“You’re Really Good at What You Do”

At the post office today, I was helped by a clerk who has always been unfailingly courteous, professional and friendly. Her articulate English and Chinese accent told me that she’d worked hard to learn the language and make a life for herself in a foreign country, a difficult and often under-appreciated accomplishment and one that I cannot even begin to imagine tackling myself.

As she handed me my change, I told her, “You know, I’ve been coming here for a while now and I’ve been very impressed with you. You’re really good at what you do.” With a big smile she thanked me, and I was on my way.

Lately, I’ve been feeling the urge to compliment people when I feel a genuine compliment is in order. I’ve resisted doing so in the past because I didn’t want women to think I was just feeding them a line. But I don’t let that stop me anymore, because I think women can tell when a man is coming from a good place. Besides, any gender issues are taken out of the equation when I remark on the quality of their work or their parenting skills or their friendliness rather than on their appearance or what a nice smile they have (although I continue to make such comments when appropriate).

It astonishes me sometime how much power we have to make others feel good with nothing more than a simple comment. The next time you notice somebody doing a good job at whatever it is they’re doing, let them know that their efforts are noticed and appreciated. Making someone’s day brightens your day as well.


Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?

Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier

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SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.

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Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.

Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.

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2 Responses to ““You’re Really Good at What You Do””

  1. mamaste mama Says:

    Years ago I took this same cue from my now 6 year old daughter, Harper. She can never resist stopping people at the grocery store, or Target, or wherever we are to tell them she admires something about them. “I like your shoes!, You have such a cute baby. What a pretty dress (bathing suit, shirt, pants etc.)!” You should see the faces of people light up. Now, whenever I have such a thought, I just go ahead and say it to the person. You’re right, when it’s genuine, there is no mistaking it.

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Harper is a wise old soul, Lori. But then you already know that.

    Yep, authenticity is key. When you mean it, it means everything.

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