“Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference.” – Kevin Heath
Studies are proving what happy people have known all along: kindness is directly related to life satisfaction. Kindness benefits both the giver and the receiver and those who are treated with kindness are more likely to pass this kindness along to others.
The definition of kindness in our contemporary culture is the act of going out of your way to be nice to someone or show a person you care. We have all heard the stories of someone being robbed or assaulted while passersby ignore the situation and go out of their way to avoid becoming involved. This lack of connection to one another is harmful to us as it creates a sense of isolation. When we bond together to help one another our ability to overcome and problem-solve increases.
Kindness is truly contagious. It is also a connector. It is like a muscle that needs to be flexed; just because we are born with the capacity for kindness doesn’t mean we use it effectively. I like to buy coffee for the person behind me in line and my barista tells me that when I start this quite often it continues to be paid forward for 5-10 coffees down the line. There is even a website entirely built around documenting random acts of kindness. When you give something for the benefit of another it’s called pro-social spending and research shows that this type of altruism is equally as beneficial to both parties! Here are some great actions you can take to cultivate a kindness epidemic in your community.Advertising
1. Smile at strangers. You brighten their day.
2. Bring in your neighbor’s trash cans. You connect with your community.
3. Donate used clothing. You don’t need then but perhaps somebody else does.Advertising
4. Compliment a co-worker or peer. Expressing what someone does well makes them more likely to repeat the action.
5. Use recyclable shopping bags. It’s good for the earth and where else are we going to live?
6. Be an organ donor! Save a life.
7. Clear the clutter at home. Hoarding makes you stressed!
8. Buy coffee for a stranger. It warms your heart and reminds you that you have something to give.Advertising
9. Volunteer your time. If you don’t have time, give money!
10. Listen with an open mind and active curiosity when your others speak.
11. Take a treat to your child’s teacher. You’ll them you value they contribution to your child’s future.Advertising
12. Drop flowers from your garden to a friend.
13. Hug someone. Six second hugs improve your health.
14. Bake a double batch of your best recipe and share it with your busiest friend.
15. Carpool. Share the drive, the gas, and the connection.
16. Pick up litter. Even if you didn’t put it there it’s still your planet.
17. Give old towels to an animal shelter. Or better still adopt a pup.
18. Pass on your old books. Your dust gathering library is someone else’s education.
19. Offer water to your postal worker, lawn service or meter reader. It’s hot. It’s cold. And it’s just the polite thing to do!
20. Express gratitude as often as possible!
21. Learn about another culture’s traditions. When we focus on understanding we remove obstacles to inclusion.
22. Stop gossiping and whining. If it’s not useful, necessary or important; keep it to yourself.
23. Invite your neighbors over.
24. Share uplifting blogs. (Like this one)
25. Cheer for your elementary school sports team. Enthusiasm is contagious.
26. Buy local.
27. Host a holiday toy drive or adopt a family.
28. Adopt a grandparent.
29. Help carry groceries to someone’s car.
30. Treat yourself as kindly as you want to treat others! You are worth it!
“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” – Margaret Mead
Last Updated on August 16, 2018
10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks
The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.
In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.
Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:
1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone
What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?
Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.
2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome
Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.
How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.
Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?
Or, are you afraid of being ignored?
3. Get comfortable with discomfort
One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.
Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.
4. See failure as a teacher
Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.
Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?
Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:
5. Take baby steps
Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.
Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.
Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:
6. Hang out with risk takers
There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).
Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.
7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses
Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”
Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.
8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you
What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.
9. Don’t take yourself too seriously
Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.
If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.
10. Focus on the fun
Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.
Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com