I don’t think you or I would disagree that this world would be a much better place if people would just treat each other more kindly and truly appreciate one another.
However, you and I both know that such an idea can start with us. In fact, it has been proven that people who are kind to others and maintain an attitude of gratitude are happier in life. Not to mention, they can be a beacon of light in this world to those who otherwise might not experience kindness or compassion from a stranger.
Wouldn’t you love to have an impact on someone? I know I would!
I would also love to be happier overall, which we can all do when we practice these two awesome tips:
Tip #1: Be grateful for others!
This may sound like the popular mantra out there right now that says to be grateful, but I want to take it one step further and propose that we be grateful for the people in our lives.
It is so easy to write off the various people in our lives as just things without any depth to them, but each of them is a person too. All of them have hopes, feelings, fears, aspirations, loved ones, and responsibilities. Each of them plays a part in our lives, even if it’s minor. Most of them are going through things, just like you are. Each of them has dreams and hopes, fears and failures, just like you and me.
What better way to recognize their humanity than to appreciate them? Whether they’re someone you just pass in halls at work or the grumpy barista who always makes your drink order the wrong way, they’re a person and they probably need your gratitude.
This brings us perfectly to the next tip:
Tip #2: Be loving towards others!
Life is better when you assume the best of people, and when you treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion. Even if someone doesn’t play a large role in your life, or they even play a negative one, you have the power to have an impact on them for the better.
For example, maybe the grumpy barista is going through a really hard time in his life and your kindness will mean the world to him. Maybe that person you keep seeing in the hallway at work thinks you’re super cool, and you saying hello to her will make her feel like a million bucks.
You never know what someone is thinking or feeling on the inside, especially if you’re not close to them, so a loving attitude is always the best policy—especially for the difficult people in our life.
Being appreciative and loving of others is SUCH a powerful way to be happy and impact this world for the better. Not only does it build up the people around you, but it improves your character as well.
Action items for being grateful:
Throughout the next week, work on telling one person each day why you’re grateful for them. Don’t just give them a lame compliment, but really give them a specific reason why you appreciate them. Most people are starved of this kind of thing, so your kind words will really go a long way with them.
If you’re thinking this sounds creepy, it doesn’t have to be. You can give someone a specific and meaningful compliment without coming across the wrong way. For example, if you’re a woman, you can tell a male coworker that you appreciate how he’s always on time for meetings and seems to respect everyone’s time. You could also tell a best friend that they’re a great listener and you appreciate all the times they’ve lent their ear and let you vent your frustrations. The possibilities are endless!
Action items for being loving:
This is a concept that’s also easy to put into action and doesn’t have to be creepy or require a close connection with the person. For example, if you’re at the store and see someone struggling to carry something, kindly ask if they’d like help. If you notice a coworker acting differently than normal, ask them if everything is ok.
Of course, with people you are closer to you can take it farther; for example if you and your spouse haven’t had much quality time together, take the initiative to do something nice for them. (The key here is to do what they need, not what you need. In a past blog, I walk you through a powerful exercise that might help you come up with some ideas: Understanding Your Spouse: Why it’s Critical to Your Dreams)
Join the convo! ;-)
If you have any cool examples of where you’ve done this in the past or have ideas of what you can do tomorrow, please share below!