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What Makes a Person Memorable?

Bill Murray is making a name for himself. I know he’s famous and all, but lots of actors have been in dozens of movies, achieved one-time fame and fade away. Bill Murray stays. And other than the obvious that he’s a great actor, here’s his secret:


By memorably kind, I mean he does more than open doors or lend you his umbrella. He’s quite creative about his kindness, actually.

Here’s one of my favorite stories about Bill Murray - Apparently he was alone in an elevator at a hotel when a guy got on and recognized him. The man stood uncomfortably quiet as the elevator descended to the lobby. Finally, the man looked over at Murray and said he was a fan and it was a pleasure to meet him. Bill just nodded and smiled and then continued to look forward. The fan looked rather apologetic and when the doors opened the fan walked sheepishly out of the elevator. Murray followed him to the entrance and walked right as his fan walked left. Then, suddenly, Bill Murray turned, ran toward the man and tackled him into a shrub. He sat up, pointed his finger at the man and said Your friends will never believe this happened! and then he ran off in that characteristic awkward-legged run Murray is known for.

There are more stories. Lots of them. Once when asked for an autograph, Murray refused. But he did spend the better part of the rest of the day with the young fan shooting a scene on the guys I-phone that he could show his friends and post on Facebook.

And there’s more. He tweeted he was in a certain city and if anybody was throwing a party he wanted to come. He then made appearances at several parties that night. 

And for one young director named Wes Anderson, Murray agreed to star in his film for 9K, and even paid for a helicopter shot the director couldn’t afford. Murray literally wrote Anderson a check for 25k to cover the cost.

Why is Murray so cherished as an actor and a man? In my opinion, it’s because he’s creatively kind. 

Of course, you and I are not famous. Nobody wants us to shoot a scene with them on their iPhone. But here are 3 ways common folks like you and me can be creatively kind:

Choose a Target
About once a week, choose somebody you want to be creatively kind to. Who’s been on your mind lately? Choose a target for your kindness.

Take Some Time
Your first idea will likely not be your best. So sit for a few more minutes and come up with a better idea. Should you send them a pizza? Should you mow their lawn? Can you borrow their car for a day and have it waxed?

Follow Through
You likely won’t feel like following through, but treat this like a chore. It will feel great when you’re done, but kindness isn’t kindness if it stays in your mind. Follow through.

Being MEMORABLY KIND isn’t about getting more people to like us. That will backfire, eventually because people won’t respect us if we’re needy or expect something in return. What being MEMORABLY KIND is about is showing the world there’s goodness in it, there’s kindness and grace. I’ve a friend who says we are supposed to go around putting little feathers of kindness on the internal scale people use to measure good vs evil. I like that idea. I like that we can contribute a little bit to the idea there’s hope in the world, and that we can have a blast doing it.

Perhaps this week we can practice being MEMORABLY KIND.


Copyright © 2015 Donald Miller Words, LLC, All rights reserved.

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