Have you ever wondered how you can make the world a better place? Or stressed over not being able to make ENOUGH of a difference. Well, here’s a reminder that it’s the small things that count. And that your life matters.
Once upon a time I wanted to change the world. But truth was until I took care of myself I was no good to anyone. The world even.
I was so eager to make a difference, to help others, to make people happy, I just felt like I just wasn’t doing enough.
Constantly feeling inadequate and comparing myself to all the amazing change makers I was surrounded by (and they were and still are INCREDIBLE), I exhausted myself in comparisons and feelings of inadequacy and FOMO.
And then I realised the mistake I’d been making.
No disrespect to the big thinkers, thought leaders and game changers, but personally I was aiming too big. I’d missed the point completely.
Baby steps. Small changes. Daily moments of kindness. LITTLE things. That’s what mattered.
When I started focussing on myself. On being the most authentic and real person I could be. On being someone who was healthy (both physically and mentally), who was doing what she loved with people she loved, and who wasn’t overdoing things by people pleasing and trying to be something she wasn’t – that was when I realised I could make a difference in the world in my own way.
Seriously, there’s so much shit going on in the world, we can’t make everything better on our own.
And most of us simply don’t have the money, connections or resources to do so. Now there’s a depressing thought. But it needn’t be, because in our own way, we can help to make the world a better place. AND it doesn’t have to cost an airfare to a 3rd world country, a direct debit a month, or even an arm, a leg or a kidney.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop
Here’s 50 Small Ways You Can Help Make the World a Better Place
*A huge thank you to my followers who contributed some awesome ideas on how they would make the world a better place in a small way
- Allow someone else their time to shine – if you’ve got your eye on a leadership or managerial position take note of this one especially. If you don’t, still do it. I love seeing people SHINE!
- Give an elderly person some of your time. Sit, talk, listen, hold their hand, make eye contact, and give them a hug
- Recycle – Sheran Dempster
- Pick up your dog poop (my personal pet peeve!)
- Ask someone how they are, and wait for AND listen to their response
- Give someone a hug – try to maintain the connection for 12 seconds. That makes for an awesome hug
- Cook someone a hearty meal, either in person or leave it on their door step
- Volunteer for a cause
- Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated. All the time – @
- Travel respectfully
- Declutter and donate
- Donate blood or plasma
- Make eye contact
- Simply smile and say hello to everyone you pass on the street – Lucy Patterson
- Share your own story of survival (because we’ve all fought our own battles that will strike a chord with someone else in the world). Here’s part of mine. Share Jane says “there is always someone worse off than you. Be grateful”
- Do what you love. That alone will inspire others
- Respect others at all times, no matter who they are. This includes homeless people, employees, cleaners the people who make your coffee in the morning
- Be kind – random acts are the best 🙂
- Every one should learn to say ‘thank you’ for every small act of kindness they receive, and say it like they mean it – Corinne Rodrigues
- Tell someone they did a good job. Better yet, tell their boss
- Don’t listen to, or participate in, gossip (bloody hard to do…but it’s good for the soul and makes life so much more simpler!)
- Don’t buy trashy magazines or click on click-bait headlines (I KNOW it’s a challenge!)
- Compliment someone on how they look, be it how happy they seem, how bright-eyed they our, how awesome their outfit is…
- Gift giving without the expectation of anything in return
- Adopt a rescue pet
- Show a small act of kindness without expecting anything back in return. Buy someone a coffee, give a compliment – JoAnn from The Glam Whisperer
- Don’t litter
- If someone makes a mistake, stuffs up, gives you the wrong coffee, forgets to add sauce to your hot dog, don’t chide them. Tell them its ok. Everyone makes mistakes
- Focus on the good
- Spend time with your friends and true family
- Create art. Paint a painting, sculpt, write a poem, produce a beautiful song. Share it with the world. Or just one special person.
- Spend non-interrupted time with a child. Give them your 100% focus
- By reading and telling positive stories, stories of hope and love – @nabanita21
- Be kind to, and learn to look after and love yourself first. Until you love yourself you’re no good to anyone. Learn to practice self-care – here’s 64 simple ideas to help and inspire you to care for yourself first
- Secretly send someone money in an envelope when they are in need. Someone did this for me last year when I was going through a hard time. You naughty someone. Thank you
- Pay it forward – Suzannah Taylor
- Send a letter, email, tweet, or text message out of the blue
- Sprinkle kindness like it’s fairy dust
- Listen without passing judgement
- Smiles, pleases and thank you’s 🙂 – @normal_ness. Express gratitude often. Personally, I like to make gratitude a habit!
- Life is short. Look after your family and close friends, those you love, and to cap it all off, be more considerate to others, whether you know them or not – D (my husband)
- Give someone your seat on a bus, train, or when waiting for something
- Don’t judge others, especially by what you do and don’t see on Facebook. You have no idea what is really going on in someone’s life until you have walked a day in the life of their shoes
- Give your pet your full attention. After all, they give you their life, give them a chunk of yours
- Mentor or coach someone for free
- State things constructively so we problem-solve creatively, ignite our passions and clearly move toward ideals and not form habits of avoidance/depression. Simple rule to be applied in simple ways… but a big lesson overall! E.g. “don’t run inside = please walk inside, run outside”, “Don’t make a mess = let’s take care of the dinner table”, “Don’t forget = please remember”, “I want to clean the car so that I don’t have to have a dirty car = I want to take pride in my car so I will take care of it, starting with a good wash” – Kat Yew
- Show someone how to do something. Pass on your knowledge!
- Drive intelligently. It’s not a race. And put away your phone. You don’t need it when you drive. Care of my hubby, D.
- Have everyone give their co workers at lest one compliment a day – @just_anxious
- Educate yourself. Learn about other cultures, faiths, ideas, languages, people, history…
Just think about it – if we all did one small thing, even if it was only every now and then, imagine the impact we could have on the world!
“Try to leave the Earth a better place than when you arrived.” – Sidney Sheldon
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To help you on your way, here’s a free workbook to download and work through at your own pace. It’s called Finding Your Why, a workbook I’ve designed to help you in your journey through self-reflection and self-discovery.
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