Few will remember that he would have been a year older today. I am sad he no longer with us. But I am grateful for the 59+ years he was on earth. His life and his death have impacted my life beyond measure. My brother was special. Happy Birthday, Jeff! Thanks for letting blow out the candles.
Take time today to notice the people around you. Don’t just float through the day and mindlessly interact. Go out of your way to give compliments to people. Often, we have no idea what people may be going through. Maybe someone just lost a family member. Maybe someone just lost a job. Maybe they just ended a relationship. Your compliment may make all the difference today.
As I suspected, my spouse did not read or comment on my blog post. It’s okay, she is not a social media person. She is busy with other things.
Yesterday was a long day but I did experience the joys of nature. When I woke up, the temperature was about 60 degrees which is unusual this time of year. Hence, I took nice morning walk with my dog. At the beginning of the walk it was dark and I enjoyed the stillness and quiet. Towards the end of the walk, it started to get lighter. As we returned home a couple of ducks flew by quacking about something. Throughout the day, when I had a moment, I thought about the beauty I see in nature everyday. Just thinking about it made me a bit happier.
The challenge today is simple. Today, commit a random AND anonymous act of kindness (or at least try to be anonymous). It is important to do nice things for others. This could be anything really. Put coins in an expired parking meter. Buy a strangers lunch or coffee. Send flowers to someone. Leave an encouraging note for a coworker Want some more ideas? See this list
Don’t forget, you can do todays challenge along with other previous challenges. Remember no complaining? Caught myself complaining on the way to work this morning. Finally, take time to notice how the actions make you feel. How did others react? Was it worth it? Have great day!
Yesterday was a success. I paid it forward at a local coffee shop. I didn’t make the impulse buy. I complained less than usual. College basketball is back on. It was a god day.
Today is Election Day. I am grateful the unnecessary mail, television ads, and door knocking will be reduced. While I am grateful for the opportunity to vote, I don’t like the negativity of the election cycle.
Recently, I was decluttering. This is a never ending process in my house. I found a letter written to my dad by a friend when my dad was in the hospital. The letter said “Please take good care of yourself and take it easy. We need a healthy Dr. Harris in South Dakota. I am grateful that you are on the mend.” I remember that illness. My dad almost died. I can only imagine the impact the letter I had on my father.
The challenge today is to put down your devices. Get off social media (after you read this) and take time to write a letter of gratitude to someone that has made a difference in your life. Then mail the letter Delivery by hand, interoffice mail, or carrier pigeon are acceptable methods too. Bonus points if you send more than one.
Not sure who is worthy of a note? Here is a possible list – grandparents, parents, spouse, child, sibling, coworker, mentor, teacher, professor, or candidate for public office (just have a dialogue change if we sent notes thanking candidates rather than throwing beer cans or attacking with hammers).
One final thought, do you want to take this challenge to the next level? Perform two of the previous challenges each day. Imagine how you will feel if you write a note, pay it forward, and do not complain all day. Imagine how others would respond if you did so. Imagine a better world.
I continue to reflect on the year that is 2021. I learned and relearned important lessons. Here a just a few things I learned this year:
- There is more commality among humans than diversity. Focus on what we have in common.
- Do not assume the worst in people. Most people are trying to their best.
- Making small changes each day will lead to big changes over time. Example: In Week 1, run (or walk) one mile. In week 2, add 300 feet (approximately the length of a football field). Add 300 more feet each week. After a year, you will run nearly four miles.
- Discover, understand, and live your values. This is the hardest of the four listed. It takes time to discover what you value, what that value means to you, and why you value it. It is a greater challenge to live your values.
- Read for fun.
Take some time to ponder your own personal lessons of 2021. Consider what you learned and how the lessons impacted your life.