling book in 1936 that still influences people over 80 years later. The one thing I gleaned from this incredible book was to be genuine. If you fake an interest in people they will know and it will reflect in their actions toward you.

The royal road to a man’s heart is to talk to him about the things he treasures most.

I remember reading in this book, that a person will remember you much longer if you engage them in personal conversation about themselves than if you talk only about yourself. Here’s my version of an example he used.

A Personal Interest vs. Boring Conversation

A man went to a dinner party and on the way home grumbled to his wife that his dinner partner was a complete bore. “Oh really?” she asked. “Who was he?”

Her husband barked, “Oh I don’t know! Some guy who sells vacuum cleaner belts or something.”

“Well, is he married, does he have children, what are his hobbies?“ his wife prodded. He answered, “I don’t know. He was so boring he didn’t tell me anything about himself.”

His wife then asked a question he wasn’t expecting. “So, what did you tell him about yourself?” He thought for a minute and replied, “He knows where I went to college, what my first job was, how I asked you to marry me and where we vacation every summer,” he said beaming. “I was interesting.”

His wife then said, “Perhaps he thought you were in the radio business.”

Perplexed he ask, “What are you talking about?”

Smiling, she said “Radio is a one-way street. There’s the announcer and the listeners. Could you have been an announcer and he was simply a listener?”  He stomped upstairs to mull this over.

dinner party

This example is a great way to point out that those who talk only of themselves are likely to find the conversation boring, unless they are a narcissist ????. Those who are genuinely interested in another person enjoy hearing about their life.

If this same example were flipped, the man wouldn’t have thought his dinner partner was boring  Let’s say vacuum belt salesman walked up and shook his hand, saying, “You look like a man with an interesting life. Where did you go to college” The conversation then drifted into family and then hobbies all while the vacuum belt salesman kept asking questions. The man still talked about himself, but by answering questions from someone genuinely interested in him, he went home with a completely different attitude. He couldn’t wait to tell his wife about this great guy who was his dinner partner that evening. He knows nothing about the other guy, but because he was interested in him, he was fascinating.

I learned in this book to be genuine in my quest to get to know others. Make conversations personal.

Little Women and their Personal Effect on Me

I’ve often thought that the title of this book is misleading. There was nothing little about the women of this timeless story. Marmie is the mother I tried to imitate as I raised my own children  She recognized and encouraged the gifts of each of her girls.  She encouraged Meg in her gifts of cooking and caring for a household. Jo was given space and quiet to write, Amy traveled to pursue her artistic abilities and sweet Beth received the gift of a piano to cheer her family while she was here on earth. I learned from this story that our differences enrich our lives. We all have gifts and talents that bring purpose and intention to our everyday living.

little women

There are many writers who influence my life. Emily Barnes and her books about hospitality, Ann Morrow Lindenberg encourages women to find some solitude to rejuvenate their energy to care for those around them. Kay Arthur with Precept Ministries, Beth Moore, Stormie Omartian and Priscilla Shirer are women of faith who inspire me to live for Christ.

None of these women are “little” in their effect on my life. I pray that somehow I can have a positive impact on some lives like they have mine. Is there a special person who had great personal influence in your life? Share in the comments. I’d love to hear about those who influence your life.

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