I was in front of a room of 1,300 college students. Very smart analytical types. The topic the organizers had chosen for this closing general session was Unleashing Authentic Relationships. Integrity, along with intentionally knowing and living your core values was at the heart of the content of the presentation. The closing I had planned, however, was never delivered.

The night before, a question grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

As I came up on what would have been the planned closing of my presentation, I knew I had to let it go and simply share this questionable idea. I took a long pause then a deep breath and said, “Now, I hope a few things I shared will stir your thinking and inspire your action to unleash authentic relationships. Yet, I would gladly trade all of that if you would regularly do just one thing … every night. When you lay your head on your pillow simply ask yourself one question:

How loving was I today?

I took another long pause in a room where you could have heard an unexpected pin drop. I then slowly continued, “We have corrupted what ‘love’ is. We have romanticized it, sexualized it and manipulated it in a lot of ways. I challenge you to rediscover it. If you want to unleash authentic relationships, authentic leadership and meaningful success … love is all you need. And the process to unleash that love starts and continues with a simple nightly question … how loving was I today?”

I somewhat trusted that this analytical audience would sense a bit of accountability in this otherwise very soft question!

Numerous students gathered ‘round following the presentation. They wanted to talk about one thing … the final question of an unplanned closing.

Beyond authenticity, I am certain, it’s the only question that ultimately nurtures greatness.

Please share your loving thoughts below!