Being nice takes just as much energy as being negative. I try to remember this everywhere I go…. saying hello to the barista at Starbucks, holding the elevator for someone down the hallway, or letting someone into the lane on the highway. You never know what someone might be dealing with in their life, even if you’re going through your own stuff.
The Simple Way to Have an Instantly Better Day
Guest post by Maxie McCoy
Getting caught up in the craze of life is easy. Really easy. Almost too easy. Somewhere in the constant onslaught of responsibilities, and expectations and errands to run and people to please and dreams to chase, we can completely lose sight of the simple joys and the moments that really matter. Days can feel long, weeks can feel stressful, and whole months can pass by without so much as realizing how tensed up we are throughout the day.
I’ve had these days. I’ve even let these days turn into weeks where my perspective is missing, problems all become way bigger than they seem and nothing is happening as fast as I want it to. What we don’t realize is that most of the pep we need in our step has nothing to do with grand ole milestones. Rather, what actually turns the tide are the tiny moments of connection and positivity – they can shift our energy entirely.
This past week I went away to do a lot of reflecting – on how I got here. On who I am. On where I’m going. On what matters most to me. And in doing that, I took every journal I’ve written in over the past five or so years, and I re-read every last page (side note: do this. It’s so eye-opening!)
In a journal from a few years back, I read a lesson I’d learned and forgotten again: that one of the best ways to get out of your own funk is to give what you’ve got to someone else. Less you, more them. Less your worries, more their joys. “For every single person you meet, act as if you’re there to make their day a little bit brighter,” I challenged myself. And then I continued to recount all the ways that doing so each day had improved my day, and hopefully theirs.
Here’s what happens when you waltz through the day with that mindset, instead of one obsessively concerned with your own small problems (that become big within the confines of your own head): You smile more. You engage in conversation. You do something nice for someone. You re-word that unnecessarily terse email. You put more energy in your voice. You ask questions more. And you connect with people instead of passing through life on the surface level, rarely making eye contact.
Since recalling this little exercise from the pages of my journal, I’ve kept it in mind as I’ve been traveling. And it’s wild what a difference it creates purely in your own day. It feels a little bit like walking on sunshine. Because the deal is, you are there to make someone else’s day brighter. It’s a wonderful and free gift we all have to give to those around us. And do you know what happens when that’s what you focus on? Your day becomes even brighter, too.
So today and tomorrow, this week and next, tough weeks and crazy schedules, try acting as if you’re there to make the day of everyone you meet. And there’ll be a whole bunch of brighter days made in no time.
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