Last week I was traveling to a conference and was forced to valet my car at the hotel that was hosting our event. As I surrendered my keys the gentleman sped off in my car and I went inside without thinking much of it. A few hours later, when it was time to leave, the same person parked the car in front of the large double doors entering the lobby. Reaching down into my pocket there was hardly a ball of lint to be found.

“I’m terribly sorry, but I do not have any money with me now.” I stated regretfully. The man looked a apathetic, “Tell you what, tomorrow I’m coming back again for the conference and I will make good on my word to tip you when I return.”

The valet attendant nodded his head but didn’t make solid eye contact with me as he shut the door behind me and ran off to the next car.

Next morning I arrived at the same location but a different attendant was at the entrance. Since I wrote down the name of the gentleman who had served me yesterday, I asked for his whereabouts.

Spotting him I headed in his direction with my hand extended toward him, “Thank you for your understanding. It’s a day late.”

He took the money and instantly lit up, “No one ever comes back. Dozens of people make that promise and never follow through. Thank you.”

The entire mood change of the man indicated to me how much the little things in life are often forgotten. When you are able to make a positive change in someone else’s life simply by holding to your word, it’s clear we as a civilization have a long way to go before reaching “enlightenment”.

Today’s challenge is to step outside of the normal boundaries of habit and try to make a small impact in a strangers life. It will pay forward exponentially.