Every once in awhile I get a moment to put my phone down and just observe my surroundings. That happened this week which is also the explanation for the lack of blog posts. Oops.
I went on a business trip that forced me to have more alone time than usual and to do so deep thinking. Generally speaking, I'm moving at such a fast pace that it's hard for me to remember the last sentence I muttered let alone where I placed my phone last.
I should pre-warn you, this is not going to be my typical upbeat blog. I try to preserve that outlook at all times but sometimes you just need a good rant session. So...
As I traveled solo, I took a moment to observe the human race which is always both a learning and....well, somewhat of a disappointment. I'm not perfect...not by a long shot but I observed some behavior that made me think., "Gosh, if we did less of that, no matter how corrupt our world is, wouldn't we all just be a little happier, a little more fulfilled and perhaps, a little less stressed."
I'll give you an example. As I was boarding my flight from Austin to Chicago, albeit a small plane, all of us - business audience for sure - were told that we were outta space and had to hand over our carry-ons. Par for the course, right? Fast forward to Chicago...we land, we're tired and it's cold. Those of us that had to wait for our carry-ons lined up on either side of the jetway...15 minutes pass and we all want to be in our pjs in our beds. Let's be honest. The attendant arrives and thanks us for our patience letting us know that our luggage should be up shortly. The vast majority of us waited patiently checking our phones. But this one gentleman, there's always one, decided that he was more important than any of us and proceeded to walk to the the front of the line and plant himself smack, dab in the middle of everyone, first in line, because he REALLY needed his luggage first. As if we all were thoroughly enjoying ourselves?! And that man actually got his piece of luggage 10th while the rest of us had to shimmy around him and slither to the side to get our own. He never budged. He was more important than all of us.
Where am I going with all of this? Well, I'll tell you. As I get older, I truly think the key to happiness includes these three principles:
- Treat others the way you want to be treated.
- Smile and say thank you. Inject a little bit of humanity in what is otherwise a nutty, self evolved world.
- Work hard and work with integrity.
Listen, we're not an uber religious family. Not the slightest but I'd like to think that these fundamental skills will aid my children into becoming better humans. At least I'm trying and hoping so.
So all this got me thinking...how can we get outta our own heads and just work on bettering the human race? In my opinion, it's the little things. Here's 10 small actions that can make someone's day and infuse a little "good" into the world. Isn't it a trickle effect afterall?
- Pay it forward, buy the next person in line their cup of coffee or their toll.
- Smile, say thank you. Ask your server how they are today?
- Open a door or hold one open for a stranger...especially the struggling stranger.
- Leave a tip, even a generous tip - you never know someone's struggles.
- Look people in the eye when you're speaking to them.
- Give hugs...they're free.
- If you're not in a hurry, who isn't?, step aside...let someone who is get ahead.
- Compliment a stranger.
- Listen...let someone vent. No opining...just listening.
- Call mom + dad. They always want to hear from you and will ground you in a heartbeat!
I think the moral of the story is that moments like these, hitting the pause button, allow me to see things on the other side of the coin. Sometimes my needs and priorities really aren't that important. That meeting, text, social post, email can wait. Sometimes being a human is much more important and fulfilling than being "busy". Do something good today + Happy Friday!