I Tried Being Kind For a Day
Let me start by saying that I do try to be kind everyday. But as the world spins, there seems to be an endless list of to-dos, chores, thoughts, responsibilities, etc. So what happens, more often than I’d like to admit, is that my daily interactions and relative outwards facing emotions get overlooked by a glossy eyed, over worked, mentally consumed individual. To that end, a conversation the other day was filled with some wise words, from a wiser friend:
“Everyday, as soon as we wake up, we essentially watch our lives on fast-forward. We let our minds consume our actions by thinking about all the things we have to do and all the places we have to be. And throughout the day we’re constantly chasing ourselves.”
To say it took me a back would be an understatement. It’s not a mind blowing concept, but turning the minds eye to raise our self awareness starting first thing in the morning is really powerful.
Increased self awareness can lead to several benefits:
- Understanding your stressors
- Finding your passions
- Maintaining a state of now
- Increasing authentic happiness
- Start to genuinely love yourself
- And more here
In that moment, I understood exactly what he was trying to tell me and my mind raced through the benefits of self awareness and my eyes quickly went from glossy to wide and dilated. It was an immediate light bulb moment.
I knew that, self awareness leads to a more meaningful life and it starts at the crack of dawn.
That’s why I wanted to challenge myself to be more mindful. Mindfulness develops self awareness and an easy way to do that is to constantly remind yourself to understand your immediate surroundings and all of those in it to an extent where you can accomplish acts of services for others. In other words, I wanted to involve myself in my day to day so much that I could put the needs of others first.
So I set two goals for myself for the following day:
“One, I will not negatively impact any one.
Two, I will positively impact as many people as I can.”
So here’s what happened….
Acts of Kindness
- I complimented someone on the new backpack
- I held the door for an elderly lady
- I took an extra glance back down the hall when going into the elevator. I ended up holding door for a gentlemen (it was an extra 5 seconds for me, and I saved him 20)
- I pressed the open-door-button before I left the washroom for the guys walking out behind me
- I let out paper towel for the next person
- I wait and let a car go ahead of me (it was 2 seconds for me or 10 for them)
- I left a dollar for the next person buying their morning coffee
- I smiled at the security guard on my way out and put a smile on their face
What I Learned About Being Kind
Doing nothing can also negatively impact someone, so being self aware is important. Simply asking yourself a few questions can help center your mind on pull you back to being self aware, allowing you to maintain intentional kindness. Questions like: How am I being perceived? What energy am I putting out? How am I making everyone around me feel?
Kindness is indefinitely contagious. One good act hails another and people take notice. More often than not, they’ll reciprocate and pass it forward throughout the day.
Kindness can cost nothing but mean everything. A smile can brighten someones day, a held door can set some one at ease, and a compliment can lift someones spirits. So, why not?
Being intentional about my actions throughout the day while focusing on being kind was probably the best way I could have gone while starting along my path of self-awareness and mindfulness. Additionally, it’s hard to imagine a world without it. Without kindness we lose connection and with it the sense of community. I for one, much rather live in a world filled with selflessness and compassion than in a world without it.
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle” — plato
At FLAG this is one of our core values.
You never know what anyone else is going through or why they’re acting the way they are and we have absolutely no grounds to judge them on. All we can do, is be unconditionally kind and as understanding as possible.
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All articles can be found originally posted at theflagmovement.com
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