The power of kindness
In your personal life and at work
Imagine this; you see an elderly lady struggling to carry her shopping in a car park. You offer to help carry it back to her car. She gratefully accepts with a smile. Before driving off she notices a young woman trying desperately to look for change in her bag to pay for parking. The elderly lady walks over and gives her the change she needs.
The young woman is stunned, thanks the elderly lady and continues her journey. Whilst walking, the woman notices a wealthy looking man exiting a shop, not realising he has dropped his wallet which holds a stack of cash. The young woman picks up the wallet and hands it to the man, who is surprised by her honesty. The man goes on his way and see’s another man carrying a heavy item on his own. Feeling inspired by the young woman earlier, he lends his hands to the man helping him carry the heavy item into a shop.
Without you knowing it, your kind gesture, regardless how small, has started a flow of inspired kindness that continued to touch peoples live long after you moved on.
They may be small gestures of kindness but never go wasted.
Everyday thousands of people choose to spend their free time volunteering for a good cause, to help others or to share their knowledge and skills.
But WHY do we do something good for another person, a stranger possibly, and expect nothing back?
A few reasons come to mind
Our own happiness
A random act of kindness, whether we receive or give it, makes us feel happy. And feeling happy extends our life, protects us against falling ill and reduces stress. Conditions such as depression or anxiety can be improved simply by helping those in need. And all kindness we put out there comes back to us in one way or another.
When I feel stressed or unhappy the quickest way for me to turn that around to feeling good is to do something good for someone else. Apparently it’s called the ‘helper’s high’. Try it. It works!
To give back
If you were fortunate enough to have been at the receiving end of good deeds, or you’ve had an amazing life, or you just appreciate what you have and want to give some of that back to the community and the less fortunate, you are positively impacting their health and general well being. That is a rewarding feeling.
A sense of purpose
What excites you? Why do you get out of bed in the morning? Purpose is what motives us and drives us towards a happy future. It’s the things in life that give you meaning and pleasure. Purpose helps you focus on goals that are aligned with qualities that you respect and value. Some of those qualities might be around helping others and generally doing good.
Helping someone learn a new skill, advising on how to become better at something or contributing ideas to someone’s project can help you grow.
Let’s use football as an example. The best football teams only achieve success because they work as a strong unit and have committed to the mission (the bigger picture) of working on strengthening relationships which helps them to win a game/cup/league (result).
They understand who plays which role (clarity) and how their own role contributes to the overall success of the team (ownership). A good coach will inspire the team to be their very best but also to bring out the best in everyone else in the team — even at times of failure.
Good deeds you can do now
Greeting someone with a smile — Good Morning to you! :)
Give a homeless person a warm meal
Offer your help to someone who needs it — e.g. a mum struggling to carry her buggy up/down the stairs
Give your old clothes to charity
Say ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ and really mean it
Compliment or encourage someone
Open doors for people behind you
Take an interest in someones life or situation
Kindness at work
Tell colleagues when you appreciate something they did — helped you learn something new, offered a great idea or solution, listened to you
Notice when someone is having a bad day and find out what you can do to help
Assume the best — believe that a colleagues intentions are good, we act out of a desire to do what’s best for the company, our customers and one another
Write a ‘thank you’ when they’ve added value or did something nice
Encourage them when they have failed
Motivate them with optimism
Offer your help — assisting on a project, help run a meeting, advice
When is the last time someone did something nice for you? And when they did, how did that make you feel? Did their good deed inspire you to be kind to someone?
Healthy happiness: effects of happiness on physical health and the consequences for preventive health care
Core Value — Assume the best