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39 Small Things You Can Do Every Day To Make A Better World

39 Small Things You Can Do Every Day To Make A Better World

We would all like to live in a kinder, greener, less stress-filled world, right? A world where our kids can thrive and be happy. But the world in general is bogged down by real struggles against poverty, disease, crime, violence, environmental degradation, ignorance and so on, which constitutes much pain.

Anyone can complain, point fingers and shift blame for the problems that plague our world today, but it takes a difference maker to initiate a positive change in the world. It takes a better man or woman to acknowledge the issues in our world and take small steps toward making a positive difference.

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Small actions done with care and a pure heart every day have tremendous value and can influence the world around you, as well as the world at large. While the contents of this list might not be new, they bear repeating. Sometimes it takes a few reminders for things to sink in.

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Here are 39 little things you can do every day to make it a better world.

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  1. Say hello to people you meet on the streets. 80% of the people you meet are generally good, decent people

  2. Laugh and give others the benefit of a doubt. You might be wrong, but so what? Laughter is contagious

  3. Give free hugs. Apart from reducing stress and tension, it’s a gift that is immediately reciprocated and will make people feel great, even long after

  4. Smile at the cashier, waiter, barista, parking ramp attendant etc., and ask them how they are doing. Everyone wants to feel love, connection and affection

  5. Really listen to what people have to say (intently) without interrupting or waiting impatiently for your turn to speak

  6. Find some aspect to appreciate in the people you meet and pass along compliments

  7. Offer directions to people who seem lost

  8. Support someone who’s striving for a goal with your money, advice, presence or other form of support

  9. Babysit for free

  10. Provide a foster home for an animal in need

  11. Feed domestic animals and birds (if you have any) and give them enough water to drink

  12. Water your plants, lawn and or garden early in the morning before any moisture is lost to evaporation

  13. Leave treats out for pets, wildlife and other furry friends to enjoy, such as nuts for the squirrels, a salt lick for the deer or simply fill up the bird feeder

  14. Be patient, kind and respectful to people who are older than you

  15. Respect people’s property and don’t take it without permission, trespass or damage maliciously. Instead protect and keep it safe

  16. Hold doors for people carrying heavy things, pushing strollers or just immediately behind you

  17. Offer to return grocery carts for those who are leaving when you are going toward the store entrance

  18. Refer your friends, family, relatives and or acquaintances to qualified service providers

  19. Help a neighbor with a task, such as taking trash to the curb, raking extra leaves or running an errand

  20. Share a special meal with those you care about

  21. Create necessity packs and give them to those unsure of where their next meal or shelter is going to come from

  22. Drive responsibly, making sure to obey stop lights, traffic rules and keep a safe distance between you and the car ahead

  23. Give preference to pedestrians, motorists or other road users at intersections. The person behind you might not approve, but kindness starts with you

  24. Offer your seat to someone who needs it

  25. Read to the kids, the elderly and or the shut-ins

  26. Donate what you don’t need in your house to shelters, the Salvation Army, or other institutions serving those in need

  27. Let someone off the hook for a mistake or misdeed and see how it makes both of you feel

  28. Save your recyclable trash till you find someplace to recycle them

  29. Turn off your computer instead of leaving it in sleep mode. You can save 40 watt-hours per day

  30. Turn off the lights and faucet when not in use

  31. Turn on the oven only when you put the dish in to save energy. Don’t pre-heat the oven unless you are making bread or pastries of some sort

  32. Use one less napkin a day. More than a billion pounds of napkins could be saved from landfills each year

  33. Use both sides of paper, and set your printer’s default option to print double-sided (duplex printing). You’ll be saving many trees

  34. Recycle your daily newspaper. Recycling just the Sunday papers would save more than half a million trees every week

  35. Ban bath time! Take showers instead. Baths require almost twice as much water and inflate energy costs for heating the water

  36. Brush without running the water. You’ll conserve up to five gallons per day if you stop running

  37. Shower with your partner. Not only will you have made a wise choice for the environment, but you may notice some other pleasant… benefits

  38. Take a shorter shower. Every two minutes you save on your shower can conserve more than ten gallons of water

  39. Make art—paint, sculpt, sketch, write, compose music, create dance moves—whatever it is. Do it and finish it. It will add color to the world

Remember every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play to make this world a better place.

Featured photo credit: World In Your Hands via stokpic.com

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More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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