Yesterday was a great day. Great weather for Thanksgiving. Two long walks with the dog. One along the bike trail and the other at Good Earth State Park. Lots of family time including wonderful meal and some trivial pursuit. Closed it all out with a Vikings win.
Today will be interesting. While many will be out shopping form deals, I will be working. The last time I worked on a Friday after Thanksgiving, Bill Clinton was President.
The challenge today is a repeat. It is a pay it forward and/or random act of kindness kind of day. If you have the day off, enjoy it but remember others are working. Maybe leave them a bigger tip, give a compliment, or do something kind. Maybe you buy a stranger coffee, breakfast, or lunch. It doesn’t matter what it is, it just matters that you act.
Today the challenge is simple. Show gratitude towards others. Be conscious of saying thank you to others. Keep track of how many times you say it today. Pay attention to how people respond to your gratitude.
Also, be gentle with Viking fans. They might be a little sensitive today.
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.
First, full disclosure, I was traveling yesterday and forgot to pay it forward. It will happen today. Second, remember the challenge from Day 1? Try it again today. Third, tomorrow is Election Day in the US. It is your right and your duty to vote. Now on to the challenge….
Today the challenge asks you to resist the marketing. We are constantly asked to buy things through ads n television, radio, social media, websites, and print media. Today, don’t indulge. Don’t make that impulse buy. Instead, save the money or buy for someone else. Bring treats to your office. Take friend to lunch, coffee, or drinks. Focus on someone other than yourself.
It has been a challenging and busy week. Yesterday, I battled with my inner voice. I questioned everything. Am I doing my best? Is this challenge impacting anyone? Does being grateful and thankful really help?
We all have off days. I was searching for the my sense of purpose and place. Though I pontificated about the benefits of gratitude, internally I was questioning its efficacy. Yet, I know this challenge works. I did this gratitude challenge last year hoping it would help at least one person. It did. It helped me.
This year, my hope is the gratitude challenge to helps many. But, if it helps just one person, it will have be a success. By that measure, it has been successful because at least one my readers has told me so and because it has helped me.
To be grateful and thankful is a choice. It is a choice that each of us controls. Chose gratitude today. Express gratitude today. Take control today by resisting the urge to purchase something for yourself. Instead, purchase something for someone else or give to a charity. Further, when you purchase something for somebody else, take a moment to reflect about how the action makes you feel. Do you feel better?
I plan to take my dog to a local coffee house and purchase a few coffees for the people behind me in line. I don’t expect or want anything back. I just want them to have a nice part of their day. I challenge all of you to do something similar. Have a great day!