Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rules of Three to Make the World a Better Place

  1. Get better at one thing and learn about two new things.  Take some time to brush up on one thing you’re interested in every single day, whether that be celebrities, calculus, astrology or renaissance art.  Put a bit of time into it and soon you’ll become an expert in something you’re passionate about.  Then take the time to learn about two other things you know nothing about: learn a new word  (Accubation, anyone?  It’s one of my favorite pastimes!), Google “North Korea crisis” or watch a Youtube video on French braiding hair.  Just keep changing it up. 

  1. Listen intently to three people without interrupting (even if they’re talking about their bowel movements, their window treatments or their toe fungus).  Let them talk, give them eye contact, nod your head, and just fully and completely listen.  Most people don’t even want advice; they just want to be listened to.  Don’t try to one-up them with one of your stories, either.  (I have so many good stories, that this a particular challenge for me.)  Listening makes you a better person, develops your patience and people like you more.  Plus it teaches you that it’s not all about you.

  1. “Pay the rent” for living on the earth. I heard this on a Satellite Sisters podcast the other day and I really like the term.  Commit to three forms of voluntary service every single day that helps clean up the environment: pick up some garbage that isn’t yours, turn off the air con if you don’t really need it, “if it’s yellow, let it mellow.”  (You may take objection to that one, but you know what I mean.)  If you see something that needs doing and you are able to help out, just do it.  Big or small.

  1. Hug three people every single day.  I don’t recommend hugging strangers, though last week there were people with placards reading “Free Hugs” walking around just outside my orthopedic surgeon’s office (who had just suggested I have a spinal fusion) and I took a fine looking young man up on his offer.  It feels good.  To you. To them. Physical contact is good.  I love to hug.  Positive energy transfer can only be good.  (So long as it isn’t too tight and doesn’t injure your back any further.)

  1. Compliment at least three people every single day.  Be specific.  Let’s face it, we feel like a million bucks when people tell us how great we’re looking or that they like our blog or that our presentation was profound and interesting.  If you think it and if it’s kind, say it.  We often blurt things out that are mean and thoughtless, yet we seldom say the kind things that come to our mind.  You can do it on Facebook, too.  People love to be acknowledged!

  1. Say thank you each time you are helped in any way, and make sure it’s a minimum of three times a day.  If it’s more than someone just passing you the potatoes at the supper table, tell them what you are thankful for and why.  For example, “Thanks for offering to get me coffee with soy milk and a pack and a half of sweetener; that’s very generous of you” or “Thank you for helping me figure out this problem.  You’re really creative; I never would have thought of that on my own.”

  1. Practice at least three random acts of kindness each day and make sure at least one of those is directed at someone in your family. If your sweetheart is rushing out the door on the way to work, pinch him in the butt and give him a wink and a nudge.  Offer your child some playtime before she asks you.  If you’re shopping and someone behind you has three items and you have 200 hundred, let them go ahead. 

  1. Shut up at least three times a day when you want to say, “I told you so.”  Even if you are right, you don’t need to say so.

It’s just three things…multiplied a bunch of times.  But even if you do just one of these things just once every day, you’re still going to make the world a better place.  And isn’t that what it’s all about?

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