It may surprise you to know that there’s people around you, who could use a little help. And the help they’re after, exists inside some surprisingly simple acts.
One of the best ways in this world to instantly change your mood, or put a smile on your face, is to do something nice for someone else. No, I’m not being deep and sappy, I’m being fair dinkum. There’s a powerful resource inside many simple acts. Once I saw it in action, I was addicted.
Remember Oprah’s random acts of kindness? I once saw her take coffee to people working on a building site in near freezing conditions. The results were fantastic, brightened peoples’ day, injected a little happiness into an otherwise dreary day of work. The doubters might say it was perhaps a marketing stunt, so let’s take it back a few notches. Many other simple acts still yield similar positive results.
Open a door for someone, help a person across the street, ask the bus driver to wait a second whilst you help someone up, hold an elevator, stop for someone who’s broken down, smile at strangers and say hello, or call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. These are all examples of simple acts that can lead to big impacts.
But here’s something you might not be aware of. Simple acts such as those above have the potential to change a person’s entire demeanour, I kid you not. How exactly? Through recognition. All of us feel good when we’re recognised and/or acknowledged. It’s a BIG mood changer.
Think about it for a second. Can you recall a moment in your life when the pressure and stress had hit hard, and somebody came along with a simple act of kindness that changed your mood or perspective? Did that help to lighten your load a little, or give you a boost to push through? Simple acts have the ability to create changes in our mindset and our way of thinking. This in turn allows us to consider alternative possibilities. If our mood is dour and flat, a little ray of sunshine is often all that’s needed to alter it.
Not So Simple Acts.
Modern life has its fair share of stress. High pressure jobs, big bills, information overload, and a seemingly decreasing amount of available time. We all have moments where we struggle, and must dig deep to make it through. Known fact, more people are feeling this way than ever before. It’s becoming harder to spot those who are struggling with the weight of their own world. And this is where acknowledgement, recognition, and simple acts can play a huge role.
Remember when I wrote about the doctor I spoke with on a tram ride? She’d lost her husband moments before. All I did was ask if she was OK, and we interacted for maybe 10 minutes tops. It was clear she felt acknowledged, because she managed a smile. Did that simple act from me perhaps have the potential to lighten her load? I can’t say with any surety. But what I can say is, right at that point in time, it was clear she did not feel alone.
Simple Reasons Why.
Not every simple act is going to wind up unearthing deep and dark situations. That’s not the reason I perform them. My main reason is because I’m just trying to be a good human, living according to my saying of “walk the planet gently, don’t be a dick”. The effort required on my part is little to none. If I see an opportunity to perform simple acts of good, I do. No big song and dance, no expectation of gratitude. I help out in small ways, in the hope of making a difference.
The news would have us believe the world isn’t quite the happy place it once was. People can easily become jaded, or lose a little faith in humanity. Well, that’s one way to look at it, and I don’t agree with that way. I have learned that through simple acts of doing something nice for someone else in this world, I have the potential to create a happy. I might also have created a reason for some to change their views about their current lot in life. That knowledge enough helps me feel good, and I seek no other reward.
If you want to see the power of simple acts for yourself, do one.