Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day 56 - Compliment a complete stranger.

In today's society, it’s very rare to interact with strangers let alone compliment them. I am one of those people, although I am extremely friendly and talkative once I know you, if I don't know you I can be pretty shy, and me going up to a complete stranger and complimenting them makes me feel like a total creeper; that's probably the reason why I kept pushing this particular deed aside.

The fact is, our population is becoming more and more antisocial on a daily basis. Even when people know each other and are on a lunch date, they are usually plugged into their phones and plugged out of having a face to face conversation. No matter where you go people are absorbed by technology, magazines, or anything that’s not related to having a one on one conversation.

There are many reasons you should compliment a stranger; I've been complimented in the past by someone I didn't know and it always leaves me feeling magnificent, especially when it’s a genuine woman complimenting me on my outfit or my hair. Even if you haven't been complimented by a stranger per say, it's always gratifying when your mom or boyfriend or bestie tells you that you have a gorgeous smile, or that you’re a knockout in that dress, or that your laugh is infectious. But when a total stranger takes the time to put you on pause and offer genuine praise, it feels utterly amazing. Compliments from strangers stick, linger, and even alter our self-perceptions. Consider the power you have to offer that to someone.

Today it was intimidating to do, but I got the courage and decided I would once and for all complete this deed. I waited for the right opportunity and something would always interfere or I would get “stage fright” as I like to call it. In the evening I had to run by Target to buy a couple of things and while standing in line at the cash register, this graceful elderly woman came and began waiting behind me. She looked tired but you could tell she took care of herself, hair done, make-up done, and matching colored outfit as well. I decided this was my chance to complete my deed; while examining her I noticed that she was wearing beautiful vintage rings on her fingers and I love anything vintage; so I took a big gulp and told her “I love your rings”, she looked up at me with a surprised face and gave me the biggest smile “thank you, my late husband gave them to me” she replied; I smiled back and said “well he had good taste”, we both giggled and after I paid I wished her a lovely night. I would like to believe that my compliment made her night and also gave her sweet memories of her departed husband.

Offering a compliment to a stranger is a gift, but since you’re reaching out to someone whose background is a total mystery, you never know how powerful your offering might become. A compliment is potent. All of us need it and they can definitely boost someone's mood and self-confidence, or in my case, make them remember someone who meant the world to them. So let's make this entry a beginning to a better tomorrow. If you like or love something, instead of staying quiet, SAY IT! Don't wait for people to smile; show them how. Let your guard down, talk to someone you don't know straight from your heart. Compliment them. Don't anticipate awkwardness, just be you in that beautiful way only you know and give them the chance to smile and connect with you.

Remember, your best friend was once a stranger too.

Love whoever is around to be loved.
-Kurt Vonnegut

Monday, February 18, 2013

Day 55 - Buy a nice water bottle, so you'll be less inclined to buy plastic bottles.

If you're anything like me, you're a fish throughout your work day. I go through water as if it’s going out of style, especially while at work. I drink up to at least a gallon of water on a normal work day so you can imagine how many plastic bottles of water I can go through.

Today’s deed of the day got me to research the contrary topic of plastic water bottles which most of us drink from on a normal day to day basis. I have always been one to think that bottled water is cleaner and healthier than drinking tap water or any other type of water but unlike contrary belief, bottled water is not healthier than regularfiltered water. In reality, bottled water is just water and not only is it costly and wasteful; but the plastic is also bad for our environment.

Although plastic is used on a daily basis just about everywhere in the world, a lot of people don't realize how harmful it really is to our environment. It takes forever to break down plastics and once it’s finally broken down, it separates into tiny toxic particles that contaminate the ground and water and ends up is most of our streams, oceans, and rivers which are then consumed by fish, those fish are later eaten by humans causing widespread harm. Not to mention, aquatic animals AND land animals eat it and suffocate, some also get it caught around their necks and bodies causing them to choke and/or suffer from it.

Some other bad effects from plastic are that it is made from oil, the less we use the more we preserve our natural resources. Also, plastic leaches into the water, liquids and foods that we eat and drink causing us to put toxins in our bodies.

It’s undeniable that we are going to use plastic in our daily lives BUT we can try to manage how much of it we use. The first step we should take is today's deed, instead of drinking numerous water bottles on a daily basis, buy a nice reusable water bottle and fill it up with filtered water instead. It's healthier for your body and you're saving the environment at the same time. As humans, it’s natural that we don't think about our future, but we should; why would we want to leave beautiful planet earth that has been so good to us, dirty and contaminated for our children and grandchildren? So today, go out there and buy a reusable water bottle and try to stop using so much plastic on an everyday basis, you can also click on this link to get ideas that will motivate you to move forward with the decision!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Day 54 - • Smile when you talk on the phone – it makes your voice friendly.

When I'm not having the best day and a friend says something to make me laugh or smile, within seconds I automatically feel better. I remember learning about Charles Darwin in college and was fascinated by some of his ideas. Mr. Darwin was the first person to present the idea that emotional responses influence our feelings; his exact words we're "the expression by outward signs of an emotion intensifies it". Of course, there we're many psychologists and scientists after Mr. Darwin that supported his theory.

With that being said, I'm sure you've heard the expression "if you smile over the phone the person on the other end will sense it" but like me, you probably wondered if that was even possible. So I went ahead and researched the theory to see if I could find some data to support it and came upon some interesting information.

According to an article on Discovery News, a recent study proves that human being's can differentiate vocal intonation between a smile, a non-smile, and different types of smiles; "smiling affects how we speak, to the point that listeners can actually identify the type of smile based on sound alone".  And being that 84% of the overall message on aphone has to do with your tone of voice, making sure that you are giving your "smiling tone" not only puts the other person in a better mood, but smiling changes your mood into a good mood as well.

We've all experienced awful customer service over the phone, and that really bad phone call which you wish you didn't have to be on, but if smiles can be detected over a phone, why not cheer yourself up by smiling and maybe the person on the other end can sense your smile and soften up a little bit. In the wise words of one of my favorite, most influential people of all time, Buddha, “all that we are is the result of what we have thought”.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Day 53 - Buy a stranger a coffee.

It's pretty funny because this morning I did today's deed without even knowing it was a deed. I usually make my coffee in the office upon arriving in the morning but today I had the urge to stop at 7-Eleven to buy a doughnut and a 5-Hour Energy drink which I barely treat myself too.

While waiting in line with my goodies at hand a clearly homeless gentleman walked in; instead of going to get what he came for he started pacing back and forth in the front of the store while mumbling to himself. Usually I would get very nervous and try to bail out as soon as possible but this particular morning I got a deep desire to offer him food.

For those that know me, it may come as a shocker but I am a pretty shy person if I don't know somebody; I am very un-confrontational and rather not talk to someone than to start a conversation with a stranger so I really didn't even know how to offer him anything without making him feel belittled.

I slowly and quietly said "excuse me sir, would you like a doughnut?” the surprised homeless gentleman looked at me and said "yes, yes I would". I automatically gave him the one in my hand and as I went to get another one I said "are you thirsty? Would you like anything to drink?" again he replied "yeah, yeah I want somethin' to drink" so I guided him to choose anything he wanted to drink or eat in the store and that I would pay for it. He walked over to the coffee machine and as he poured his coffee I paid for the items; as he walked out of the store with his black coffee and doughnut at hand I told him to have a good day. The cashier told me he was in earlier that day and purchased a bunch of food, I then proceeded to tell her that I didn't mind buying him anything he wanted even if it left me broke as long as it was food; you see, something I was taught from my parents growing up is that even if I had one dollar left in my pocket and someone was hungry, to use that dollar although it would leave me moneyless so that the person could eat, and still until this day it's something I've always done. Needless to say I didn't expect it to be a deed.

We spend so much money on things we don't really use nor need, why not buy a meal for a person who goes to sleep hungry every night? I've said it before and I will say it again, we never stop to be grateful for all of the things we have which others don't.

Share your blessings and they are sure to come back even more so. Whether it's a granola bar or a bottle of water, today try to give food to someone who's homeless, I surely guarantee that the feeling will melt your heart and make you want to give more, more often. ♥