I once had a boyfriend who used to end every phone conversation and every email with the phrase, “Stay beautiful.” At first I was delighted by it, but as time went on, I have to admit, occasionally it annoyed me. At that time in my life I was certainly not used to taking compliments gracefully (I’ve gotten over that) and there were many days where I felt far from anything that resembled beautiful.
So one day I talked to him about it. I explained that it made me uncomfortable – that I didn’t feel beautiful all the time (in fact I felt it rarely) and his saying it so often had the effect of me feeling “less than.”
Oh, I was so off base.
“Beautiful,” he explained from his perspective, was a state of being. It was a graceful way of interacting with the world. It was a consciousness, rather than a thing. The phrase, “Stay beautiful,” was a reminder to put myself into that way of being and operate from there.
Oh, that’s different.
Time has gone by since he was here to remind me, but that phrase often comes to me as a reminder that I do have a choice how I show up in the world. I ask myself if I am creating beauty in my relationships, my work, my attitude. I think about my clients and the people I teach – am I encouraging them to create a vision of what beauty, caring, and positive interaction can be in their organizations?
What does it take, especially in tough times, to stay beautiful in the eyes of your customers?