It’s time for another challenge – another challenge that is not only going to help me to grow as a person by helping to push me out of my comfort zone, but it’s also a challenge that is going to create a positive change in the lives of those around me.
The goal for this challenge? Well, it’s simple… for the next 100 days, I am going to do something that I believe will help to bring some amount of happiness to somebody else’s life other than my own. My hope is that by shedding more kindness onto others, they will, in turn, do the same. Basically like the trickle-down effect.
Plus, have you ever noticed how much better you feel about your own life knowing that you are helping to improve the lives of others? Maybe it’s selfish to want more happiness in my life, but if I’m doing so by helping to bring happiness and joy to the lives of others, then why not?
I also want to show you that you don’t need to be a superhero or a millionaire to change the world. All you really need is a desire to do good for those around you and use the tools that you already have in order to do so.
I have been going to the same coffee shop every morning for the last eight or nine months. Every morning before I go to work, I come here, sit down, read, journal, and sip on a $5 cup of coffee. Gary Vaynerchuck would call me soft for drinking on a $5 cup of coffee, but with the free internet and the fact that I enjoy it, it’s worth it to me.
My coffee addiction has gotten to the point that every time I go to the coffee shop, I don’t even have to order. One of the few baristas sees me in the parking lot, and as I walk in, they just set my coffee on the counter. All I have to do is pay.
You want to talk about good service? Not only do the baristas have my drink already made for me before I make it to the counter, but every time I get up to the counter, I am always greeted with a warm smile and am called by my name. Come to think of it, I don’t know how any of the baristas know my name as I have never told them.
Either way, it has become mutual. After a few weeks of being called by my name, I took it upon myself to get to know all of the employee’s names. Too often we go through the day with the mindset that everything is a transaction or walk around like robots. Doing something as small as getting to know the name of others makes them feel human and shows that you care about them.
But the random act of kindness wasn’t getting to know their names, although that would be a good place to start if you want to take upon this challenge as well. The first day of 100 random acts of kindness called for donuts! It’s payday, it’s Friday, and what better way to put a smile on people’s faces than to give them a donut. That, and seeing others smile naturally puts a smile on my face as well.
I walked into the coffee shop tot he usual “Good morning, Michael! How are you?” with my coffee already sitting on the counter. But what came next is what really made my day. As I handed the box of donuts over to the barista, they smiled, grabbed the box, and immediately went into the back to get all of the other employees to show them.
One by one, the employees came out with a donut in their hand. Each and every single one of them had a smile on their faces and thanked me for bringing the donuts in for them. It was me though who was to be thankful. Despite what kind of morning I was having, I have always been treated life more than a customer. These baristas have gotten to know my name, have helped to put a smile on my face every single morning, and have made me feel like I am worth a million dollars. The least I could do was to bring something in for them that they would enjoy.
You don’t need to be rich or to be a superhero to change the world. Putting a smile on to the barista’s faces cost me a whopping $3.75. What costs less than my morning cup of coffee just brightened the day of four individuals in which I see on a daily basis. If you ask me, it was well worth it.
There are also some free ways to bring kindness to the lives of others as well. As I mentioned earlier, getting to know the names of others is a great place to start. It shows that you care about them, that you are willing to take the time to get to know them, but most importantly, it makes others feel human.
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