101 Ways to be Really Happy Step #8: Pay It Forward

Just as in the movie immortalized by Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey, it makes you feel good to do things for people, especially people you don’t know and who don’t expect it. These random acts of kindness don’t have to be expensive or take a lot of time. In fact, if you are struggling with expenses yourself, one of the best ways to energize your financial success and magnetize new income to you is by selflessly doing for someone else with no expectation of getting something back in return. Here are some of the simplest, least expensive (time and money) that you can do:

1. Smile– Pay attention next time to how you feel when a stranger smiles at you. Smiling first feels even better.

2. Say something nice, complimentary, funny, silly to a stranger you are interacting with: sales person at the shoe store or other checkout counter, anyone in a government job (they can always use it), someone who looks sad or worried.

3. Genuine Praise: Of course for it to be genuine, you have to actually KNOW that this person is deserving of the praise, so get in the habit of noticing when someone does an outstanding job of bringing you fresh coffee, presenting information, singing in the choir, decorating for a party, wearing something you like.

4. Give out useful information: I walk my dogs, Prissy and Smiley, most days on the San Antonio River, a place with loads of tourists. When I see someone stopped, looking confused, or if they comment on how cute my matching dogs are, I generally strike up a conversation in which I share tidbits that only a native would know. I always learn something interesting in return and make new friends.

5. Say a prayer, send positive vibrations or think kind thoughts for someone in need. I like to use ho’ o’ pono pono (native Hawaiian healing energy) There are books written on the subject, but the simple version is this: Repeat the phrases “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.” over and over until you feel an energetic shift. You can use this technique for your own issues as well, but it really spreads the love when you do it for someone you don’t even know.

Need more ideas? Google Pay it Forward lists. You’ll get tons of ideas.


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