Do you ever look at the news and see so many horrible, depressing things that you wonder if there is anything you can do to even make a dent in it all?

Granted a good deal of the news is exaggerated and sometimes unfortunately fake, otherwise the media wouldn’t make any money because you would never stop flipping channels or scrolling through your social media.

But, sometimes it still seems pretty overwhelming to think that we are actually able to make a difference. But check this out…

Have you heard the story of the starfish?

One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked, he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one. Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up, the boy simply replied, “I’m saving these starfish, Sir”. The old man chuckled, “Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you possibly make?” The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, “I made a difference to that one!”

I want to give you a tool to be a “difference maker” to a world of starfish…

Dale Carnegie says, “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” 

When you are going about your day, how many places do you visit where the person you are interacting with has on a name tag?

Did you know that a person’s name is the greatest connection to their own identity and individuality? Our name is how we identify ourselves as “us”. Science proves that hearing our name causes our brain to involuntarily respond in the medial prefrontal cortex. The medial prefrontal cortex is responsible for many of the important processes that make you yourself.

Using someone’s name is the one way we can easily get their attention. It is a sign of courtesy and a way of recognizing them. When someone remembers our name after meeting us, we feel respected and more important. In fact, even those in a Persistent Vegetative State will show brain activity at the sound of their name. That’s the power of hearing our own name.

Remember, people want to be treated as human beings, not objects, not as numbers. and not “hey you!”. Using a person’s name is the fastest and most reliable way to build rapport, authentically connect and create a great first impression. When I go to a restaurant, I always make it a point to get and remember the name of my waiter or waitress. I also like to notice the name of my teller, my cashier, anyone who provides a service so I can use their name in my gratitude for the service they provided. Many break out into a smile and some, who forgot they were wearing a name tag, wonder how I knew their name. Obviously too few people notice the tag if me using their name is an anomaly. And how can we expect exceptional service if we aren’t even willing to acknowledge the one providing the service as another human being, someone who matters…who was also fearfully and wonderfully made…just like us?

Using a person’s name when you are conversing with them, thanking them, or greeting them will make them feel like they are important, like they are seen, like they matter.

You just made a difference to one person in this crazy world.

You may have just made them feel like a million bucks.

Keep up the great work!

This world needs more people like you!!!