Research shows that the happiest people are the ones who are doing something to make the world a better place. It doesn’t matter if it is something big or something small, just as long as it’s something. (From How to be Happier)
I woke up yesterday early to take hubby to work rather than have him ride his bike in the rain.
On the drive back, I began to feel cross and angry and couldn’t put my finger on why.
OK, a couple of things were niggling me, I’d had a few sleepless nights and I had had a few days away from the computer and was beginning to feel overwhelmed by the in-tray – but nothing to really feel worried about and especially not angry! I was basically just feeling sorry for myself!
Sometimes, because I help other people feel better about their lives and be more in control of their feelings, I can get frustrated when I don’t use my tools on myself – it’s ok to talk the talk but you have to walk the walk too.
So, I had a choice to make. Continue to feel sorry for myself or look at my situation from a different perspective. Ok I had got up two hours earlier than I needed to (hubby is a postie and goes to work early!) but I could use those two hours to reduce the in-tray and to get prepared for the day ahead.
As the ‘to-do’ list grew smaller, I began to feel lighter, saw how the niggles were just not important in the bigger scheme of things. When I have negative emotions, I need to think less about myself and more about others.
All of a sudden my creative brain kicked in…
and so we have the…
The 30 Day Random Acts of Kindness Challenge (The RAK Challenge)
I will often talk about the chaos theory or butterfly effect with my clients. My basic understanding is that if a butterfly flaps its wings on one side of the planet it could set in motion a chain of events that could cause a typhoon on the other side of the world.
This was covered really well in the bitter sweet film ‘Pay It Forward‘ with Helen Hunt, Kevin Spacey and Haley Joel Osment. which tells the story of a young boy who comes up with an idea as to how to make the world a better place for a school project. While his friends talk of litter collection, his idea is much further reaching. He has to get three people to do three RAK’s for three people on the proviso that they pay it forward and each get three people to do something kind for another three people. If you do the maths, before long we have a world where everyone is showing more kindness to others.
The idea is that you don’t do it to get something in return.
If you do something kind for the next person that you meet, they are much more likely to be kind or do something kind for the next person they meet and so on and so on.
So who is up for it? And how does it work?
The aim is to complete the following list of RAK’s over the next 30 days. Some of the ideas are easier than others, some of them may push the comfort zone. Some of them take a little time. Some of them cost a little money but the benefit and feel good factor should far outweigh the cost.
During the 30 day challenge, let’s celebrate our successes with photos, updates, stories on the Facebook page. Let’s tell each other about RAK’s we have seen in the news, in books, in films. Let’s see how many people we can get to join us!
And to make it more interesting for those competitive friends out there, RAK No 30 is one that you come up with yourself, the most outlandish wins a prize! The prize will be revealed in my next post!
30 day Random Acts of Kindness Challenge
1. Write and send someone a handwritten letter.
2. Buy a lottery ticket and give it to a complete stranger or perhaps leave it on someone’s windscreen.
3. Leave some change in a parking meter or pay for someone’s toll crossing – I have done this and it is a fantastic feeling!
4. Leave change in a vending machine or buy the chocolate and leave it in the machine for the next person to find.
5. Buy a coffee for a homeless person or elderly person and have a normal conversation with them.
6. Bring in your neighbours bins.
7. Take your friends dog for a walk.
8. Give a compliment/positive feedback about your waiter or waitress to their manager.
9. Send someone a small gift anonymously.
10. Let someone jump the queue at the post office/bank/supermarket or bar.
11. Pay for the drink for the person at the next table at a bar or cafe.
12. Treat a friend without a specific reason to do so, even if it is just making them sandwiches and sharing them at lunchtime.
13. Give an extra large tip to someone when they least expect it.
14. Hold the train or lift door open for someone rushing to get in.
15. Make a home-made card and sent it to a friend.
16. Offer to babysit for some friends or new parents and start not just when their evening starts but a few hours before so they can really appreciate their time together.
17. Pick up some rubbish you see in the road.
18. Give a heartfelt compliment to a work colleague for a job well done.
19. Recommend a competitor to a potential client.
20. Smile and say good morning to a stranger.
21. Tell someone how much you love and appreciate them.
22. Leave a copy of a well loved book you have read on a train or bus for someone else to read.
23. Buy an inspirational book for a friend.
24. Send a thank you note to someone who has made a difference to your life.
25. Buy a book from a random Amazon Gift List.
26. Donate to a random charity page on Justgiving and wish the person good luck.
27. Bake someone a cake or some biscuits.
28. Contact a friend you haven’t seen for a while and remind them of a happy memory from your shared past.
29. Call a grandparent or elderly relative for a chat.
There you go. So what do you think? Are you still up for it? Go on, see where it will lead, what opportunities may arise..
- Print your own copy of the list here:-The_30_Day_Random_Acts_of_Kindness_Challenge.
- Keep it with you and tick each challenge off as you achieve them.
- You can start on any date and the challenges do not have to be done in order
- I know times are tough so if you are unable to do some of the challenges which cost some money, why not get creative and think up an alternative RAK
- Tell your friends about RAK – wouldn’t it be great if we got hundreds or even thousands of people doing it!
- Have lots of fun and remember to update us with lots of pictures and stories of your journey!
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Tweet updates about your challenge using the #RAK hashtag