EmoticonI feel great! It’s been another wonderful week and I don’t know that I could be more content. I can’t tell you the specifics of everything I did, but I most certainly know how each experience made me feel. Don’t get me wrong, I know exactly what I did and I remember much of what I saw, heard, and said. But Maya Angelou is right, I remember exactly how others (and the experiences) made me feel. 

I remember my wife making me feel loved, my son making me laugh, and my friends making me smile, as well as my coworkers collectively making me proud, frustrated, and motivated. I don’t remember the words to the song I heard on he radio this morning, but I know it got me moving. I don’t remember the scores of the March Madness basketball games I watched last night, but I know a few of them got my heart rate up. I don’t remember the specifics of my workout yesterday, but I know I am sore today. I don’t share these thoughts to show you how poor my memory can be, only to remind myself that the best thing about memories aren’t the specific details, but the feelings they invoke.

The smell of Mom’s signature dish, a song from our youth, and the picture of a loved one each sparks memories and changes our mood. As we recall those memories, most remember only some of the specifics, while others may embellish the details for the benefit of the listeners, but all will remember a feeling. I love what I do, but I enjoy the people even more. I love the idea of family, but I especially love mine. I love experiencing life, but I mostly enjoy the variance of emotions that the experiences provide. As Coach Jimmy Valvano said, “If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day.” We may not remember why our days are full, but it’s important that when we look back upon our days as many of them as possible are full. 

Earlier this week, my family and I watched Groundhog Day. I couldn’t help but notice how differently Bill Murray’s character (Phil Connors) was perceived once he embraced his plight and began making the way others feel the priority, in favor of caring only how he felt. Over time, the other characters in the story still couldn’t remember exactly why, but they all loved Phil Connors…because of the way he made them feel. The next time you speak to a group, you reach out to a friend, or you work with a colleague, please remember Phil Connors post-transition example, and on a more serious note, Maya Angelou’s words, “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

  • What specifics do you remember about the circumstances that angered you last week? Do you remember the specifics or just how you were left feeling?
  • How did your most recent interaction with friends/family/coworkers leave you feeling?
  • When someone hears your voice, sees your face, or mentions your name, what feelings do you think are invoked?