Archive | April 2012

Week 18: Call a friend.

In an effort to foster our close relationships, it is important to act.

There is the saying: “it’s the thought that counts,” but that only can go so far. If you only keep thinking about talking to your friends or family, but don’t actually do it, you haven’t really achieved anything. So, this week, pickup the phone! Call your best friend that lives in Chicago or New York. Call your mom that lives in Ohio. Call your grandparents that live in Florida. Call your Aunt and Uncle that live in Germany. Even if you are not a big phone person, it’s the thought that you would take the time out of your day to call and talk to them, that really counts.

Make the effort. Catch up. Listen. Let them know you care.

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Evening of Reflections

The other night I had an evening of reflection from what I watched on TV.

First up was the movie Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. First of all, great movie. Just know that if you are a cryer, you will diffidently shed some tears. The movie is about a boy’s struggle to understand the world again without his fathers guidance. His father, played by Tom Hanks, died in the World Trade Center on 9/11 and the boy searched through the world to find the message his father left behind with a key he found in his fathers closet. Basically, I cried a lot. It brought back so many memories and pain. The movie did such an amazing job portraying the feelings of that day through one family and their healing process. After this movie ended, I thought I should watch a happier show to boost my mood before bed.

Next I watched an episode of Say Yes to the Dress. No I’m not getting married any time soon, I just really like to see the happiness,  joy and hope on each bride-to-be’s face. However, the bride that was looking for her dress in this episode had just gotten out of the hospital from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Her accident happened when she was walking across the street with some friends and was shot in the back. Just a random shooting and now she is paralysed from the waist down. She is only 22. One could say how lucky she is to still be alive, which is very true, but she will never be able to walk again. In that split second her whole life changed. At one point in her interview, she talked about how people get up hundreds of times a day and don’t think anything of it. Just stand up and walk away and that is something she will never be able to do again. Our health is often something we take for granted. You never really know what you have until it is gone.

Needless to say, it was an evening of crying. So much sadness and pain and loss. Yet, there is always a lesson in everything we do. What I really took away from that evening was a reminder of how unpredictable life is. How uncertain each of our days are and how quickly everything can change. These are all good reminders to appreciate what we have today and if you want to do something, don’t wait until tomorrow to do it. Do it now because you never know what tomorrow will be. Also, to live every day to its fullest because each day is a gift.

All of this relates to this weeks 52 Weeks of Good campaign theme: to tell the people you love, that you do indeed love them. Earlier I said it was because we often forget, but another reason is because we never know what tomorrow will bring and a day shouldn’t go by that the people we love don’t know how much we love them.

Week 17: Tell someone you love them.

In the next four weeks, we are going to focus on our friends and family. The people around us that give us the support we need. The people we choose to build our lives around.

“If you love someone tell them because hearts are often broken by words left unspoken.” – Pamela Daranjo

We often think it goes without saying how we feel about the people we include in our lives, but you may be surprised how easy it is for someone to forget or second guess. So, this week I challenge you to tell the people you love, that you do indeed love them. That you appreciate them and that you are happy to have them in your life. Your friends and family are those you have the closest relationship with, so remind them that they are important to you. If nothing else, it will make them feel happy.

Go on. Share the love.

Take the Pledge!

The 52 Weeks of Good pledge, that is.

Image source: http://www.mnovakbrands.com/2012/01/52-weeks/

Now that we are a few months into the 52 Weeks of Good campaign, I want to challenge you to take the pledge! Pledge: “I will make a concious effort to make a positive difference in my community with the little things I do, every week.” You have the power to make a difference. So do it! Join and start making a difference!

I’ll be here to help every week with new tips, stories and ideas as we take this campaign head on. As you take your journey, please let me know how it is going! Have a new idea? Have a story you’d like to share? Please send me an email: Kelly@BrownPaperTickets.com with the subject line: “52 Weeks of Good” or leave a comment below. The more we share, the more good we do.

Looking forward to hearing from you and congratulations to you for taking the pledge!

YOU are making a difference.

Week 16: Attitudes

This week we will examine the attitude of empathy.

How you are, (your attitude, your emotions, your energy) are constantly affecting others. I know we tend to put our heads down and only worry about what is going on in our own bubbles, but whether we like it or not, our bubbles are constantly bumping into and changing other peoples bubbles (paints a good picture, eh?). When you are grumpy or rude, not only will you be less likely to get what you want, but you will also be giving your negative attitude to the people around you, potentially making their day worse.

It seems like a lot of pressure to always be on our best behaviour in an effort to make sure others are happy, but it is be worth it. Not only will you positively affect those who are lucky enough to cross your path, but you will also be happier yourself everyday.

Here are a few ways to make sure you are exuding you best attitude, happy emotions and positive energy:

  • Smile! Something so simple, but if you are feeling down and smile 5 big smiles, soon you will start to feel better. Also, smiles are contagious, so spread your rays of sunshine!
  • Practice patience. If you start to become angry or frustrated (e.g.: trying to work with someone on the phone or at a help desk), give yourself a second, take a deep breath, and come at the situation with a more positive approach. You may be surprised as you might be able to get what you want! Also, realize that who you are working with is not the cause of your problem. They are people, too, and are just trying to do their jobs. So give them the benefit of the doubt!
  • Pass out compliments like candy at a parade. Doing something for someone else and knowing you made someone else feel great will do wonders to how you feel.
  • Look at the bright side. Not everything will go the way you want it to, but the best you can do is find the best in everything.
  • Think positively. And positive things will come.

Now, no one is perfect and everyone is entitled to a bad day every now and again. Just make sure your bad day doesn’t make someone else have a bad day, too. You have the power to turn any day around!

Week 15: Another reason to not swear.

Week 15 is about about the awareness of empathy. Be aware of your littlest actions as they will have an effect on someone else.

There are two things I don’t understand about swear words. The first: how swear words are actually created. When you breakdown the words, they are just a random collection of letters that have become a symbol, a stand in for a bad meaning. The second: why we even deem a word to have so much of a negative meaning.

This is something my step mom had me start thinking about. When you swear at something, you are essentially giving what you are swearing at negative energy. And yes, I understand this might sound more on the crazy side of life, but swearing at someone can’t be good. It can’t do good things for that person or thing. So, I just say, don’t do it. When you are driving and someone cuts you off, don’t call them an a**hole. Or say f*** you to them. Just let it go. You may be in a bad mood and you may not like that they aren’t paying attention while driving, but don’t make their day worse by giving them bad energy. Instead, take a breath, think something positive for that person and move on.

Now, you will be helping someone else as well as yourself have a more positive day.

Week 14: Make someone’s day

In week 14 of the 52 Weeks of Good campaign, we will be looking at the feelings aspect of empathy. And more specifically: compliments. I will do my best to tone down the kum-ba yah of this post, but if you’re singing and holding hands by the end of this, I’ll be happy. You’ve been warned.

There are a few old sayings: “Treat others as you’d like to be treated,” “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you,” “What you do to others will be done to you.” Etc. Etc. However many times you’ve heard these sayings, they are still as true as the first day you heard them. Take a moment and think about what they mean.

Respect one another.

If you find yourself swearing at someone, think if you would like it if that person swore at you. If you are about to be violent with someone, take a moment and step into their shoes to see if you’d really want to be hit. If you answered “no I wouldn’t” to any of these, chances are they aren’t going to like what you’re about to do to them, either. If you are having a bad day and don’t think your attitude affects anyone else, guess again! Your mood and how you treat someone else greatly affects the people around you. Every day you have the power to change someone’s day and effect their life. It is a large responsibility, but here is a simple way you can make your impact.

Give someone a compliment every day.

Think about how good you feel when someone walks by you on the street and says how much they love your coat, or a co-worker says you look great today or how much you rock, or when your significant other reminds you how radiant they think you are. Compliments are powerful. They are capable of changing someone’s whole day around. You are capable of changing someone’s day around.

Now go do it.