How Being Generous Makes Your Life Better
One of my favorite quotes comes from The Diary of a Young Girl, the world-renowned book by Anne Frank. This young girl and her family hid from the Nazis for two years in a “secret annex” above her father’s business. They were eventually discovered and sent to a concentration camp, where Anne died at the age of 15.
After the war, her diary was published and has been a source of hope and inspiration to millions. Anne wrote, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world!”
Imagine, living in hiding, uncertain what tomorrow might bring, this hopeful child believed in the possibility of positive change!
You may feel overwhelmed by your circumstances. We’ve all been there. But even now, there are simple things you can do to make a positive difference for yourself and others.
When you smile, you feel better, your voice sounds happier, and you have an immediate, positive effect on others. Don’t wait until you feel happy, and don’t wait for others to smile at you. You smile first, and start a revolution of cheerfulness in your home or office.
- Help someone.
Our world is facing some huge problems, there’s no question about that. Thinking about terrorism, hunger, poverty, or other pressing issues can be overwhelming. The sheer scope of these problems can paralyze us.
You may not be able to bring world peace, but you can solve a problem for somebody somewhere today. Give someone a hand carrying groceries. Offer to run an errand for an over-stressed coworker. Go out of your way, just a little bit, and you will make the world a better place.
We are more connected than ever, yet many people feel completely alone. Too much of the traffic on social media consists of shouting, with many people only pretending to listen while waiting for their turn to speak. You can brighten someone’s day immeasurably by stopping what you are doing, looking them squarely in the eye, and listening to what they have to say.
- Compliment others.
Everyone loves to hear something positive about them, and it costs absolutely nothing to do. Begin a meeting by saying, “You are the best coworkers ever. Thank you for being on my team.” Tell your spouse, “I really appreciate what you do for our family. I’m glad I married you.” Say something positive to another person, and it will absolutely transform their day.
- Refuse to complain.
Negative speech is like mold. At first, you barely notice, but before long it covers everything with an icky appearance—and flavor! Resist the urge to complain, gripe, gossip, or use sarcasm. You’ll feel better, and everyone around you will too.
Sometimes it’s the littlest things that make the biggest difference. What little thing could you do today that could have a huge impact on your world? I’d love to hear your answer on Facebook or Twitter!
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