One of my absolute favourite things about London is watching people offer to help strangers on public transport.
I see it all the time, travellers with suitcases being helped by people on their way to work. Mothers being asked if they need help with their strollers up the stairs. People offering seats on the train.
I love watching for kindness in others. And I believe when you watch for it, it really is all around.
But there’s something else I love about it, not just the kindness. It’s that there’s something that stirs inside of me. A little curiosity. A feeling that pushes a button in me to ask how could I show up more like that? As in, how could I be more kind today? Or offer to help another?
It’s a mini boost of inspiration to reflect on my own life.
I’ve always loved to people watch. And I think that’s why. I watch with curiosity about their back stories, where are they going, why.
As humans we’re wired to connect through our stories and shared experiences. We yearn to see another’s experience reflect our own. It makes us feel sane. Safe. Seen.
In my workshop rooms, every single time someone shares “why” they came to the session, the room is full of nods and sighs from everyone. Because they relate – in some way, shape or form, they’ve found themselves in that person’s stories.
It’s how we feel connected. And it’s also how we can be spurred on to take action in our lives. Like when I watch strangers lug heavy suitcases up big flights of stairs. That is so kind! I wanna be more like that!
I’m fascinated by people’s stories. Particularly when there’s a big journey involved. Like how they moved countries. Or swapped jobs. Or manage to shuffle around child care, with full time work and volunteering on the weekends. Or how they were simply born in a place I wasn’t. It’s all comforting and inspiring to me. Because in some way, shape or form, I take a tinsy bit of what they share and it clicks into place in my own life. Helps me make sense of my own journey. My emotions. My healing. My aspirations.
It’s part of the reason why I love interviewing people on my podcast (and, well, any other chance I get too!). Because when I get to bring their story to life and highlight how they made some of their decisions along the way, it fast-tracks someone else’s journey.
Inspiration can come from lots of different places. But if you’re really in a funk and can’t get out of it – start with stories. People are the most incredible inspirers, even when they don’t even know it themselves.
And that includes you too.