These next four weeks may just be my favorite four weeks of the whole year to write about. That’s because for the next four weeks we will be having a theme of RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS! There is nothing better than that feeling when you do something nice for someone who can’t repay you. It’s like being a secret happiness agent. This theme incorporates all of my hopes and dreams for this 52 Weeks of Good campaign. Looking at the little things we can do every day to make a difference and random acts of kindness are pieces we can easily incorporate into our lives everyday!
For week 25 we will explore the idea of starting a random acts of kindness chain effect, starting with you! This is where you can take public opportunities to do something nice for someone and hope that they start the trend.
Here are 5 great ideas to get you started!
- Buy coffee for the person in line behind you. If no one is there, give the barista $5 to pay for the person after you.
- Talk with a homeless person. So many people walk past them and don’t even give them the time of day. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, just a simple hi, a smile and how is your day going? If you have a snack, share it with them. You will make their day better and hopefully inspire those who pass by to do the same.
- Give a stranger a compliment. It is always so unexpected and makes them feel great. With their brightened mood they will be sure to pass on their new found happiness.
- Leave a note on someone’s car (looking like a ticket under their wind shield wiper), but write a really positive comment on the paper. Wish them a good day and encouraging them to pass it along to spread the joy.
- Leave $20 with the cashier (at a grocery store, or a second hand clothing or furniture store) and ask them to use it on whomever they think could use the extra help. This gives the store clerk a chance to be part of the good. You might not only be making the receiver of the money’s day, but could be helping them with their months worth of groceries or new clothes for their kids.
I will leave you with this little video on a different perspective of security cameras:
What are your ideas for starting the kindness chain effect?
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!
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.
The start of a new year means a lot of things. It’s a time to reflect on the year that has passed, time to tie up loose ends, and an end to another chapter in your life. It’s also a time to make a resolution, new goals and wishes, start fresh, and foresee the next years future.
As I look at 2012, I look for new ways to make a positive impact with the little things we do everyday. Starting January 1st, 2012, I will be starting the 52 Weeks of Good campaign. Every Monday I will post some way that we can all do a little something to have a positive impact, whether we see it or not. The posts will range everything from how to make our community a better place, to how to turn someone’s day around. Throughout the week I will also share inspiring stories, pictures, positive thoughts, and other ways you can make a difference. Read More…
In the spirit of giving this holiday season I challenge you to find a gift in which you don’t receive anything in return (except maybe a warm fuzzy feeling inside). Think of a way you can volunteer your time at a soup kitchen, wrap presents for homeless kids, donate your old towels to an animal shelter. It can be easy to give BIG to an organization with little effort from you.
This year one of my big gives was 10 inches of my hair. It may seem like a lot (an believe me, it took me years to build up the courage to do it), but really, it’s just hair and it grows back. Read More…