“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” Andy Warhol
1. Be Open
By this I mean be open in every way you can possibly think of. Your casual conversations, or how you follow your everyday routines, how you engage or don’t engage with certain experiences, etc. It’s a trademark of successful and self-fulfilled humans to be present and inquisitive in every set of circumstances.
Don’t go through life with your head down and earbuds in. See, hear, taste, smell, and feel the details of your day. Essentially, be open to and enthusiastic about the experience of living (even the mundane parts).
Why? Because when you’re open (present and engaged rather than closed off) you’re much more likely to see small ways you can help others. Not only that, people who give you their full attention are the best kind of people because they make you feel like you matter.
We should all be those kind of people.
Often (perhaps too often) that I find myself thinking that I've not got much. Not enough LIFE experience, not enough creativity, not enough time, not enough drive, etc. However, I’ve learned that simple things, everyday stuff, are often enough to inspire the people around us.
I challenge you to think about your relationship to this word (INSPIRE) carefully and let yourself be reminded that every day you have an opportunity to inspire others by just being the most authentic version of yourself.
Have an honest conversation, give someone some advice (if they ask for
it!), laugh/snort uncontrollably, bring in blueberry donuts for your coworkers one day, whatever – just be YOU in your own awesome way!
Small, unexpected actions can inspire us to be productive, and to not take certain things for granted, and it can create a chain of positivity that you just can’t get rid of.
3. Give When You Can
This particular item can change your whole outlook on life and, in turn, directly affect those around you. If you are in a position that allows you to give others some of your time, money, expertise, etc., then DO IT!
It amazes me the amount of barriers we set up for ourselves because we don’t ask questions, or don’t feel motivated to change our routines. Giving can be as simple as donating a few dollars (which can be done easily online!)
However, if donating money is not your particular style and you’re a more hands-on person, then I suggest you volunteer to tutor, to baby-sit, to dog-sit, to help those around you with small tasks that they themselves cannot do and you CAN do. This is not something that should feel like a burden, though – it should feel right and only done when you are healthy and available!
4. KNOW WHEN YOU NEED TIME FOR YOURSELF
And, on the note of taking care of others, it is particularly important to know when to say no, to pause, and to make time for yourself. If you are not able and healthy, then you are not going to perform at your very best. It’s a bad cycle. When you’re not at your best, you often feel bad about yourself and continues to sink you deeper into a cycle of unhealthy behaviors, thoughts, patterns, etc., and it all starts over again.
So be brave and spend some time and/or money on yourself once in a while. You need to recharge and concentrate your energies on what you love, so that you’re ready to take on the surprises and challenges that await you on this road called life.
And everything is easier when we make the choice to be nice.