Not too long ago, I went to New Jersey and decided to call for a Lyft when I was ready to come back to the city. If you’re unfamiliar, Lyft is like Uber, just a different company.
Anyway, during the ride, the driver was nice enough to ask about my trip. We started talking and I shared with him how I help change people’s lives. I even hit him with my tagline: I help people achieve success by overcoming their obstacles through self-awareness. His response?
“Oh my God!” he said excitedly. “I love Tony Robbins. In fact, my wife and I are attending one of his workshops next month!”
I have to admit, this guy caught me a little off guard because, in my mind, he was just a Lyft driver. Nothing more. Nothing less. I never even gave a second thought to the possibility that we could be interested in the same types of things.
In speaking with him further, I learned that this driver chose to work on Sunday mornings simply because he likes it. He was a fireman for about 25 years and now he has a good pension and doesn’t really need the money. He simply enjoys the interaction he has with the people he helps get safely from one place to another.
Of course, we’ve all heard the saying that we should never judge a book by its cover. In this case, it was absolutely true because this guy’s “cover” was very deceiving. He was so much more than what I could see on the surface. He was not only a helpful driver, he was also a loving husband who wanted to do what he could to be the best man he could be.
Every interaction we have with those around us is an opportunity to take our presumptions, stereotypes, and biases and throw them out the window. Each one gives us the chance to learn more about others as individuals, to discover what makes them tick, what motivates them.
Looking back, I’m glad that I met that particular Lyft driver because he reminded me that, more often than not, people are so much more than how we first sum them up. Too often we make assumptions and snap judgments that are simply wrong, and that more importantly rob us of the opportunity to really get to know someone.
Every single person is a unique individual who makes their decisions and takes their actions based on a combination of their education and experiences. No two people are the same.
When you feel tempted to assume you have someone figured out based on one small part of their lives, resist the urge and remind yourself that you are more than one small part of yours. You don’t want someone to make a snappy judgment about you based on that one tiny thing, and they deserve that same respect too.