This is a little post with a big challenge. The challenge comes from one of Dale Carnegie’s first books. While not as well known as his all time best seller, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” it is perhaps the book that has changed more lives than any other book he authored.
The book is entitled, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.” The “challenge” is actually one of the principles from the book. The principle says “Forget your unhappiness by creating happiness for others.”
One way to do that is to commit each day to do something kind for someone and not let them find out it was you who did it.
A couple of points before I send you off on your challenge.
You must understand the basic difference between being nice and being kind. Being nice is easy, it requires no real effort on your part. Being nice includes things like saying thank you, please and your welcome. Think of being nice more like having good manners.
Being kind on the other hand requires some effort on your part. It might be offering a ride to someone on your way to the store. It is especially kind if where they are going is not on your way. That’s very kind of you but it doesn’t meet the challenge requirements because they will obviously know you give them a ride.
Here’s an example that would definitely meet the challenge. Let’s say someone has broken something that they have treasured for a long time. They can’t fix it themselves or they can’t afford to have it fixed. So you secretly have it repaired and put back in it’s place.
Doing the kind thing by having it repaired on the sly doesn’t meet the challenge either. But you’ve at least met the first half of the challenge. Quietly putting it back in place and NEVER mentioning that you took care of it will complete the full challenge.
It’s a challenge because it’s human nature to want to get “credit” for our good deeds. I do kind things for people but then I tend follow them around like a lost puppy until they notice the kindness. When they ask if I did that, I just smile. I didn’t tell them I did it but I’m always open to accepting their gratitude.
It’s hard not to seek recognition for the good things we do. But when we are successful it is a great feeling.
Like all things worth doing, being kind and not seeking recognition for it is easier said than done. But if you want to do something incredibly special for someone…and yourself, you’ll do it anyway.
Now, get to it, there is a kindness waiting to be done.