zen habits : breathe

How My Mom Makes Everyone Around Her Better

By Leo Babauta

My mom just left our house after visiting for a week, and once again, our lives were changed.

She visits us about twice a year, and every time she does, she leaves us with a new hobby, a new passion, a better version of ourselves.

My mom (Shannon Murphy) makes everyone around her better, and yet most people whose lives she changes don’t even realize it.

So what’s her secret? I honestly wish I knew her special recipe, but I’m going to do my best to share what I know with all of you. It’s amazing, honestly.

Some examples of ways she’s made people around her better:

I could go on and on with examples, but I’d like to distill the magic of my mom into a handful of ideas that I draw inspiration from:

  1. She inspires others to become interested in what she’s interested in, because of her excitement. Things just sound interesting, when she’s really interested.
  2. She is genuinely interested in what you have to say, and you feel like a good person, an interesting person, when she listens.
  3. She encourages you to grow, to do something beyond your normal, without making you feel like you’re not already great. She’s encouraging without making you feel bad about yourself.
  4. She’s accepting of who you are, not critical. She’s kind. You don’t hear her badmouthing people, only feeling compassionate for their difficulties.
  5. She’s always looking to help people, without concern about herself. That’s not to say she doesn’t look out for herself — she does — but it seems like she wants to help without needing to be repaid, nor given credit.

I’m not saying my mom is perfect. No one is, no one is a saint. But these are traits in her that I admire, and constantly strive to imitate. I don’t know if I’ll ever reach those heights, but I’m grateful for her example. Thank you, mom.



Join two million breath-taking readers: rss | email | twitter