Winning Words

Sharing some ways you can make a difference in three seconds or less

Column by Michael Norton
Posted 7/25/17

As a lifelong fan of music, I have developed an appreciation for music that spans almost every genre. Everything from country to classical, classic rock to Southern rock, reggae to blues, and jazz to …

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Winning Words

Sharing some ways you can make a difference in three seconds or less

Posted

As a lifelong fan of music, I have developed an appreciation for music that spans almost every genre. Everything from country to classical, classic rock to Southern rock, reggae to blues, and jazz to hymns. And as I was listening to an old favorite Lynyrd Skynyrd tune, "Gimme Three Steps," it made me think of something just a little different.

Part of the lyrics go like this:

"Oh won't you gimme three steps, gimme three steps mister, gimme three steps toward the door? Gimme three steps, gimme three steps mister and you'll never see me no more."

For some reason I thought about the "three steps" request in the song and related it to something I have been thinking about for a long time. I often think that we overlook the simplest things that we can be doing in our lives or saying to others in our lives that would have a positive impact and could easily be done in three steps, and more importantly three seconds or less. And yet we lose sight of that as we try and keep up with the rush and crush of life.

The spoken word is wonderful, especially when coupled with the right tonality. I mean we can all tell if someone is sincere, hurt, kind, angry, or inspired just by the way they speak. Yet we can also tell if they are bored or have become complacent. Think about the last time someone told you "I love you," and you replied in return, "I love you too." Did you receive the message of love as passionate and connected to a true feeling, whether it was romance, friendship or a family bond? And did your reply come off as sincere, caring and loving or did it sound flat, mundane, compliant? Huge difference right?

In the lyrics to the song above, pay attention to the last part of the lyrics, "Gimme three steps, gimme three steps mister and you'll never see me no more." Well if we don't give those closest to us and most important to us, at the very least three seconds of our heart, we may never see them no more as well. Words can build us up or tear us down or apart, and it only takes three seconds or less to accomplish either.

You may want to remember this list, take a picture of it, or just cut it out from the paper so you have it. Maybe just write down a few of your favorites so you can be reminded to put them into use, and definitely create your own list as well. And if you do create your own list, I would love for you to email me a copy of your list. Here's mine:

1. I love you

2. I appreciate you

3. I forgive you

4. I am sorry

5. Thank you

6. I am proud of you

7. You make my day

8. Thinking about you

9. Praying for you

10. You mean so much to me

I say this to remind us all that common sense isn't always common practice and that we can make a difference in our own lives and the lives of others in three seconds or less by saying the simplest of things that have the potential for adding enormous value and meaning to any relationship. And look at the list again - you will not find big words or words that need further definition. These are simple, uncomplicated words that carry the power to enrich our own life and all of the people in our life.

So how about you? Can you get a little better at giving someone just three seconds of love, appreciation, kindness, and forgiveness? Or are you already there and have a pretty good handle on taking care of this? Either way, I would love to see your list at gotonorton@gmail.com, and when we can give each other a minimum of three seconds of our heart, it really will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a resident of Castle Rock, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation, a strategic consultant and a business and personal coach.

Michael Norton

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