This lady started a running club in her city at the homeless shelter. The Director of the shelter figured nobody would be interested, but nine guys signed up for it.
She told them, “Listen, you have to come with a positive attitude. You have to respect your teammates, and you have to respect yourself. No excuses. A high standard of excellence!”….. I demanded of them exactly what I demanded of myself. And I swear to you it was almost as if they were waiting for someone to look at them.
People did not believe this was going on because there is this unfortunate stereotype about homeless people that is: “they are just lazy. they don’t want to work. and they sure don’t want to work hard.” – and there is this allegiance about running: It is hard! It is for people who are ambitious, driven, type-a people who are responsible. All of these media people were taken aback and were at that corner that morning capturing and asking “why are these homeless guys running!?”. and they gave the same answers you and i would give:
— i wanted to try something new
— i wanted to meet new people
— i wanted to get healthy
— i wanted to see if i was good at this
And all these stories start to be written, and I start getting all these messages of people wanting to come run with us. And there were two amazing observations that were happening:
1) these guys were showing up voluntarily on time.
2) tracking these guy’s miles they were running – and these guys would fight for the best seat behind my shoulders in competing against each other constructively!
We want to be noticed, recognized, cared for, loved for, cheered for, appreciated, valued.
We seek it out in our friendships and relationships and jobs. And if we don’t find them we go to other places to find it.