The 2 hour story

I was texting with a friend who is working on an immigration related project.

He was sharing how overwhelmed he’s been by the support he’s received from folks he barely knew. He noted that it reminded him how life-changing it is to respond to people who reach out asking for help.

That, then, reminded me of a story I’d written about six years back.

A friend at Linkedin shared a story yesterday that Deep Nishar, soon-to-be former SVP of Products and User Experience, shared at his farewell.

Deep came from humble beginnings in India. When Deep was in secondary school, he learnt that a graduate from the school had been admitted at the Indian Institute of Technology. He understood it was rare and prestigious but didn’t know much beyond that. So, he asked this student if he could spend time telling him more about this. The student obliged and spent 2 hours with Deep explaining what the institutes were and how he might prepare to make it in. Deep took his advice seriously and secured admission when he graduated.

He went on to explain that that changed his life. It put him on a trajectory that saw him go to the University of Illinois Urbana Champagne, to Harvard Business School, lead Google’s efforts in the Asia Pacific and then play a key role in Linkedin’s growth over the past few years. All it took was 2 hours from a person who probably knew he would get nothing in return.

Deep’s advice to the Linkedin community was – if someone asks for a small amount of your time that could end up making a big difference to them, just do it. Don’t over think it. It might not mean much to you but it could mean a lot to the other person. And, who knows, it might even change the trajectory of their lives.

I loved this story. While we do occasionally get the opportunity to do big things, we get lots of opportunities to do the little things. We always have the choice to do the little things meaningfully.

It is stories like this that remind us how special this life is and how lucky we are to be here. Here’s to the little things… and here’s to giving small bits of our time to those who might benefit from it…

A heartwarming story I was happy to be reminded about.

Wishing you all a nice and restful weekend.