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ALPHX: Redefining Comfort, Empowering Minds

ALPHX: Redefining Comfort, Empowering Minds – Where Mental Well-being Meets Confidence in Every Man

by Jesse Brisendine for ALPHX

"Those who want to succeed will find a way, those who don't will find an excuse!"

Being comfortable in our own skin applies to our mental and physical health. So we’ve partnered with guest bloggers to provide tips and strategies for achieving mental well being.  

Chris works in a small retail store. Up until recently he had considered his work to be meaningless. He worked there because “he had to.” After all there are “bills that need to be paid,” and “food that needs to be provided for the kids.”

It wasn’t the job he dreamed of nor was it a job he even liked much. He didn’t care for the hours and was constantly bothered by all the “rude” customers he had to interact with daily.

One day a customer walked into his store. Right out of the gate he assessed him as being “cranky & rude.” The tone in his questions was abrasive. He refused to make eye contact. Never once did he say thank you.

He moved through the store with timid purpose and finally found what he was looking for – a small plastic angel. It was all white and leaning on a heart.

He hurriedly paid and upon leaving, Chris turned to his co-worker ready to vent and tell him all about what a jerk that customer was.

No sooner had he opened his mouth when the “jerk” came back in. This time he appeared more bothered than before. This time he needed a permanent marker. Chris showed him where they were.

He immediately tore off the packaging and gave him the garbage, “as if it was my job to collect & dispose of his personal trash.”

Chris was about to give him a piece of his mind and let him know how rude he was and how his crappy attitude was ruining his day. He opened his mouth to speak, then stopped himself.

He remembered a training course he had recently attended where an emphasis had been placed on performing acts of kindness for others.  He thought to himself “the bigger the jerk the more love they need.”

With this thought he did something completely unplanned and different than he had ever done before, he paid for the rude man’s marker.

When he came up to the front, he looked him in the eye and said, “I think that whatever you need this marker for, is for something very special. I have taken care of the charge for you.”

The man was speechless. His hardened demeanor softened, Tears began to escape out of the corners of his eyes.

It wasn’t about the money. It was about gesture.

He said, “I just buried my sister. She needs something to…”

His voice cracked. He took a deep breath.

He held the angel up. “She deserves this.”

He slid the cap off the pen and carefully wrote his sister’s name in the center of the heart. He went on to explain that “it had to be permanent ink because it was going to be outside.”

After the man left, Chris thought to himself that “there may not have been enough money for a headstone and the angel was going to be used to mark where his sister had been laid to rest.”

This story is a true story. Chris (that’s not his real name) is a former client of mine. The magic of this exchange didn’t stop here. It changed Chris too.

After his encounter with this man, he completely changed his perspective about work. He no longer chose to view himself as a store clerk, instead he embraced his new self-appointed role as the “head of humanity.” His purpose was to see past his immediate judgements and find humanity in everyone who came in. His mission was to get every customer to leave with a smile on their face.

When you talk to Chris about his job now, he will tell you how much he “loves it!” What is especially meaningful to him are all the customers he gets to interact with daily. He enjoys speaking with them, hearing about their lives, and putting a smile on their faces.

What changed for Chris?

The job didn’t change, or did it?

Chris is still doing the same repetitious functions that most jobs require. 

He is still working with the same coworkers and selling the same products to the same customers.

His commute is still the same as are the hours he works.

Yet something had changed because Chris had changed. The job he used to have to drag himself out of bed every morning to get ready for, is now the job that he wakes up, excitedly, before his alarm and rushes out of the door in anticipation of the day ahead.

In short Chris found new meaning in his work. He allowed the experience with the customer & the angel to transform how he looked at himself and the work he does. He decided on a purpose (to put a smile on every customer’s face) which in turn allowed him to embrace the “same” job/work as something completely different altogether.

Chris stumbled into a purpose with a little help from a customer.

Purpose, a deeper meaning, a greater level of fulfillment in the work we do is available to all of us. To experience it doesn’t require a customer interaction like Chris had (although those can certainly help).

Here are two ways you can begin to make work more meaningful today:

1 – Form strong friendships. We show up and will go above and beyond for those we care about.  We look forward to spending time with people we feel connected to. Leaders at work can help facilitate the formation of friendships. Consider hosting an office cornhole tournament with teammates chosen at random. Assign mentors to all new hires. Create a company social board where people who share interests outside of work can easily connect.

2 – Connect the staff with the customers they serve… allow them to see the bigger impact of the work they do. Let’s look at a receptionist at a car dealership as an example. They field phone calls, schedule appointments, file paperwork, coordinate between customers and the respective departments. Those are the “what’s” of their job – the “what they do.” Do they ever get to see the ripple of impact those what’s have in the lives of their customers?  Leaders can help them bridge this gap. Highlight families who take their children safely to school every day because of the services they help facilitate. Showcase the car that protected the family in a crash – the same car they helped the customer acquire. Allow them to see that their role is much more than that of a receptionist – that they are the linchpin to customer safety and well-being.

The more meaningful we can make our “9 to 5’s” the more we will enjoy our 24/7’s.



Grief is Not a Life Sentence | Jesse Brisendine | TEDxCSULB

Jesse Brisendine


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