Some time ago I read a quote from the Dalai Lama that came back to my mind because of the holiday season – “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
I have recognized this truth in my life. In times when I am feeling low, angry, depressed or self-absorbed an easy and quick fix is to do something kind for someone else. Studies have shown that there is a “Healing Power to Doing Good” and in fact a book of the same title provides insight into the miraculous power of kindness.
There are thousands of ways to show someone else an unexpected kindness. In today’s world, compassion can sometimes be viewed as weakness. There are times when your kindness is rejected, particularly when there is a preconceived notion or a perceived message in your kindness. I have seen or experienced this myself. People often look perplexed when I hold open a door at a public building, smile or warmly greet a stranger or offer to help with a daunting task. I don’t do these things for reward, I do them because it is the way that I’m wired and it is the way that we were taught in our home by parents who loved to serve others.
No matter how large or small the act, kindness reverberates, has lasting outcomes and leaves an impression with the receiver and most notably, with the giver. A great way to boost ones spirits during the holidays (this may become a habit that outlives the holidays) is to think of at least three great things that you did or witnessed each day. Create a 3GT Daily log and emphasize things that you witness or do to bring happiness and joy to someone else.
Just recently a friend of mine called me up and said, “Let’s go to lunch – I’ll buy.” Thirty minutes later I got a call from a brother who said the same exact thing. Later that evening I got a text from another friend that said, “I appreciate our friendship.” I recall that at least three great things happened that day, but I know without a doubt that there were dozens more great things that I did not take the time to recognize and write down.
So for the duration of this month I’m going to take the time to write down 3GT daily and I encourage you to do the same. By doing so I hope that I can sow and cultivate a feeling of gratitude, recognize when people show me kindness and look for opportunities to serve others in the process.
What 3GT happened to you today?