Starting the Ripple
Did Superman really want to save the world, or did he just feel like he had to? Would he much rather be a farmer? Maybe. Would he much rather be hanging out with his dad and his mom and his dog? Probably. ~ Gerard Way
Save the world?
Get out of here! That needs an honest-to-goodness superhero, right?
Save the world?
Come on! Just fighting your way through your hectic week can be challenging enough.
Save the world?
Someone else needs to step up to that plate. Only deep down you know that ‘someone else’…is you.
Because even though it’s understandable, that kind of thinking isn’t really you. Otherwise you wouldn’t be here, reading this, right?
You’re more likely to wear yourself out trying to fight the good fight: be a decent citizen, a good friend, a truly supportive partner, a great parent.
You know, an all round superhero in your own world, driven by a selfless concern for the well-being of others. Which is truly admirable. But also very physically and emotionally frazzling. Even a true superhero might find his or her powers fading by Friday.
But did you know there’s another way to save the world? Truly, there is. And it’s joyous, simple and will vastly improve your life and the life of those around you too.
Now, I know what you’re thinking (you see, I have some super powers of my own).
Gratitude has gotten some bad press. It’s been called the ‘new buzz word’. A poor person’s ‘hot yoga’ or coconut oil.
Today’s miracle cure, tomorrow’s forgotten fad.
And some people may have misrepresented Gratitude. But honest Gratitude, proper old school thankfulness – that’s here to stay.
Why? Because it works. And because it’s not a fad or a quick fix. It’s been around since the first thought and it’s as much a part of you as your skin.
And it can save the world. Which is where you come in.
Because someone should do something.
The people of this great and global community are fried. Fried nerves and patience. Fried from information overload, fear of future uncertainty and relentless change.
And fried leads to tension, unrest and fights.
The world’s pretty small these days. The amazing inventions of recent centuries mean we’re all connected as one enormous community now. An argument 5,000 miles away used to be someone else’s problem.
But now it’s yours. And mine.
How Can One Individual Make a Difference?
Do you feel small sometimes? Just one person in an ocean of others?
Yeah, me too.
Good news is thankful thoughts lead to the actions that will save the world. Kind, respectful, appreciative, generous actions.
And then the ripple effect happens.
What you do affects others. Their reaction affects others still. What feels like one tiny pebble of kindness you drop in a Pacific-sized sea of people ripples out further than you can see.
When you let someone turn out in front of you in traffic, they’ll likely wave a ‘thank you’. You carry on your way, knowing you did a nice thing. But what you don’t always see is that the driver is motivated to then let someone else out a few turnings on.
And so on, and so on – all across town.
Your tiny, effortless act of kindness made a stranger feel so good they did the same. You touched someone else’s day and started the ripple.
3 Ways to Make a Ripple into a Wave
1. Be a positive force in the world.
Practicing Gratitude boosts optimistic thoughts. By consistently recognizing all your blessings, you build a positive perspective of how fortunate you are. Your thoughts then more naturally lean towards believing good things will happen.
And spreading your optimistic outlook will mean others feel more positive about the world they live in and the future they’re facing.
Optimism is the most important human trait, because it allows us to evolve our ideas, to improve our situation, and to hope for a better tomorrow. ~ Seth Godin
Good folk don’t fight when they’re feeling positive. But Gratitude’s effects go even further in you being a positive force in the world.
Consistent appreciation of the good in others builds an unwavering respect for your fellow man. It bypasses cultural differences and lets us appreciate that we’re all way more similar than we are different. Gratitude even recognizes what’s great in those differences. It subconsciously promotes feelings of largesse and tolerance.
And tolerant folk don’t fight.
2. Be an Ambassador for Good Relationships.
If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
Have you ever thought of yourself as being a role model for others?
Maybe not. Superheroes are touted as role models. But the truth is:
So maybe you could start thinking of yourself as a role model. Because you are: a walking, talking example others yearn to follow.
You know that children learn through what they’re shown by adults they trust. And adults learn from the positive feelings they gain from those they admire.
It’s true. What you do turns heads. And Gratitude’s part in all this?
Research shows that people who practice gratitude have more friendships and an overall 17.5% increase in ‘likability’. Couple being likable with the trait of being ever-friendly – that’s a success recipe for promoting good relationships.
Think of the people you spend your day with: work colleagues, fellow club members, neighbors, even the regular commuter crowd. If you added up all the hours you spend with these people over the years, it would be a significant portion of your life. And theirs.
That’s a heck of a lot of people affected by your friendly approach to others. You’ll be a huge dose of sunshine poured into everybody’s routine right there.
And folk that get on, don’t fight each other.
3. Be a self-esteem builder.
Do you find when you’re feeling a little insecure that your day seems doubly tricky?
Awkward situations feel way more challenging when your inner monologue is constantly self-critical. Even your best seems to fall a long way short of good enough.
That’s an unfortunate negative state of mind. And you may have noticed how quickly negativity spreads, like a virus. Conversely, when your self-esteem is buoyant life is so much easier. The sun shines brighter and you feel way more warmth and compassion for everyone around you.
Well, most people around you suffer with low self-esteem days as well. Many of them every day. Some studies cite an average of 85% of people are afflicted with low-self-esteem.
Someone should do something. And yes, that someone is you and me
But do you know what that something is? It’s a simple matter of making people feel good about themselves whenever you can. It just takes being honest and genuine. Over-hyping compliments or inflated praise come across as false and actually have the opposite effect.
Authentically kind words and deeds, borne of friendliness, empathy and compassion say ‘Hey, you’re an important part of this great, global community. Let’s be in this together.” Singling someone out and being over helpful doesn’t actually boost self-esteem.
Self-esteem is made up primarily of two things: feeling lovable and feeling capable. ~ Jack Canfield
The greatest gift to someone else’s self-esteem is to simply let them know that they matter. That they’re not invisible. And that they have a lot to offer.
Because folk with high self-esteem don’t need to fight.
Ready to turn that ripple into a wave?
The Life-Changing Power of Gratitude, Laura’s latest book, is out on Amazon now. You can grab it for FREE for the next few days here.
The free offer runs for 5 days between Sunday 10th December to Friday 15th December.
Laura Tong, a former health professional, is on a mission to help you become the most positive, happy version of yourself. Grab her free cheat sheet: 5 Guilt Free Ways To Say No Without Offending Anyone (Even If You Hate Conflict). Laura also hosts the Re-write The Rules In Your Life interview series where she shares awesome happiness and positivity tips from experts around the world. Click here to listen free to the latest episodes.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.
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