How to make someone’s day awesome with less than $2

“Thx. You have made my day.”

I got this message from a friend today after sending her a 2 sentence text message.

I’m still trying to figure out what she meant: “You have made my day.”

Made my day…

a touch more enjoyable?

a little more tolerable?

1% better?

more hopeful?

more meaningful?

What happened in those 2 sentences that “made her day?”

I thought about her experience and those moments in my life where someone or something has made my day.

It’s funny what does it for me.

A hopeful conversation about the future.

A complement from a friend.

A moment of let go laughter.

Having a big idea and taking a step in that direction.

Overcoming some bit of fear.

A surprise note of gratitude.

A beautiful song at just the right moment.

A kind, gentle smile. Being sought out by someone who just likes being with me.

And here’s the thing.

I can do these. Today. Maybe not all of them. But I can do something. I have the opportunity to do most of these things for someone else and potentially make their day.

And then it hit me: making someone’s day makes my day.

So, not only do you have the power to make someone else’s day, but in the process, you can make your own!

Whether you’re a husband looking to love your wife, a co-worker hoping to help a colleaguge, or a friend wanting to cheer someone up, YOU can make someone’s day.

And, like those ancient words remind us: it is better to give than to receive.

Here’s just a few ways that you can make someone’s day better for under $2 and in the process make your day that much richer.

1. Use words to say “thank you”

Yesterday, my 4 year old was in the process of morphing into a gremlin. It was ugly. My wise wife demanded that this 40lb ball of mess, “Use her words.”

Adults need more people to say this to them. “Use your words.”

Words make visible things, like appreciation, that are often invisible. So text, email, or write a card to say “thank you!” It really doesn’t matter how you do it. Just use your words. I wrote it before, but gratitude can change the world.

(take 30 seconds right now to shoot someone a text, saying thank you. It could make their day).

2. Give the shirt off your back

I know what you’re saying, “That’s not under $2!”

But it is if you give something that already belongs to you.

I have a friend who told a guy at the grocery story that he loved his belt. I don’t remember what he liked about it. But it was cool, he said. The guy took it off and gave it to him. No, his pants didn’t fall off — get your head out of the gutter.

3 years later, we’re still talking about the stranger’s head turning, wasteful generosity. The story made my day. The belt made my friend’s.

I once asked someone to borrow their suburban for a trip I was taking with some students.

“You want it?” they asked.

“How much?” I replied.

“You can have it,” they replied. “We see what you’re doing. We like it. It’s yours. Keep it up.”

10 years later, I’m still talking about their generosity.

There was once a lady in the Bible who took an expensive jar of perfume, broke it, and poured it on Jesus’ feet. People were pissed! What a waste! How could she?

Nobody remembers how she smelled 1 week later, but 2,000 years later, we’re still talking about her generosity.

The next time someone comments on something of yours, give it to them. It won’t cost you anything (assuming it’s already paid for). You won’t regret it.

And you might make their day.

3. Waste 20 minutes with someone

Maybe you’ve been avoiding them. Maybe you’ve just overlooked them. Maybe you’ve forgotten about them. Maybe you’ve driven by them a thousand times.

But today, stop.

Take a break from your important life and prioritize someone else for 20 minutes.

Tell them.

“I don’t do this enough. But I really value you as a friend, co-worker, crossing guard, teacher, son/daughter, grandma, father, mother, husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend.

People who prioritize us and then tell us we’re a priority make our day.

In Short…

Like Heman, you have the power.

Unlike Heman, you don’t have to wear an uncomfortable chest protector or stand by a scary skull cave in your tighties to harness it.

By using your words to say thank someone, giving the shirt off your back, or wasting 20 minutes with someone, you could make someone’s day.