#228 Buy Coffee for the Person Behind You

When we are surprised, (by receiving a random act of kindness) we also have surges in dopamine, again feeling happier. It’s a win – win situation.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#228

Buy coffee for the person behind you.

I’m sure you’ve heard of, perhaps even acutely aware of the ‘random act of kindness’ movement (#RAK).  You may even have performed one recently. What I’d like to suggest is that the next time you get in line to buy coffee, a latte, or a frappe – please consider paying for the drink that the person behind you has ordered (assuming you are in a drive through line). You could do it for the car behind you in an drive through that pre-orders (fast food, etc.).

We know that ‘kindness begets kindness’… when people are the receiver of a random act of kindness, they are more likely to perform one but it has to start somewhere. Why not be the one to initiate?

When you are kind, pleasure centers in your brain are activated. Your dopamine levels increase and you feel happier. When we are surprised, (by receiving a random act of kindness) we also have surges in dopamine, again feeling happier. It’s a win – win situation.

When I make this suggestion I sometimes hear objections of how difficult it is to find an extra $5 but really… it’s only $5 and it might mean that your coffee tomorrow is forgone but knowing that you’ve impacted the life of another in a positive way will override any deficiency.

It’s a simple suggestion, spending a few dollars on someone you don’t even know to promote happiness for you both. Why don’t you consider, the next time you are sitting in line at a drive through… promoting happiness by taking the time to …

Buy a coffee for the person behind you.

\I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#229 Chat with a random Stranger

The premise is simple and mostly likely etched in your memory somewhere because children do this naturally. (Another example of something innate that we ‘unlearn’.)

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#229

Chat with a Random Stranger

Disconnect

We live in a world that while connected via radio waves and fiber optic cables, is often disconnected from an interpersonal perspective. We walk around with cell phones and headphones, attending to email, social media, and news headlines rather than the space in which we stand. Most of us can find ourselves standing next to a stranger at some point during the day with barely a glance to recognize their presence there; the ghostly whisper of our mothers “don’t talk to strangers” mantra reverberating ever so slightly through our memory.

Connect

If we take time to bring ourselves into the present moment while we run our errands, grab our lunch, or wait for transportation, we can simultaneously take time to appreciate the people in our periphery. Why not go one step further and connect with one of the other human beings close by? A simple comment of “that color looks great on you” or “I love your haircut” may be just the thing that person needs to counterbalance a negative from earlier in the day. The few seconds you take to actually connect to someone benefits you too.

Thrive

Social connection is linked to happiness, personal thriving, and longevity. It seems that even the simple act of acknowledging that we are not isolated – even if we don’t know or aren’t friends with people – can improve our state of mind. If we look up and acknowledge others in our environment for even a brief interaction, our brains interpret connectivity. The truth is, we aren’t isolated anywhere but in our minds. At any given point, most of us can walk out our door, down the sidewalk and connect with a human being in some kind of way – IF we choose.

Lessons from Childhood

The premise is simple and mostly likely etched in your memory somewhere because children do this naturally. (Another example of something innate that we ‘unlearn’.) Children – completely unknown to one another – will engage on a playground within minutes of being there. In no time at all, they are introducing themselves and cooperating to extend their enjoyment.

Make a pledge to yourself to disarm those adult hesitations, break away from your distractions, and be present the next time you find yourself in a line, a group, or a crowd and make the effort to …

Talk to a random stranger.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Simon Shim on Unsplash

#230 Give the Gift of Your Favorite Book

Sharing things we love is good for our spirit. When we give away something we enjoy, we share a bit of ourselves as we hand over the material item.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#230

Give the Gift of Your Favorite Book

Yesterday I suggested that you re-read your favorite book and if you take me up on that suggestion…. Great! I hope you enjoy. Afterwards – or in the event that you don’t want to re-read it – write a note about why the book stands out in your mind, tuck it inside and give it to a friend (without giving away the ending).

Sharing Is Good

You might share why you are giving this particular book to that particular person. Is there something about the story that reminds you of her/him, or the relationship  you have with them? Is there something else that you think resonates within the story? Sharing things we love is good for our spirit. When we give away something we enjoy, we share a bit of ourselves as we hand over the material item.

Connections

This gesture is a small example of how we might foster social connections. Sharing is an integral part of connecting with others. Research tells us that when we share, the pleasure centers of our brain are activated – the same areas that turn on when we eat food that we enjoy or have sex. Because we take time to step outside of ourselves – out of our selfish perspective – we may also improve elements of depression or anxiety.

Kindness

Perhaps the best benefit of all is that we promote kindness which, is known to be one of those things that create forward ripples; kindness begets kindness. Not to mention that the gesture promotes reading. You may never know what goodness happens after you…

Give the gift of your favorite book.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#231 Re-read your Favorite Book

This suggestion is one of those things that we don’t think of often, perhaps a quick and easy way to get your mind off daily stressors and into an imaginary world that you are familiar with.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#231

Re-read your favorite book

What is your favorite fiction book? When did you read it? Why is it your favorite? Would you enjoy reading it again?

The Favorites

In my late teen years I read ‘The Thornbirds’ and to this day, I remember being enthralled by the generational story. Later, I read and loved Michener’s ‘Chesapeake’ and again, I remember the ending as clearly as if I had just finished it because it was so vividly depicted. And then there were the Fern Michaels trilogies that told of cousins in various parts of the country; stories that, to this day, are remembered and thought of as if they could be real people in real time in Texas, Las Vegas, or Kentucky.

Re-runs

Why is it that we watch favorite movies over and over, or television series – how many times have you watched the same ‘Friends’ episode – but rarely read a book a second time through? Summer is a great time to visit the library and check out that book that you remember loving from a long time ago. Did you ever pick up Sidney Sheldon’s ‘Master of the Game’?… it’s another of those memorable fiction stories that stuck in my mind because of the intense graphic visual that came to my mind as I read the words.

Comfort Zone

This suggestion is one of those things that we don’t think of often, perhaps a quick and easy way to get your mind off daily stressors and into an imaginary world that you are familiar with. Re-reading a book you’ve enjoyed in the past means you’ll go directly into a ‘happy place’ without the struggle of making it past the first few chapters as can happen in some stories. Do yourself a favor and take some time for simple enjoyment this summer and …

Re-read your favorite book.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#232 Say No

When we put others needs before ours consistently, we rob ourselves of the ability to stay ‘charged’.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#232

Say No

Are you a people pleaser? Are you challenged to say “no” when people ask you to do something? Are you afraid to let people down or disappointment them?

Full Plates

For those of us that are people pleasers, it is particularly challenging to experience the effect of disappointing people. We tend to over commit ourselves in an effort to meet the things we believe are expectations from others. We crowd our calendars, we stretch our limits, and we spend too much time frazzled as we strive to complete our over extended agendas.

Use Your Voice

Often, we know we are pushing too far… moving past comfortable as our mind screams “NO!” to our unhearing vocal cords that are deaf to our hearts whispers. Before we know it, the word “ok” escapes even though our internal warning systems are vibrating through our physical system. It’s vital that we learn to let our internal voice make become audible and speak the words that our brain is trying to vocalize.

Self Care

Honoring our own time limits and personal space is one of the most elementary components of self care. Before we can take care of others and meet all of their needs, we must make sure to charge our own batteries; stay mentally and physically strong enough to meet the demands of our own life. When we put others needs before ours consistently, we rob ourselves of the ability to stay ‘charged’.

Let ‘Em Down Easy

There isn’t any reason to be brash or offensive as we reject the desires or expectation of others. Most people will understand if we’ve maxed out the hours in our days. Learn to say “I’d love to but I can’t right now” or “I need to finish a few things before I can take on something else.” or … you could just…

Say “no”.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

Photo by Isaiah Rustad on Unsplash

#233 Find a Long Lost Friend

Whether it’s a series of adventures in the neighborhood on bicycle, prank phone calls to radio D.J.’s, or late night whispers about the cutest guy in math class… this person from your past knows a part of you that people in your life today may not have any knowledge of.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#233

Find a long lost friend

When you think about your childhood, is there a person – a friend – that you’ve lost touch with? Someone that you’d like to connect with again, if only to know how their life turned out?

The Internet

Once again, the internet makes finding old friends rather easy if you know a full name. Websites such as Google, Facebook, & LinkedIn are great places to start. Women can be more difficult if they’ve married and changed their last name. Likewise, common names such as John Williams or Sara Johnson can be challenging without additional information. The website Classmates.com and those similar charge a small fee but organize names by high schools and graduation years. Some of these sites offer a small period of time where you can use the resources free.

Motivation

As you think of finding the friend you’ve been thinking of, consider what your expectation is once you find them. Those of us who were besties in high school may not share similar interests once 20 years has past. Will you be disappointed if that person who knew all your secrets no longer enjoys the things you do? Will you feel let down if they aren’t receptive to your inquiry? What if they want to establish a relationship yet you discover you’ve only looking to satisfy a curiosity?

History

One of the great benefits of connecting with an old buddy is that they share a piece of history with you. Whether it’s a series of adventures in the neighborhood on bicycle, prank phone calls to radio D.J.’s, or late night whispers about the cutest guy in math class… this person from your past knows a part of you that people in your life today may not have any knowledge of. It can be comforting and downright healing to connect with pieces of memory that remind you of good times past and the energy, dreams, and spirit of youth.

Who is it that comes to mind as you think about what it would be like to …

Find a long lost friend.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.

#234 Wear a Bold Color

I’m not suggesting that you don a St. Patrick’s day green suit so that you are bold from head to toe but a deep green blouse or tie may make a great statement to your business ensemble.

Sharing 365 life lessons, tips, or hacks; the things that make life easier, happier, and more productive. I hope you’ll follow along and find them helpful too.

#234

Wear a bold color

Take a good hard look in your closet. What colors do you see? Is the majority of your closet black, navy, grey, and white? Do you have a little pastel mixed in? Out of all the items, how many pieces are Bold?

I’m talking about your day to day wardrobe? How much color is really there?

Psychological hiding

Many of us don’t wear bold on purpose as it may highlight features we prefer to downplay. Others may simply not want to draw attention to themselves, although I rarely find this is a conscious decision.  Others still, may believe that a more modest, sterile combination is preferred in a business environment. Truth is, when we make these choices, we could be seeking to be background players, unseen by the masses, and blending into the crowd more often than not. We unconsciously choose clothing that will not draw attention to us.

Stand Out

Ironically however, it’s those times that we stand out appropriately that we tend to get the most compliments, the most accolades, and the most romantic interest. One of the ways that we can stand out without speaking, moving, or over performing, is to wear a color that is complementary to our skin tone but bold in contrast.

Choosing colors

First, you must know if you have warm or cool skin tones… look at the veins in your hands. What color are they? If they are blue or purple, you have a COOL tone. If they appear greenish, you have a WARM tone. Cool tones run in the turquoise, purple, and pink pallets while warm tones are reds, oranges, greens, and yellows.

Accessorize

I’m not suggesting that you don a St. Patrick’s day green suit so that you are bold from head to toe but a deep green blouse or tie may make a great statement to your business ensemble. Carrying a bright red bag and wearing matching shoes creates a dynamic look with an otherwise boring grey suit. A casual jeans and sweater evening can be taken to another level with a deep turquoise cardigan. Pick a few colors from your tone range and seek to add those colors in the add-on part of your wardrobe. Perhaps including a bold dress or polo shirt for those times when it’s important to be remembered.

The next time you want to quietly stand out or be noticed, do it with your clothing and …

Wear a bold color.

I love hearing your thoughts and ideas. Please share in the comments below.