6:00am I’m in the sauna after an early morning workout at the gym. I’m alone but in walks an older gentleman. I look him in the eyes, tilt my head, and put a welcoming smile on my face as I say, “Hi. Good morning!” The man replied, “It is a good morning! You know…” Simutaneously, he sat down and began to tell me about how he was 77 years old, in great shape and healthy. He grinned as he talked about how he and his wife had just been traveling in Croatia. He was happily retired, living what he called the good life.
He went on to talk about his 30 years in the military and how he used to be in charge of financial aid packages for students applying to college and universities. Moreover, he was excited to share about how all four of his kids went to college at UCLA, Cal, USF, and UC Irvine. He was proud of them and added, “But wait there’s more!” I sat eagerly attentive as he talked about his 8 grandkids and how he truly is blessed.
After about 20 minutes, I was getting uncomfortably hot in the 180 degree sauna! We walked out and sat down to catch some air and cool off. I asked, “What’s your name?” He said, “Friends call me Roy Rodgers.” I smiled, “That’s great, I’m Freddie, nice to meet you.” He commented, “I could talk to you for hours.”
Roy Rodgers (aka Eduardo) and I chatted for about 30 minutes. I hardly shared anything about myself, other than I went to Saint Mary’s College (Go Gaels!). But the lesson here comes from the Dale Carnegie Human Relation principles I teach teenagers.
“To be interesting, be interested.”
“Listen to understand.”
“Become genuinely interested in other people.”
“Talk in terms of others interests.”
In two weeks, I will be working with 24 students from 7 different high schools in the area. The message is simple…
1) Confidence comes from eye contact.
2) The key to relationships is to become genuinely interested in other people.
3) It begins with your heart. Authentic and sincere desire to listen.
The greatest thing I took away from Roy Rodgers was his attitude of gratitude. Here was a man for so much to be grateful for… spreading joy! Good man 🙂