June 2018


Last month I launched a series of notes I call One Small Thing, an effort to recognize and track the impact that small actions can have on another person, creating a true cascade of meaningful change. 

Today is the Worldwide Day of Giving and it feels like the perfect moment to launch my second note on One Small Thing. While there is no wrong way to give, we often think about “giving” in monetary terms. While being financially generous is great, let’s expand our thinking to include giving of ourselves, in terms of attention, empathy, time, and thoughtfulness. Those forms of giving can often have an impact that is far more personal (and far more meaningful) than just giving money. 

Today’s note is a request that we redefine generosity together.

Your response to my first note has been generous and overwhelming, with people posting the #onesmallthing hashtag and writing me personal notes about their own experiences where someone did one small thing for them and it cascaded in a big way. 

Whether it was an email from a woman who felt truly connected as part of the Parlay House community, a young person who benefitted from honest feedback about how they can perform better, or an old employee recounting how career encouragement many years ago shaped her future career choices, it is really evident that something small can have an impact far greater than the actual event. That makes me so hopeful, because all of us are capable of taking small actions to pull someone else forward, and we can all afford to give this way.

We’ve got something real and meaningful here.


You, too, have a #OneSmallThing story. 

If nothing comes to mind immediately, let me frame it in this way: When was a time when someone shared something (non-monetary) that gave you faith in yourself? 

Maybe it was:

  • a teacher who was the first to recognize your natural abilities;
  • a boss who guided you;
  • a friend who truly “saw” you; 
  • a family member who observed your qualities and remarked on your uniqueness;
  • or someone who was willing to share their own vulnerabilities to let you know that you weren’t alone with your feelings or experiences. 

What you can do right now:
Whomever it was, drop them a line to remind them of what they did for you, and share with them how it affected your life. 

This small action may make their day and will likely remind them how much power they have to create positive change for someone else.

Share it big: tell the world your #OneSmallThing story by sharing it on social media.

Share it small: if you want more of an intimate connection, send your story directly to that person via email/text/phone.

Share it with me: I’m collecting these “OneSmallThing stories” to create a collection. Simply send me a note.