Recently in my group coaching program, The Year of Living Adventurously, my participants decided to declare our “Community and Impact” month a month for random acts of kindness. They decided that instead of focusing on their own personal goals for making a difference within the community, they would each focus on acts of kindness. Then we would get together to compare notes.
So what is the purpose of committing to acts of kindness? First, you will learn a lot about yourself. You’ll see just how difficult it is to step outside your comfort zone to meet the real needs of others. Second, you’ll realize that awareness is key to kindness. Thus, you’ll have to slow down, rather than allow your life to whiz by, without a thought to how you can impact others. You’ll also discover that generosity takes practice. As marred humans, we tend to be self-absorbed. Through these acts, your personal growth and development will flourish.
One of my participants said that this month changed her life. For example, she brought gourmet coffees to her co-workers on several occasions (they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her). She wrote little love notes to her husband (he thought he was being harassed by some other woman!). These random acts of kindness helped her get outside herself and made a difference in the lives of those she touched. She, too, was blessed in return.
Do you want to know what kind of impact you make on others? Or can make on others?
Take on the challenge yourself.
If you’re ready to take on the challenge, here are some ideas. Again, the point, however, is that the acts are random. While some acts of kindness can and should be planned, you’ll also want to become aware to the world around you. When you do, you’ll see that there are endless opportunities to help your fellow human beings.
Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness:
- Pick flowers from your yard and bring them to a neighbor.
- When at a restaurant, pick up the tab of another patron.
- You have to make dinner anyway, so why not make an extra serving or two and drop it off at an elderly neighbor’s house.
- Empty your co-worker’s trash.
- Clean the microwave at work!
- Compliment a complete stranger.
- Take a homeless person out to lunch.
- In the grocery checkout lane, let the person behind you go first.
- Buy chocolates for your grumpy boss.
- Wash the outside of your neighbor’s windows.
- Write a card for a friend you haven’t connected with in a while.
- Make a list of ten reasons why you love your spouse/child/mother…Give it to them.
- Listen deeply to the one who loves to ramble on.
- Acknowledge the efforts of someone who works hard.
- Write a thank you note to someone who has made a difference in your life.
- Offer to mentor someone.
- Have a real conversation with a homeless person.
- Pick up trash in the parking lot.
- Leave a note with an inspiration quote on car windshields.
- Humble yourself and pray with someone about their challenges.
I suspect that if you commit to doing one act of kindness daily for a month, you will develop a new habit, which means you won’t have to try so hard. You’ll not only make an impact on the lives of others, but your life, too, will be forever changed.
Share your stories! What acts of kindness have you done? What was the impact? What things do you plan to do? Put your comments in the box below.