One of the practices I incorporate into my day is random acts of kindness. I’ve been doing a 30 day Random Acts of Kindness Challenge that I think I was introduced to on a Tim Ferriss blog. I started this in November and loved it so much, both in the sense of making me feel good and of course extending acts of kindness to others, that I decided to embark on another month.
The challenge is simply to do one random act of kindness each day. It doesn’t have to be some gargantuan gesture. It might be letting someone go in front of you at the checkout line, smiling at someone or donating to a cause that comes your way during that day.
During the first month I found I would forget. That isn’t to say I am not kind outside of these RAOK (we’ll go with that acronym for short) but I didn’t want it to become a box ticking exercise. It is more around increasing my contribution to others, which is something that I believe to be so central to living a more fulfilled life.
I keep a list in the notes on my phone so that I can see how I am doing and over the month look at the bigger picture.
The second month, however, I found I rarely missed a day. Here are some examples of my RAOK during the past couple of months:
- Gave my Auntie £20 so that she could stay in the guest room of my grandmother’s care home.
- Picked up a little girl’s balloon that had blown away and gave it back to her.
- Bought my daughter a bear when she was feeling poorly.
- Donated money to a dog charity on top of my bill at the pet shop.
- Gave my gifts to someone at an event because there weren’t enough to go round.
- Treated my nephew to a football game ticket.
- Read the bible to my Grandma.
These are perhaps things you would ordinarily do. However, the fact you are consciously embarking on the challenge is a daily reminder. I’ve found the more random acts of kindness you do, the more opportunities come your way to give them. There are days when there are many and then days when perhaps I have been home for most of it I have to remind myself to give. It isn’t about right or wrong, good or bad, just more of creating this as a daily ritual to practice kindness and contribute to others.
I remember watching a Friends episode where Phoebe tried to find a selfless good deed..it was impossible. Even if you think you aren’t gaining, you are left feeling good, so technically you are benefitting. It makes me smile when I am faced with something during the day and it pops into my mind that it’s another opportunity for a RAOK. The purpose of this is obviously not to receive, but it adds to the joy of your day when your random act of kindness has helped someone, made a difference or impacted positively on another person’s day.
Try it for yourself and let me know how you get on!