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Take 5

Tell 5 people you appreciate them.

Think of 5 things you love about yourself.

Set aside 5 minutes to write.

List 5 goals you want to achieve by week’s end.

Check-in with 5 people who appear strong.

Remember 5 obstacles you’ve overcome.

Thank 5 service workers.

Choose 5 songs you can play the next time you feel anxious.

Invite 5 people to a Zoom call.

Bookmark 5 websites that inspire you.

Tape 5 quotes next to your workstation.

Make 5 calls to people who might be struggling.

Take 5 deep breaths.

We are quick to write people off.

And why shouldn’t we?

Time is precious, our attention span is short, and we’re used to getting the information we need quickly. We skim recipes, comb through headlines, and bullet point information streams for what’s relevant. Menus, lists, choices, options, instructions, waivers, forms, classes, listings, fees—

It seems only natural we do the same with people.

We look to titles, degrees, labels, honors, boastings, pedigrees, and recommendations to help us learn if what we need is there. We scan resumes (lists! recipes!) to determine if a certain individual can offer us solutions to our problems.

But the things that really matter, the threads that unite us and draw us together, aren’t so easily accessed. What is truly valuable to us is often beneath the surface.

Warning label: digging and scratching and prodding and questioning required.