I’m convinced it is the little things in life that make it worthwhile not just to me, but to others as well. While it would be wonderful to change the world or chart a new history for mankind, I’d be willing to settle for the knowledge that I’d done something each day to make someone’s world a better place.
When you stop to consider how small your gesture has to be to make an impact, you might start to feel selfish for not making the effort every time an opportunity presents itself. For example, when you see a friend looking down, make it a point to speak to her and offer to listen or cheer her up. It’s a natural thing to do, but many times we just overlook these easy opportunities because we are busy looking elsewhere.
This month, make it a point to seek out the small things you can do to help others and bring light into their day. Who knows – if you make enough small impacts, you might just change the world!
Say Please and Thank You
Do an experiment and spend the day really listening to the way people interact. Even adults seem to have forgotten how to ask for something rather than telling others what to do. “Give me that,” sounds very different than “Please pass me that.” The phrasing can make a huge impact and saying please and thank you shows the other person respect as well. This will go over especially well with anyone, not just teachers and parents.
Make a Positive Observation
Every day you should make at least one positive observation and remark on it. This is different than just a compliment as compliments can be small and nondescriptive. Instead of telling someone, “I really like your glasses,” you can make a complete observation, “Your new glasses are great! They make your eyes really stand out and look really funky with your haircut.” As most of us aren’t used to handing out that much praise at one time, you might feel unnatural at first. If it seems weird to say something out loud, you can always shoot a text, IM or email. Soon you’ll be in the habit of making positive observations all the time.
Stop the Negative
Negativity is almost like a fungus. It grows with just the slightest bit of encouragement until you’re trapped in negative thoughts or wrapped up in a nasty gossip session. When you hear your friends start talking about someone else, stop that conversation with an offsetting comment. It doesn’t matter if the other girl is there or not, by stopping the trash talk, you’ll be helping the subject of the talk a great deal. Nobody likes to be talked about.
If you’re unsure how to do this, just remember that negative feeds negative. All you have to do to stop the cycle of insults is to stick up for the girl. For example, when your friends are all talking about how a girl doesn’t know how to dress and is acting so weird, just tell them you like her funky style and you wish you felt confident enough to really let loose around other people. As soon as one person, in this case you, refuses to go along with the negative spiral, others will break away or the subject will change at least. It’s also reasonably safe to say that your positive comment will make it to the girl in question one way or another.