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A mission of kindness

Your mission today, if you choose to accept it, is to perform a random act of kindness.

Pay for someone’s toll or coffee.Put some change in an expired meter (*Note: may be illegal in some states). Share an artist’s work. Make a donation to a cause or help promote it. Help fund a Kickstarter project. Have flowers delivered to a receptionist. Let the Wookie win.

Or just make a stranger smile.

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A mission of kindness

Your mission, if you choose to accept it…

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find an opportunity to give someone *sincere*, positive praise today.

Or tell someone’s boss or manager that the person who helped you (or others) is doing a great job.

Or write a positive review for a product or establishment that you appreciate.

Accentuate the positive.

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Your mission, if you choose to accept it...

The right thing to do

Yes, you will sometimes feel like putting in the effort to make a positive difference isn’t necessarily worth it.

And not everyone cares about the things you care about.

And sometimes you will feel like you are the only one that something actually matters to.

But you’re not.

Never let a lack of recognition of your efforts to make a positive difference get in the way of doing what you feel is right.

Because sometimes, the most effective thing you can do is simply set a good example.

The people who make a positive difference in the world are the ones who keep trying to.

Not for fame. Or recognition. Or personal benefit.

But because it’s the right thing to do.

Related:

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From the comments:

Stephen: Hard not to internalize those with issues who smirk and roll their eyes.

Zero: Agreed. It’s a struggle. Group social dynamics are very powerful.

But I think it’s important to not lose your identity in a crowd — or to the crowd — because you are afraid of standing out.

See also: Why Good People Do Bad Things : Research indicates that being in a group makes some people lose touch with their personal moral beliefs.

The right thing to do

Life experience has finished installing important updates…

Life experience has finished installing important updates providing you with the ability to improve your life, but your life will not change without taking action.

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Originally published on: Jun 12, 2014 @ 15:26
Republished on: May 23, 2015 @ 13:26

Life experience has finished installing important updates...

Skip and volume control

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If you’ve ever listened to a song and turned it up because you enjoyed hearing it so much, know that you essentially have (and use) this ability to the experiences that happen in your life.

Your attention is your “volume control”. Whatever you focus on gets louder.

So when something comes on that you don’t like, do you turn it up? No. You skip it.

And this is what you can do with those tired, old, negative thoughts in your head. You skip them.

And you keep skipping until you can settle on something worth listening to — and hopefully, worth turning up.

Skip and volume control. Use as needed.

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Skip and volume control

Lanes Merge Ahead

“Yes, I see the “lanes merge ahead” signs, but I’m really in a hurry today. Besides, I see those other jerks do this all the time.”

“I know the light is turning red, but I have important things to do.”

“I can’t find a trash can and I’m really tired of carrying this bottle, so I’m just going to drop it. Besides, there’s another bottle on the grass over there.”

“I don’t want to have to walk across the parking lot to throw my fast food trash away, so I’m just going to leave it next to my car. People get paid to clean this stuff up, right? I’m not littering, I’m giving someone a job.”

“I’m not walking another 40 feet to put this shopping cart in a rack. I’m just going to leave it in this parking space. Look at all the other carts in the parking lot. I’m sure someone will take care of it.”

“This thing I found doesn’t belong to me, but it’s kind of nice and I don’t want some thief to take it. So I’m going to.”

When you do things that you don’t like others to do — or wouldn’t want someone to do to you — you set an example for even more people to follow.

Always do the things you want to see more of in the world, not less.

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Lanes Merge Ahead

Life is not a competition

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” — Earl Nightingale

Never give up on what you desire in life just because someone else appears to have an easier time getting what they desire or is making progress more quickly than you are.

Remind yourself as necessary that life is not a competition and that some people will always make progress more quickly than others. That’s life.

But your life, your circumstances, and your goals are your own. Don’t let the simple fact that others are working on and achieving their goals deter you from working on and achieving your own.

Always remember that every little step you take towards a goal — no matter how small — is progress.

Related:

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Life is not a competition

Parachutes

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I’ve said it before, if all I do is write posts that simply make people nod yes, then I’m not really doing much to make people think or change the way they look at things.

“It is just that we should be grateful, not only to those with whose views we may agree, but also to those who have expressed more superficial views; for these also contributed something, by developing before us the powers of thought.” — Aristotle

It is those things that make us pause and evaluate how we feel about them — whether we agree or disagree or just want to think about in more depth over time — that really make a difference in our lives.

If we aren’t challenged by something, we aren’t changed by it.

You can see a million of these motivational quotes and pins go by and quickly think “yup!”, but do they really do anything but reassure you of what you already think, feel, or know about something?

“There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.” — Michel de Montaigne

It’s the posts that make you go, “Wait. I’m not sure I agree.” or “I hadn’t thought about it like that before.” that really help make changes in your life or your way of thinking.

I should also once again point out that we don’t have to agree on something to get along.

And, if done respectfully, I like to be challenged because it helps me see things from another perspective. I may even update something I wrote to reflect new insights.

“I don’t like to talk much with people who always agree with me. It is amusing to coquette with an echo for a little while, but one soon tires of it.” — Thomas Carlyle

What I write doesn’t always apply to every situation or scenario. And it can’t possibly reflect things I haven’t thought about before.

“Things that I felt absolutely sure of but a few years ago, I do not believe now. This thought makes me see more clearly how foolish it would be to expect all men to agree with me.” — Jim Rohn

That’s where being open to other perspective helps.

“One who is too insistent on his own views, finds few to agree with him.” — Lao Tzu

If all you do is surround yourself with people and things that reflect your views 100%, and you have no tolerance for those who think or act differently, it gives you a distorted view of the world.

“If two people agree on everything, one of them is unnecessary” — Winston Churchill

“Minds are like parachutes they only function when open.”

“You know how advice is. You only want it if it agrees with what you wanted to do anyway.” — John Steinbeck

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Parachutes

Complaining

“Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are good is like expecting the bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian.” — Dennis Wholey

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Complaining about how life isn’t treating you fairly doesn’t make life treat you any more fairly.

Complaining about how something isn’t going your way, doesn’t make it suddenly go your way.

Complaining about how difficult something is doesn’t make it any easier.

While venting can be a way to release frustration, it rarely yields the sort of results that one is potentially hoping for — especially in regard to whatever it is one is expressing frustration about.

If what you’re looking for is a listening ear and a solution to your problems, then there are more effective ways to communicate.

It can be as simple as saying, “I have a problem and I want to fix it.”

And you might even find that those listening, will actively want to help you.

Because you’re not complaining. You’re looking for solutions.

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From the comments:

Scott: Sometimes though, venting just makes you feel better.

Zero: Sure. Venting can release frustration. But so can simply talking to someone about how you want to solve a problem.

And research indicates the same:

“Angry? You could call a friend and vent. You could punch a pillow or break a plate. Or you could even record a rant on a website like RantRampage.com. Unfortunately, you may be doing more harm than good; research has found that venting actually makes your anger worse.” — Fast Company (Article)

Most people don’t like to listen to people vent or complain. But they are much more open to listening when it’s clear someone is working on solving a problem.

As I say, “there are more effective ways to communicate.”

I think it’s often not the actual act of complaining/venting that makes one feel better — it’s the thought that there will be a resolution because one has moved beyond complaining to the point of working on a solution.

Either with a decision that one is either going to accept the state of things or actually take action and change them.

There’s definitely a difference between sharing and talking about one’s problems without any intention of doing anything about them — and sharing and talking about one’s problems in a way that yields a solution — whether that comes from one’s self or the helpful suggestions of others.

Ultimately, I think it comes down to one deciding to finally accept something or take action to change it.

Although I think the manner in which to take action is the hard part (although I suppose acceptance can be difficult, too).

Complaining

The persistent drip

Dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.” — Ovid

By focusing your efforts and concentrating on doing what you can with what you have, you can prevail over many of the biggest obstacles standing between you and what you want to accomplish.

Whatever your goals may be, even small actions can make a huge difference when performed with consistency and a persistent focus.

Stop waiting. Start doing.

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The persistent drip

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