Moving Kindness Forward

Have you ever completed a Pay it Forward gesture? One of the most popular gestures being to buy the person behind you coffee. Ever so often you see this pop up on social media being shared again and again. A seemingly small act can completely change someone’s day. It requires minimum effort but the impact can reach farther than we may see at the moment.

The cool thing about Pay it Forward is there are infinite ways it can be done. Let’s break it down just a bit in case you are new to the idea of Paying it Forward. It is the act in which a person or group performs a kind act for someone else without expecting payment of any kind in return. The receiver then goes on to do a kind act for someone else instead of repaying the kind deed they received.

Much like the ripple effect in a pond, toss a pebble and watch the ripple keep going creating more ripples. Paying it Forward often leads to more kind gestures then rippling out in ways we often don’t see.

Here are some examples of simple ways you can Pay it Forward:

Compliment someone – This could be anything from jewelry, haircut, shoes, outfit, or a recent accomplishment or activity.
Buy coffee/food – Easy to do at a drive-thru, restaurant, grocery store, but possible anywhere food or beverages are sold.
Mentoring – At some point we all need help in one area of life or another. Offer up some of your expertise or just be a listening ear someone needs.
Positive text – Reach out to a few friends or family members to share a positive text or inspirational quote to brighten their day.
Tip big – If you can, leave a generous tip for your server or driver.
Share your skill – If you have a special skill, trade, or that thing you sell, share or offer it up for free. You can set limits to this as in how many people you share with or for a set amount of time.

Gaining a sense of happiness knowing you made a positive impact.

Happiness is a quintessential key to living a fulfilled life. When you Pay it Forward often you can see an immediate positive response you have created for the other person. Giving you a sense of happiness and releasing the natural dopamine kick. Dopamine being the chemical messenger that relates to feelings of pleasure. Making an impact albeit small or not can change the whole course of someone’s day. We never know what someone is dealing with, where they are coming from, or things going on in their world. The act of kindness that goes into Paying it Forward can be so simple yet it can make such a massive difference for the receiver, and the giver too.

Let’s say you share a skill you learned years ago when you became an entrepreneur, maybe even partly because a mentor shared some of it with you once upon a time ago. There is this kid probably in their mid to late twenties and you can see the very same spark you had when you first got started. So you decide to Pay if Forward by sharing a piece of your secret sauce that ended up saving you so much time, effort and probably money. It reignites the spark you feel you have long lost and makes you feel passionate again about your business.

That’s when it happens. You see the lightbulb go off in their mind then the smile and sigh of relief. A sense of joy washes over you because you have undoubtedly made this kid’s life easier and they seem more determined. These moments stick with us for years to come. These are the things we don’t forget and feel compelled to do the same when we get in a position to Pay it Forward to the next generation.

Connecting leads to expansion by brushing up on interpersonal skills.

Paying it Forward even by complimenting someone or buying their coffee helps us grow by utilizing our interpersonal skills. Actually connecting with someone by making eye contact and talking to them to let them know we want to do this nice thing can be expansive. There are so many things we get from in person interactions than we get from those of a virtual nature. Like picking up on verbal cues such as tone and inflection, eye contact, body language, as well as the energetic exchange.

So on top of doing a good deed you’re getting the benefits that come along with forming a connection. The fact that this can help you get more comfortable with communication. Which in turn can help you in professional, personal, and social settings. Learning healthy ways to communicate effectivly can make it easier for you to be able to express yourself. By expressing things you may need someone to accomplish at work, things you want from your spouse or children, and socially appropriate things in any environment. All of these things can cultivate from a simple engagement another person if you set the right intention and pay attention.

Pay it Forward

Take some time and think about a few simple ways you may be able to Pay it Forward in your own life settings. Kindness can feel effortless and energizing when you figure out a way that you can help someone that could use a little boost. Perhaps try paying someone a compliment the next time you are at the store or out to brunch. Take notice of the person’s response or their reaction. Also pay attention to how you feel afterwards and make notes of it in your phone if you need to remember that feeling later.

These random acts of kindness can completely make someone’s day and shift the energy in them as well as in you. After all, the world could use a little more light in this stressful season.

Let us know in the comments below how you intend to Pay it Forward or your story if you practice this already.

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