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.

The helper’s high

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.

Personal Growth

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.

Improved Relationships

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?

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