Do any of us really make a difference?

It’s a question that worries me from time to time… whether any of us really make a difference to the lives of others and whether it matters in any case.

I must admit, these worries usually come to me after a glass or two of brown liquid that comes in pints and after a particularly busy period and when I’m tired… all three criteria were met on Saturday night.

This time I was with a friend who is also in the training business and, it has to be said, has been at it (training that is) much longer than I have. I mentioned my concerns to him and after ordering another drink he shared some of his thoughts on the matter.

It just so happened that a week earlier he had received a letter from a delegate who had been on a course of his many years before. Essentially the letter thanked him for the experience that had been invaluable in his business life. But, he went on, the skills he learned on the sales course he attended, things like how to ask the right questions, give and take, listen more than you talk, negotiate all stood him in good stead for his life.

The letter came to my friend as a thank you as this guy (who lives and works in Sweden) had had a major life change and used the skills he learned more than ten years before to get through that change.

‘So,’ said my friend, ‘Don’t ever think that training doesn’t make a difference. Even if you’re having a tough week, the stuff you do matters to people.’

Okay, that’s as maybe… and I did feel better after my pep talk… so much better that I ordered another round… but so what?

I was thinking about EB the next morning (with a miraculously clear head, it has to be said) and I think we should all apply this thinking to what we do, whatever it is. EB and all its constituent parts, is important. Whether it’s what you do or supply, or the contribution made to the economy or even the social contribution, it’s important stuff.

I think, sometimes we can lose sight of that fact and we shouldn’t. We should remind ourselves regularly and often of what we do for the rest of the world.

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