With our jobs and commitments and expectations of things that simply have to get done, it’s easy to sometimes lose track of things outside of the must-dos of the day. But our lives aren’t supposed to be all about what we need to do and what we need to get. Just as important is what we can give. Giving makes us feel better about our days and about ourselves – and it doesn’t have to cost a thing.
Give your undivided attention
You might think you’re giving people your attention all day long. Every time someone speaks to you, you give them your attention, you think. Are you really giving them your attention though? Your 100% full attention? No thoughts about what you’re going to do later? No list building in your head or future projecting?
Most of the time when we’re speaking with others we are also carrying on another conversation with ourselves in our heads. Or glancing surreptitiously at our phones.
Be fully present in your interactions. It’s a gift to the person you’re talking to and yourself!
Give the future inhabitants of the planet a break
Do you stop by the coffee shop in the mornings or for a mid-day pick me up? How do you get that coffee to go? In a take away cup? Most of those cups aren’t recyclable. Nor are the lids. 16 billion coffee cups are thrown out each year.
Speaking of dumps, they’re also full of 486 billion plastic water bottles a year. A trillion single use plastic bags. If the numbers are overwhelming to us, imagine what they’ll be like to future generations that have to deal with them. Give the future a break. Bring your own coffee cup. Carry your own water bottle and reusable bags.
Give yourself some slack
Some days you’ll make mistakes. Say things you regret. Act in ways you wish you hadn’t – again. It’s easy to beat ourselves up over the things we did wrong. However, an ill-conceived moment shouldn’t ruin a day. Go ahead and reprimand yourself – then let it go. Give yourself a break. You are doing your best.