Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker. I’m the nice guy that goes out of his way being nice to others. I try my best not to yell in the car when someone does something I find stupid. Which, living in Florida happens all the time. I even talk about it in this episode of my podcast. Give it a listen if you’d like.
But the truth is – even though I sometimes take a little flack for my calm demeanor I wouldn’t trade it for anything. In this short read, I’ll give you three small things you can do to make the world a better place. Let me preface what I mean by “world.” I’m not talking about the whole world, but your world. The people you impact and reach on a day to day basis. So, let’s dig in.
Ok, lame, right? I think you just rolled your eyes at me. But think about this. You’re having a bad day. I mean, really horrible. You get out of your car, and you’re walking into work. Someone walks past you and bumps into you. You look at him, anger burning deep within. He just stares back at you, shrugs his shoulders, and continues walking. This could be enough to set you off even more and take your terrible day and make it worse.
Consider instead, as you walk to your car, a nice gentleman makes eye contact with you, nods his head and gives you the biggest, warmest smile ever. You are suddenly filled with happiness. I can’t prove this, but studies do show that when people smile at you, positive things happen. And it goes both ways. If you’re angry or upset yourself, why don’t you try smiling at someone? It’s hard to smile and be angry. Our mind often responds to our body. Our body language tells us what to feel. If you’re feeling down, frowning, you can change that in an instant by changing your body position and just busting out a big genuine smile.
2) OPEN THE DOOR FOR SOMEONE
Here’s an easy one that I try to do all the time. I will go out of my way to open a door for people I don’t know. I do it for a couple of reasons. One, I was raised to be that way, so it’s ingrained in me, but secondly because I believe it can have a great impact on someone’s day. Many times, I’ve stopped to hold open a door for other people, and they are shocked and can’t believe it.
I think that speaks poorly to our American culture these days. I guess I’m just old-fashioned, but here’s what I think about when I hold open a door for someone else. For all I know, this person could be going through something awful. They could have a sick parent, be stressed out from work/school, or just feel like the world is a terrible place. And there I stand with the power to do something about it. Sure, it’s small. Sure, it might even be cheesy. But, I’ll gladly do it because there’s a chance that what I do can make a difference.
How many times have you ever thought about making a difference in the world? We dream up ideas of traveling to foreign countries to help out or raising millions for charity. But, imagine if you just held open the door for someone and you made their life just a little better that day.
I don’t need to tell you this – but I will anyway. The world has a way of beating you down. Day after day you are told what you can’t do, what you shouldn’t say, how you’re wrong or whatever. Life can be hard and a struggle for many people. But, we can help. We can be a ray of light in someone’s dark world. Yes, it’s holding open a door so you may ask yourself, “what difference does it make?” Well, I think we’ll never know how many people’s lives we touch through small acts of kindness.
3) SEE THE BEST IN PEOPLE
This is another one of my “positivity” traits. I know it’s harder for some people who are naturally skeptical or whatever. But, here’s how I do it. When people screw up and say something they shouldn’t’ say or do something they shouldn’t have done, us humans have a tendency to think that is the “true” person. It’s always bewildered me that we assume people at their worst is the real them while at their best they are putting on a show or being fake.
Why do we think that way?
Imagine a world where we gave others the benefit of the doubt? Imagine a world where people weren’t judged by what they did at their worst? Or if required, they served the sentence for their crimes and then were forgiven? This is a topic of discussion in the film I am executive producing called Church Of Felons. Check out the promo video at the bottom of this video.
The point is – we tend to judge others solely by their actions while judging ourselves by our intentions. It’s easy to see the faults in someone. Being negative is easy. Holding a grudge is easy. These things are easy because they are our default programming. In short, not forgiving and holding onto wrongs is a very human trait. To rise above that line of thinking takes work. It takes changing the way you think and TRULY putting yourself in the shoes of someone else.
So, let’s put all of these three things together and just think about how amazing it would be if we lived in a world where everywhere you went people were genuinely happy and smiled at each other. Where doors were opened for you almost everywhere you want. And a world, by the way, where everyone said thank you for holding the door open 😉 And finally, imagine that everyone saw the best in others. We didn’t hold a grudge or assume we were better than someone else because we didn’t make the same mistake they did. (Never mind all the mistakes we have made).
Now, it’s time to stop imagining it. If everyone who read this post decided to take action on these three simple things, we could start making this a reality.
I’m not naive to believe that would happen, but I am hoping for maybe ten people who actually start doing these things to make their world a better place. Can I count on you?