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Penny Power Ponders who is packing your parachute

Last week, I pondered how important it is to deeply value clients, a nudge that so many of you responded to and shared that life can just get in the way of reflecting on gratitude for people in our lives.

Following the feedback and conversations that I had as a result, it brought to mind the story of ‘Who Packs your Parachute’, that I first heard 15 plus years ago and have been inspired by ever since.

You can Google this story, to give you context, I have copied words from a Forbes Article:

Charles Plumb was a U.S. Navy jet pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent six years in a communist Vietnamese prison. He survived the ordeal and now speaks on the lessons learned from that experience.

One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. “You were shot down!” 

“How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb.

“I packed your parachute,” the man replied.

Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!”

Plumb assured him, “It sure did. If your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”

It is pretty obvious why I love this story, and while we think about our clients and can see the tangible evidence of their trust in us, this week, I pondered all those that pack my parachute each day, week, month and year. People that we are in danger of taking for granted, but without them, our self worth would be less, our income maybe less, our belief in what we are doing might be less and the motivation to repeat important actions in our life might be less.

So who are these people?

Here are some people you might consider..

  1. Someone who listened to you this week, enabled you to share what is worrying you

  2. Someone who has celebrated a win for you this week, proud of your success.

  3. Someone who always has your back, that you turn to, when life throws you a curveball.

  4. Someone who refers clients to you, believes in your expertise and generously take time to introduce a new opportunity to you

  5. That family member that brings you a cuppa without you asking when you have been working solidly at your desk- (thank you my man)

  6. That friend who walks your dog for you to enable you to manage a demanding day

  7. That supplier that went above and beyond to help you achieve your deadline, worked their socks off to make you look good

  8. That person that let you go in front of them in a supermarket queue as you had less than them to go through the till.

The joy of a connected life, being consciously aware of all the small moments of connection, is that we realise that we are never alone, that we have small acts of kindness around us all the time. We have people that make us who we are, success is never just about us doing it alone, people make us who we are, their kind acts give us that leap of faith in ourselves, that helps us to keep going through some of the toughest moments in our lives.

The time someone gave you back when they let you leap a supermarket queue, or walked your dog, or collected your child from school. The faith they showed when they boosted your self worth by writing a LinkedIn or Google endorsement about you. When they liked and commented on your LinkedIn post.

Every act is an act of love, we just need to recognise that energy that is flowing into us, even when we sit alone at home on our desks.

So this week, perhaps thank someone for ‘packing your parachute’ and remember that Captain Plumb would not have had a life without that parachute packer, so ponder, who has given you the life you have, you have not done it alone.

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