How Breaking Routine and Unexpected Acts of Kindness Can Energize Your Day
By Laurie Hayes
Sometimes life becomes so routine, we don't have to think about a thing we're doing throughout the day. We're programmed to run on automatic. It's important to shake things up every once in a while to get the creative juices flowing, give us an added boost of energy or give us something to concentrate on for a change.
When routine sets in, particularly in relationships, we can't always see the impact it has until we throw a new ingredient into the mix. This week, I ventured outside of my regular routine, and performed a very unexpected act of kindness. The results were terrific!
Picture it, Cicely, 1945 - oops, wait, wrong story...
Picture it, Northern Ontario, Winter 2004. It's Friday morning, snow is falling, there is a nip in the air and neither my husband nor I want to get out of our toasty warm bed to get ready for work.
We go through the same exercise every morning. We both wait for the other one to get up first to turn up the furnace, then he heads to his washroom to get ready and I go into my office to meditate for half an hour.
This morning, however, neither of us would budge. He didn't want to get up, shower, make breakfast and prepare lunches, and I didn't want to meditate, go through my agenda for the day and start prioritizing my long list of outstanding tasks. We were stuck.
I must have been desperate or temporarily insane because I suddenly blurted out, "Hey! You get up and get ready and I'll make you breakfast today! He was stunned at first and didn't say a word, then started laughing, "Yeah right. What about your meditation? For anyone who knows me, there are two things I don't do - cook (unless I'm in a real bind) and deviate from my routine.
I insisted I was going to cook for him - anything he wanted. Eggs, bacon, you name it! There will be no meditating today. He hesitantly agreed and headed for his washroom, wondering if his dear partner had been possessed during the night and lost complete leave of her senses. The last time I made him breakfast was, hmmm, let's see - when was the last time the Oilers won the cup?
I whipped up a hearty breakfast and while he ate, he repeatedly commented on how he couldn't believe I had done this. He thanked me several times.
Once I had finished in the kitchen, I went to my room to start getting ready for work. I could hear him singing and talking to himself in the kitchen. I called out to him, "You're happy, aren't you? and he answered, "My baby made me breakfast!"
It was amazing how performing a small task for the benefit of someone else made such a BIG impact! My husband was excited and happy, and I felt fantastic for making him feel appreciated and loved.
For the remainder of the day, I was a fireball. I joked with everyone at work and had them laughing and feeling great. The day flew by. I accomplished loads of work and had tons of energy.
When my husband got home from work, he told me about his great day, how he was zinging off one-liners at the guys and making them laugh, and how good he felt, mentally and physically.
Changing our routine and experiencing an act of kindness elevated both of us mentally, physically and emotionally. It is no secret that change and giving to others boost our energy levels, but we get so caught up in daily living that we easily forget. We fall into the comfort zone of habit.
Today is a new day. What can YOU do differently? Take a different route to work? Part your hair on the left instead of in center? Take the stairs instead of the elevator? Whatever it is and no matter how small, change makes a positive impact.
What can YOU do for someone else today? Something completely unsolicited and without expectation. If you're going through the drive-thru at the coffee shop, pay for the coffee for the driver behind you. If you see someone struggling with her bags at the grocery store, lend a hand. The simplest act of kindness will reap big rewards for the giver, receiver and everyone they touch throughout the day.
About The Author
Laurie Hayes is a professional Life Strategy Coach who teaches others how to recognize and seize opportunities presented in every day life. She has the ability to reveal the lesson to be learned in every situation and inspires others to seek out the best life has to offer.
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