2013-12-11 Leaning Towards Brilliant – Originally posted as FB Note (again, posting throwback blogs allows me to move all of my writing under one umbrella)
I had a conversation with a friend yesterday (I love you Pam) about “there really is good in the world”. My comment to her was: “The world has a lot of “crap” in it, if all you do is read the newspaper or watch the news. However, the world has a lot of “brilliant” in it as well. I am just a firm believer of we have to all pitch in to do what is right, to tilt the world toward brilliant and away from the crap.”
I stand by that statement. So, I would like to send out a request to my friends, this holiday season. How about we try to do some brilliant things and tilt the world in a positive direction? My 10 suggestions are these:
1. Go to your local store and pick up cookie dough, the kind in the refrigerated section that would take you less than 30 minutes to bake. Bake up a batch. Then, go to a local nursing home or VA Hospital and offer cookies to the residents. (I know, I know – diabetics, there are sugar free options too, come up with one!)
2. Think about your childhood and a person who influenced you in a positive manner (a teacher, an aunt, an old neighbor) – send that person a note in the mail telling them you are thinking of them and thank them for the positive impact they had on your memories.
3. Is there an older couple/person in your neighborhood or a younger, struggling couple? How bout you ask them over for dinner. If it is an older couple/person – encourage them to tell you stories from their past (maybe they served in the military, maybe they traveled too cool places or maybe they were a parent with children who have sweet stories to share). If it is a younger couple, get them to talking about their dreams and where they are heading in life.
4. Smile more. Even if for no reason. The world is a better place with more people smiling in it.
5. Hold the door for people. Holy crap, you are not in THAT big a rush that you need to use shoulders and elbows to walk into WallyWorld. (I know, I hate WallyWorld and usually walk away from there more pissed than when I entered. BUT – I promise (maybe in January) to try to not be as mad while I am shopping).
6. If you make lunch for your loved one, put a post-it note in their bag with a sweet saying or an encouraging phrase. (Then at lunchtime you will have a reason to smile because you know that person, the one special to you, is smiling too, because of you.)
7. Reconnect with an old friend from years past. I know that our lives evolve in certain ways for a reason. But with the social media that we have available to us today – maybe that one person you no longer talk to (and you cannot, for the life of you, remember why) can be found in a few keystrokes – just tell them you were thinking about them. You never know where they are in their lives and maybe the warm wishes from you could be an encouraging factor in their life.
8. Take a few moments and sit down with your kids and have a conversation. Sure, you see them every day. But, turn off the TV, set down the iPhone and actually make eye contact and have a real conversation. Tell them you are proud of them. Take them for a walk, go see the Christmas light displays. Encourage them to tilt the world towards brilliant.
9. Randomly leave an apple or an orange on someone’s desk at work. Especially if you know they have had a bad few days, a messed up meeting or are on a deadline.
10. Force yourself to think positive for five minutes. Five minutes should not be hard. Are you having a problem? Think about it from a positive angel for five minutes. Is someone being an ultra pain in your arse? Think about them in a positive light for five minutes.
I am a curmudgeon. I have been for years. But lately life has been better than I have ever known. And, even when I had rough patches in my life – it was not as bad as it is for some people out there. Sometimes we get so caught up in our own trivial problems that we are unable to see just that – as long as you draw breath, have a roof over your head, food in your belly and someone in your life that you love – you are standing on the edge of brilliant – now, just lean into it.