Is it possible that like me, you've been feeling overwhelmed recently? There is no shortage of bad news in our world. There is no shortage of challenges to meet and overcome – whether on a personal, local, national or global level. From people we care about being diagnosed with life-threatening diseases, to corrupt public officials, to the wars and violence in the world, to global warming to a thousand other daunting problems, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, even powerless to change anything.
And yet … I have come to believe and remind myself often that what's even worse than all that is the belief that there is simply nothing we can do and so we do exactly that … nothing. Or because we fear doing the "wrong" thing, we err by doing nothing.
Well ladies and gentlemen, let this be the moment, the hour, the day, the week that you wake up and realize this: we all have ample opportunities to make the world a better place, starting right where we are! Quantum physicists tell us that a butterfly, fluttering its wings sends out a cosmic signal that affects the tides on the other side of the planet. Today, I encourage you to be that butterfly wherever you are, sending out cosmic signals of joy, gratitude, peace, harmony and love, not only with your thoughts but with your actions. I offer you 25 simply different ways to improve your life and the world around you, starting now.
1) Plant a tree or some flowers.
2) Make a list of 10 things you are grateful for, and do it daily for a week.
3) Express your appreciation to someone.
4) Send an unexpected card to someone.
5) Take a walk around the block and notice the natural beauty in your neighborhood.
6) Find a way to thank a service man or service woman for their sacrifice.
7) Contact a local school and volunteer to read or mentor.
8) Pick up litter in your neighborhood, even if it's not yours.
9) Replace one or more light bulbs in your home or office with those swirly ones that save energy.
10) Donate your news to a school while you're on vacation.
11) Breathe and stretch for 1 minute.
12) Give something to someone who can never repay you.
13) Volunteer your time at a shelter for animals or humans.
14) Smile at everyone you meet.
15) Eliminate complaining or judgment for one day. (Beware you may find yourself temporarily out of conversation topics with this one!)
16) Help build a home with Habitat for Humanity.
17) Listen to someone's story with respect instead of judgment.
18) Write a long-overdue letter to a teacher or mentor who made a difference in your life.
19) Smile and pay yourself and / or someone else a heartfelt compliment.
20) Spend some time with an elderly person.
21) Listen to music that uplifts your spirit.
22) Call someone to let them know you were thinking of them.
23) Save 10% of what you earn today.
24) Give 10% of what you earn today to a worthy charity or non-profit program.
25) Let go of anything that prevails you from feeling love, joy, compassion … in other words: forgive.
Helen Keller said it best with these words: "I am only one, but still I am one. But I can not do everything, but still I can do something; And because I can not do everything I will not refuse to do the thing that I can do. "
This week, make it your goal to do the something you can do to improve your life and the world around you. And do not get distracted or discouraged looking for the effect that your small actions may have on the world and those around you. Do you think the butterfly stops flapping its wings because it can not see the effect that its one small action has on the rest of the planet? No, and we can do likewise. Will you join me?
Quote of the Week:
"When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another." ~~ Helen Keller