"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." ~ Jane Goodall
I love this quote. It reminds me that our actions, large and small, ripple outwards and impact the people - and the world - around us. So with that in mind, here are five things you can do - starting right now - to make a difference!
1. Be a cheerleader, not a critic. Have you ever enthusiastically shared some exciting plans or an achievement with someone, only to have them throw cold water on your ideas or criticise them? It feels pretty bad, right? So remember that next time someone chooses to share something exciting to them. Encouragement is a gift!
2. Donate to a cause that it important to you. Or if you are not in a financial position to donate money, give the gift of your time.
3. Listen. Really listen, especially to your loved ones. As the old saying goes, "Most people don't listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intent to reply". In this distracted digital age, our attention is one of our scarcest assets, and one of the most precious gifts we can give to the people we love.
4. Smile. Smile at everyone you come into contact with. The cashier at the store, the bus driver, your neighbour, the old lady at the bus stop. Be the first one to smile. It doesn't matter if the other person doesn't smile back.
5. Pay someone a genuine compliment. I'm talking about expressing the genuine appreciation or admiration you have for someone in your world, not a smarmy, insincere compliment. It can be a casual observation made in the spur of the moment, or a carefully worded beautiful card sent by mail. Just take a moment or two to be thankful - and then express it!