I received an ecard from a Facebook friend not long ago. Even though I had never met this person face-to-face, that small gesture was much needed that day. I am reminded once again that often it is not the big things in life that impact people as much as the small behind-the-scenes gestures of kindness and love. I believe these small acts and gestures really do make a difference and make our world a better place one small act at a time. Mother Teresa said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” I believe she was right!
As a coach, I have people coming to me because they want to make significant changes in their life or make their mark in this world and achieve greatness. However, most of us would do well to remember that anything great or of value is not built overnight. We have seen people rise to the top and then fall quickly because they lacked the character to support their position or status. We forget that making a difference does not always have to be some grand gesture or happen as a result of position or status in life. It really is in the simple day-to-day things that we never hear about on the six o’clock news. It is the behind-the-scenes acts of kindness and courage that are changing lives, one life at a time, all over our world.
The old expression that people don’t care how much you know and until they know how much you care is really true. So, maybe the road to making a difference is revisiting the basics.
So here are some ideas to get you started…
1. Get your mind in the right place. It’s hard to reach out to others, if you are down or consumed with negativity. Get up and stretch, give yourself a big hug. Put on some happy music and do something nice for you today. Pamper yourself a little. See if you can begin to change your mindset. Finally, and most importantly, pull out a big piece of paper and begin writing everything that is right with your life. No matter where we are in life, there is always someone who has it worst than you and I. Come to think of it, it’s really difficult to be grateful and depressed at the same time. So let the gratitude flow and then your cup will begin to fill again and you will have something to give.
2. Meet a need. This is great therapy for the soul and a great approach to life! It changes our focus and gets our minds off of ourselves. Who can I help today? Think of someone you can reach out to today. Pick up the phone, reach out and write that card that you have been meaning to write. Renew old friendships or think about new ones. Who could you help or encourage today? Small acts of kindness mean so much to other people and it will make you feel better as well.
3. Be spontaneous. Do it just because you can. Give your life a jolt out of complacency and boredom. Buy a complete stranger a cup of coffee. Give a flower to your bank teller. The possibilities are endless. I bet you will find that you will get a bigger kick out of it than the person you reached out to bless.
Here is the good news. Making a difference does not have to be expensive or time consuming. It does not have to be a grand gesture or a major life change. It really can be those small acts of kindness, the card, the phone call, the lunch, the bag of food. But you do have to start. Once you do, you will find that all of those small gestures of kindness are like seeds that eventually bloom into something beautiful in your life and the lives of those you touch. You find yourself touching greatness and you have no idea how you got there.