Here is a random act that caught me by surprise one day. After a stressful morning with several challenges flooding my head on this particular day, I took a break to get a bite to eat. I waited in line at the restaurant, placed my order, and then to my amazement I was told that my lunch was already paid for. “Are you serious?” I said. “Yes, someone in front of you paid for your lunch,” she replied. “Who was it? Are they still here?” I asked. “Can’t tell you,” she said with a smile. Immediately I felt a lift in my heart and in that moment I had forgotten about the pressing issues I was struggling with at work. I sat down and enjoyed my lunch as I scanned the room wondering who the kind person was. Is it him I wondered…maybe it is that lady over there? What I noticed was the warm feelings I had for a perfect stranger whom I’d never met. And I venture to think that the kind person was having good feelings in their heart as they saw me scan the room with a little smile on my face.
Another random act of kindness happened one day when my wife Katie was driving down a main thoroughfare on the outskirts of our neighborhood. This particular road is a “speed trap” where cars are often pulled over by the police. On this particular day Katie saw a woman pulled over and in tears as she was being written up for a ticket. My wife felt a strong impression to help this stranger out. So she pulled a U-turn, stopped behind the police car, and waited for him to finish his work. She then approached the car and expressed to the woman that she wanted to help her out and pay for the ticket. “Are you kidding?” The woman was shocked yet very grateful for the gesture. A couple of weeks later she stopped by our house to say “thank you” and shared a bit of her story—she was recently divorced and struggling to raise her kids on her own. My wife was glad she followed the prompting to stop that day and help a stranger in need.
An act of kindness does not have to involve money of course, and it need not be extravagant. It can be as simple as pulling your child or your companion into your arms today and telling them how grateful you are that they are in your life. Doing a good turn daily is a very effective way to renew our energy and lift the spirits of both the giver and the receiver, and anyone else that may get a chance to see the random act unfold.
(Excerpt from my book Thriving in Turbulent Times)
John's passion is in helping people get unstuck so they can experience their true potential. Before starting his own practice he spent 16 years coaching, consulting, and presenting to Fortune 500 companies, teams, and individuals on how to breakthrough their barriers and magnify their talents.