By: Amanda | Why We Money
Don’t get me wrong, gratitude is a beautiful thing.
I realize most of us are thinking about giving thanks and having gratitude this week. I mean, Thanksgiving.
This is the time of the year when we step back, look at the big picture, and express gratitude for all the good stuff in our lives. Nothing at all wrong with that.
Gratitude is undoubtedly beneficial in our lives.
But gratitude is focused inward on us as individuals. It’s a very personal feeling.
What about kindness?
Well, kindness is different.
Kindness focuses on others.
Kindness takes us beyond ourselves and out of our own little world.
Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” — Mark Twain
It gives us the opportunity to express love and compassion to the people around us – even to complete strangers.
Kindness helps us understand the humanity of others. It helps us recognize their inherent worth and value.
Your life will change when you look for ways to spread kindness.
Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” – Og Mandino
Here’s what happens when you express kindness:
When you act with kindness, you make a real difference. You open yourself up and see that you do have a part in making the world a more kind and compassionate and loving place – not only for others but for yourself too.
Your kindness, directly and indirectly, influences others to act with compassion too. The pay it forward mentality can create ripple effects that reach far beyond what you can even imagine (see the butterfly effect in chaos theory).
If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” — Dalai Lama
Gratitude naturally flows when you look for ways to commit acts of kindness. When you set the intention to go out and spread kindness to others each day, you see the world and your own life through a more grateful lens.
Kindness helps us see other people. I mean really see them as individuals with their own feelings, successes, and struggles.
You become more mindful and present. Looking for ways to do kind things for others forces you to pay more attention to what’s going on around you. When you set an intention to do one act of kindness a day, it completely changes how you go through your day. You’re no longer focused on your to-do list and the incessant thoughts in your head – you’re focused on what’s going on around you – right here and right now.
Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” ― Bob Kerrey
Kindness puts your blinders on. When you commit random acts of kindness for perfect strangers, there is no judgment. You do it without question, without judging their beliefs, background, or identity.
Kindness demands nothing in return. And that’s the real beauty in it. We give without expectation – from our hearts because we want to. That’s love, friends.
It enhances your well-being. Spreading kindness actually improves your health, both physically and mentally. It does all kinds of things to your body to make you “feel good” (hello dopamine), which not only makes you happier, but it lowers your stress and improves your health.
Kindness creates real human connections. Connections that you cannot get behind a screen. ‘Nuff said.
So I’m not saying you shouldn’t express your gratitude this year. I’m saying to take it a step further, go out and spread some kindness, and just see what happens.
After you ask yourself, “What am I grateful for?”, consider asking “What have I done recently that others might be grateful for?” – Kelly McGonigal Ph.D., Psychology Today
Republished with the permission of WhyWeMoney.com.
Steve handles the operational side of Rockstar by keeping the systems running smoothly, social media accounts active and curation buttery smooth. He also answers to the name “Do-It-All Boy”.
Steve is also the founder of ThinkSaveRetire.com – a site where he shares ideas and techniques on how to retire from your 9-5 job and start to enjoy the virtues that life has to offer outside of full-time work. Life is about more than fluorescent lights and gray cubicles!