Last evening as I watched the Opening Ceremonies for the Winter Olympics, K.D. Lang performed an amazing rendition of Leonard Cohen’s song, Hallelujah. I was reminded of the last time I was in Canada, for Engage Today, last September.
I was given a VIP ticket to a Bryan Adams and K.D. Lang concert that night, but due to a scheduling conflict, I was unable to attend. Between three friends and I, we had four VIP tickets and we couldn’t attend the concert. It was just hours before the show. As we were sitting in a restaurant on the streets of downtown Calgary, I was watching a police officer give someone a ticket- and I was inspired. I asked my three friends if I could have their tickets, and ran off after the policeman.
The policeman was polite as I approached him and asked him if I could chat with him for a few minutes. I explained the situation that we had four VIP tickets worth over $300 each, and were unable to attend the concert. I asked him if he’s be willing to do something a little crazy but a lot of fun- hand out tickets to folks who were doing something right.
I explained that I’d wanted to give him the four tickets and rather than issuing tickets for what someone was doing wrong, instead, I challenged him to find people doing something right- and give them a free concert ticket. He listened, paused and then repeated what I asked him, almost in disbelief. I confirmed that I was giving him the tickets free, wanted nothing in exchange but a smile, and asked him to go find four people to reward. His face lit up, and he burst into a huge grin as he told me he’d love to do this project. In a world where he’s paid to catch people doing something wrong, he told me how refreshing this would be for him and set off to hand out rewards.
I never spoke to him again and have no idea who got the tickets or how the story worked out on the part of the policeman. Seeing K.D. Lang last night reminded me of that concert I missed and made me wonder what happened with those tickets. I’d like to think that the police officer made a positive difference in the lives of four lucky people that evening, and had fun with it too.
Imagine if we all did that in our own lives- caught people doing the right thing and rewarded them for doing so. Like the policeman, we too are conditioned to find fault and reprimand much more than we are to praise and reward. So just for today, be conscious and watch. See if you can catch someone doing something right. And when you do, I encourage you to make a big deal out of it, with praise, gratitude and reward.
Funny thing is, when you find and reward good things, more of it shows up in your life. As a mother and an employer, I know that I got much better results from my kids and employees when I focused on and rewarded the positive rather than the negative. We all want to receive kudos rather than reprimand.
Try it today and please let me know what happens in your world. I’d love to hear your stories. And if anyone reading this got a free ticket to a K. D. Lang concert from a police officer in Calgary this past September, I hope you enjoyed the concert and I’d love to hear from you too. :)
This Post Has 5 Comments
I love this story! I find myslef doing this a lot with my kids (catching them doing something right) but with my husband and other *grown-ups*???hmmmm….not so much 🙂 Thanks for the reminder!
What an AMAZING (and crazy!) idea, Gail. Will be trying it out all day today – and share my experiences with you in a while. I’m willing to bet the policeman had a FANTASTIC time picking the lucky winners… and rewarding them with a “different” ticket!
Jen, please let me know how it goes with your husband and other “grown-ups”. I’ll be anxious to hear your story. 🙂
Dr. Mani, how’s the day going for you? Come on, share your experiences with catching someone doing something right. I just know that you’re going to have GREAT stories!
Thank you both for sharing with our community. I greatly appreciate it!
Excellent story and inspiring to read. So many people need constant validation for simply doing the right thing. Or doing a good thing without expectation of reward.
Hal, can you imagine getting pulled over by a cop and receiving free concert tickets? I can tell you it would change my day radically- in a very positive way! Thanks for your comments.