As an optimist, I like to think that everyone has a desire to make a difference in the world. As a realist/pragmatist, I recognize that most people don’t wake up and ask themselves, “How am I going to make a difference today?” But… what if everyone did?
Can you imagine what a day would be like if everyone consciously thought how about how they were going to make a difference and then went out and put those thoughts into action? It would be amazing!
But… you might think “I don’t know where to start” or “I don’t have time for that.” You might even think “Nothing I do can really make an impact.”
Start small and ask yourself what can I do today to make a difference in my own home? What could I do to make a difference for someone at work? Be mindful and take two minutes when you wake up or are brushing your teeth to think about what you can do. Starting your day with positive thoughts for others also brightens your own day.
Next, turn thoughts into actions.
• Compliment a stranger
• Eat lunch with someone new
• Pick up that piece of trash on the sidewalk
• Put the shopping cart back in the return kiosk
• Hold the door open for someone else
• Learn the server’s name
• Yield to the pedestrians in the crosswalk (like you always should!)
Notice, none of these things really requires a lot of effort. They don’t cost money. You can even take it up another level.
• Pay it forward at the coffee shop
• Play games with the seniors at the retirement home
• Read books to children at the local library
• Join in the neighborhood clean up
• Send flowers to you grandmother
• Shop small at local businesses
• Walk dogs at the animal shelter
The lists are endless, but the point is that you don’t need to have a lot of money, or even a lot of time, in order to do something that will make a difference. You can have a positive impact just by being kind, engaging with others, and practicing mindfulness.