During the holidays it is hard to say “this is my favorite gift.” Undoubtably someone will wonder why their gift didn’t make the list, and then the comparing will begin. In order to thwart this comparison and potential hurt feelings, let’s simply agree that certain gifts stir our souls. Often this stirring is not a reflection of cost or value, but because the giver connected with us in a way that went deep and said “I know you.”
A few months ago, we hosted a get-together at our house for an educational experiment. Seth Godin announced a relational educational initiative where people get together and learn together.
The first class focused us on picking ourselves, overcoming fear, and learning to “ship.” Shipping as Seth describes it is the act of getting our product, idea, proposal, or whatever off the ground and out the door. The class ended with each of us completing the handy “SHIPIT Journal” that helped us work through the obstacles that typically prevent us from moving forward.
While opening gifts this year, I opened a small shelf organizer for magazines. It was black with a little metal tab. The kind of organizer that you may find on library shelves.
After thanking the giver, I thought to myself…“That is cute, but are my magazines in such disarray that I need some organization?” Also, we had started the second Seth Godin class based on the work of Gretchen Rubin and the Happiness Project and a big part of our discussions were based on cleaning up clutter in our lives, homes, and surroundings. My first impression connected this gift to the second class.
It was then that I found the note. Tucked inside the organizer was the real reason for the gift. There were only four words, but those four words touched my soul. The giver instantly changed a simple gift into a memorable one.
The ordinary organizer had transformed into something more. This simple black box with a metal handle was now the place where accomplishments would reside. This box was now the monument, the official record, or the proof of shipping, overcoming obstacles, fears, and doubts.
To the Giver: Thank you for transforming something so simple into a lasting memory.
To All of Us: Connect with others when we can in the simplest but meaningful ways.
To the Universe: I shipped!