September 5, 2015

You Matter. (Yes, Really!)

Flickr/Denise Krebs

More often than I’d like to admit, I feel like what I say doesn’t really make all that much of a difference.

What we say, and who we are, matters more than we realize.

Last month, I attend one of my favorite yearly events, The World Domination Summit, where I had the privilege of being reminded—by Kid President—of these two, almost forgotten, words.

You. Matter.

He shared this simple message—well, actually his hilarious uncle shared it, since the 11-year-old was busy saving the world backstage (stage fright).

These two words “you matter” have become the shortest phrase that I’ve often forgotten along my journey of being human.

Yet, there was an experience that happened, after Kid President’s uncle left the stage, that came as a much needed reminder. A conference attendee (who I met last year) came up to me and said,  “Josh, I just wanted you to know that when I was feeling isolated, I would read your words to remind me I wasn’t alone.”

This reminded me of the potential effect we can have on others by the things we say (even if nobody “likes” it).

I also had another equally impactful experience during this same weekend.

I turned to a close friend of mine and said, “There isn’t anything you could possibly do to make me stop loving you.”

Again, I had no idea of the effect that these words would have on her until she told me.

It became yet another reminder of how powerful our words can be.

Guilty admission: More often than I’d like to admit, I feel like what I say doesn’t really make all that much of difference.

Can you relate?

I know what you might be thinking—“But Josh, you’ve got a blog-thingy, 407 twitter followers, and you travel! What do you mean you don’t feel like you’re making a difference?”

Well, I guess the secret is out.

There are several moments within a month, year, day, hour or minute, when I just don’t like to live in the truth that what I’m doing matters. Even right now as I share these words.

I often sit with that feeling in the pit of my stomach of, “Am I really making the difference that I’m capable of making?”

It’s a question that keeps many of us stuck—not making the difference that we crave.

These recent experiences have allowed me to realize something that’s not so obvious. It’s not the bigger or grander things that make the biggest difference. It’s truly (and I know this sounds a bit cliche) the simple stuff.

It’s the moment where you tell someone else that you love them, without condition.

It’s the moment when you smile at someone who’s having one heck of a week, or the door that you hold open for the stranger who’s just had a bunch of them slammed on him.

So I’m going to invite you to sit with these two words.

You matter.

Whether you believe in them or not is of little importance.

Whether you work for a mission-driven organization or the most corrupt business in the world.

Whether you’ve got a million bucks in the bank or are completely broke and feeling like a joke.

Whether you’re happily in love or searching for a special somebody to share your experiences with…

You matter.

Not because I said it.

Not even because Kid President’s uncle said it.

But—because it’s the truth.



Why Your Story Matters. 


Author: Josh Barad

Apprentice Editor: Keeley Milne/ Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Flickr/Denise Krebs

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