Posts Tagged ‘Inspire’

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

― Maya Angelou


I think this is one of the most powerful ideas that each of us should embrace. Imagine going through your days thinking, “how can I use this opportunity to help someone else?” It doesn’t need to be some sort of grand gesture. Have you ever been in line at a coffee shop and when you went to pay for your drink, the cashier told you that the person in front of you bought it for you? I haven’t (!) but when I heard about the whole “Pay It Forward” philosophy, it made me so happy. You’re telling me that people are going out of there way just to help complete strangers? And they expect nothing in return?

There’s a cheesy, yet powerful, ad campaign that came out a few years ago highlighting this. These actions don’t have to be big, expensive, or life-changing, but they can all have a huge impact on another person’s day. Or life.

The thing to remind yourself is that everyone is fighting their own battle. Kevin Love (a professional basketball player) wrote an AMAZING piece on Mental Health last week called, “Everyone Is Going Through Something.” I liked it so much I’m working on a response piece of my own to discuss the same issue, but the gist of it is that no matter how much you might be struggling at any given moment, you’re not alone.

It’s so easy for us to get caught up in the world of our “Social Media Persona” and feel as though struggling isn’t normal. Any time something in our life makes us sad, we often feel ashamed or embarrassed about it. So instead of letting ourselves feel down, we hide it and hope that no one notices. Knowing that, I think we should approach each person we meet by giving them the benefit of the doubt that they might be going through something that’s really difficult at the moment.


I first shared the image above on my blog YEARS ago, and I feel exactly the same way about it today. No, I’m not saying that eating Cheetos and drinking beer is a bad thing. I literally did BOTH of those things yesterday, and I felt great! What I’m saying is that just because someone else seems to have everything together, it doesn’t mean that they do. A little gesture of kindness like holding the door for them or looking at them in the face and giving a genuine smile, could really go a long way.

To watch one example of how generosity can have a profound impact on someone you know, watch this video. There are so many details missing from this short clip. What we do know, at a quick glance, is that teammates came together to do something nice for a friend and it immediately brought him to tears. Moments like this should happen more often. Not the crying, the kindness.

We all know that friend who loves a particular drink from the place you go every morning. Once a month, surprise them with one! When it snows, if you’re out early in the morning before your neighbors, consider shoveling their driveway or cleaning the snow off of their car, too! I guarantee you’ll get a lot of weird looks at first, but after a while, this type of behavior really does start to build momentum. That piece of trash on the street that everyone walks by, pick it up and throw it away. Someone will notice, and it might motivate them to do something nice later on in the day.

At the gym, this kindness can come in really simple ways. When everyone finishes the workout, help other people put away their weight. When you grab a wipe to clean off your kettlebell, grab one for the person who worked out next to you. Before class, when you’re stretching with a few other people, ask someone how their day was… and actually listen. Sometimes, we don’t need people to DO anything for us… we just want to feel like people ACTUALLY care.

My challenge for you is to do ONE THING today that doesn’t benefit you in any way other than being a good person. Don’t do it for attention. Don’t do it to share with other people. Do it for you. Then see how it feels to brighten the day of someone else in the process. It might just make you feel really happy, too!

It really doesn’t take that much.