What has happened to saying “thank you” when someone holds the door for you?
What has happened to respecting others’ time by showing up on time, coming prepared or showing up at all? What has happened to being kind, respectful and willing to go the extra step to help others?
In a time of worldwide challenges, political outbursts and uncertainty, it’s more important now than ever to stop, take a breath and influence others through kindness. It really is quite simple. The energy that goes into the opposite response of kindness takes more work and the results can create a downward spiral of emotions leading to negative results.
Life will continue to throw challenges our way. Individuals who are truly influential successfully get through these ups and downs by being kind. Wouldn’t you rather have a reputation that communicates kindness than anger, negativity and lack of respect?
Here are 5 back-to-the-basics steps to keep you focused on being kind:
- Stop, take a breath and pay attention to what is REALLY important. Think before you react. Your reactions determine your outcomes. Taking a moment to think through the results of your behavior and response will help you make the right decision rather than regretting it later.
- Take time for yourself. When the pressure gets heavy, take a moment to be by yourself. Go for a walk, sit alone in a private space and start breathing. I observed a brain scientist present her research on the power of meditation last month. She stated that only 11 minutes a week of meditation will significantly reduce stress, increase productivity and positively impact the brain’s capacity.
- Clean house. Take a close look this week at the people, things, places in your life that are causing you stress or anger. These are the triggers that will distract you and cause you to stray from being kind consistently. Then start deleting. We are whom we hang out with. Misery loves company. Clean house by getting rid of the people, places or things in your life that distract you from staying on track with what is important: being kind.
- Listen. We have forgotten this powerful act of kindness. You can’t better serve others if you’re not listening to what is important to them. Rather than focusing on what you want and the task you need to complete, immerse yourself in the words and behaviors of whom you’re talking to 100 percent. Listening rather than constantly talking is a powerful act of kindness.
- Hit Play. I’ve shared the following song in a previous blog several months ago. When life’s challenges spark your hot buttons that create stress, anger or other negative emotions, simply hit “play” and listen to “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw.
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