I was on the tube travelling back to the train station the other night.
Whilst I was sat there a young homeless man stood up and asked everyone nearby if they could spare him some change.
No one did.
I had decided to give the money I had on me, I had it ready, I didn’t give it to him. I was so bothered about what people thought that I didn’t.
I thought that was terrible.
As it got to my stop I could see the man further down the tube, again asking people for change. So I walked down to where he was standing and gave him the money I had.
He said thank you.
Before I did this no one had volunteered any change at all. Afterwards, five more people nearby went on to give change as well. I didn’t think that was coincidence.
So I’m not sharing this to tell you I gave a homeless person some change – there is nothing extraordinary about that – it was the right thing to do.
For me what I learnt from this I thought was worth sharing.
One – my problems are not really problems. I have a home, an amazing family, good friends a great career. I have all these great things yet how I define success and failure and how the values and measures I use creates new problems for me – some of them are not even worth caring about in reality.
Two – it doesn’t matter what people think about you. You shouldn’t let this change your decisions.
Three – it only takes one person to lead on something to get a few others to act as well.