You know that moment in traffic when you’re trying to change lanes to make a turn and someone stops long enough to let you squeeze in front of them? It feels good. And it feels even better when you’re the one letting another person go ahead of you. It’s a small thing, but it feels nice for you and the person you’re helping.
The magic always works in both directions, benefitting both the giver and the receiver. Imagine someone carrying two heavy bags of groceries to their car. An orange drops out of the top of one of their over-stuffed bags. Your natural impulse is to pick up their fallen orange and give it to them, right? As you place the orange back in the person’s bag, they smile, and say, “Thanks!” Their genuine gratitude for your small act of kindness warms your heart.
When we care for others, we increase our own sense of meaning and purpose in life. When we and express our gratitude for the care we receive, we encourage everyone to keep caring for others.
If you truly want to be happy, and you are ready to make significant changes in your life to make that happen, find every opportunity to care for others and express gratitude directly for the care you receive.
The practice of caring for others starts small, in everyday situations, and then it can grow into committed volunteerism, socially positive pro-activism, and ultimately, your life’s work. In Middleway Method, we start with simple suggestions for things that just about everyone can do, and then we build from there.
- In every interaction, look in the other person’s eyes, and smile.
- When someone is helpful to you, say, “Thank you,” in a genuine way.
- When someone is speaking, listen attentively and ask follow-up questions.
- When you don’t like something that someone is doing, remember that everyone is trying to find happiness.
- Find your local senior care center or homeless shelter and offer to volunteer your time. (If you are feeling blue and suffering from a lack of motivation and inspiration in your life, do this! It is amazing.)
- Become a Middleway Method Approved Provider, or become a Mentor and give your life to the service of others.
The wonderful Daymaker website has some great suggestions.
Check out our partner organization CoachArt.
Visit Big Sunday to make great new connections.
This is part of the Middleway Preliminary Practices free online wellness program. Learn more here.