I live by the Rule of Three – which means that if something is brought to my attention three different times by three different sources in a small time frame (i.e., anywhere from a few days to a few minutes), that’s my “hint” to take notice and pay attention. That then often results in me needing to take some sort of action.
Today, I experienced the Rule of Three over the course of five hours:
- As I was walking from my car to the office, I saw a senior executive at my company walking into the building as well – and he was carrying his lunch in a clear plastic container. (A casserole of some sort.) My mind made a little note: “He may be a very influential person at this company, but he brings his lunch from home just like many other people do.” As I was looking at the man’s lunch container, his eyes caught mine – so I smiled. He smiled back.
- Ninety minutes later, I was getting tea from the company cafeteria and saw the CEO standing in line, waiting for a cup of coffee. My mind made a second note: “He may be the CEO of this company, but he waits in line for coffee just like many other people do.” The CEO saw me looking at him – so I smiled. He smiled back.
- Two hours after that, I was walking from my office building to another office location, and saw another very senior executive doing the same. My mind made a third note: “She may be responsible for a very significant part of the business, but she walks from one building to another just like many other people do.” As our paths crossed, the woman made eye contact with me – so I smiled. She smiled back.
In these exchanges, I got to see that: 1) even “very important” people are exactly that – people; and 2) these “very important” people appreciate smiles just like anyone else would.
I’m not sure what action I might be called to take as a result of these awarenesses; I guess I’ll wait and see. For now, I’ll just continue to smile at anyone who meets my eyes.