If you want to live a happy life and achieve all your goals, there’s one essential trait you can’t go without: Being kind.
Franklin D. Roosevelt put it well: “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.”
And yet, cruel people are everywhere. You see it in the workplace, relationships, families, and on the street.
One thing I find is that many of us mistake kindness for weakness. But who says you can’t be kind and firm and the same time? Many think it’s one or the other.
When we study successful people, billionaires, and athletes, we always talk about their work ethic, creativity, and leadership. Those things are essential, and we can learn a lot from them. But one thing that gets less attention is kindness.
That’s why this article and the following observations are about kindness. Kindness has the ability, more than anything else, to improve your life instantly.
I wish life was merry 100% of the time. Unfortunately, life is not always fun. But does that mean it has to be bad? No of course not! You can feel better.
I hate feeling down; I know it’s a part of life, and there’s no escaping it. However, many people seem to feel sad for no reason—or stay sad.
Maybe someone pisses you off. Or you make a mistake, and you blame yourself. We let things get to us, even though we know there’s often no reason to get upset.
But we do. There’s no shame in feeling down—but you don’t have to stay down. I find it unacceptable to stay in a bad mood for longer than 5 minutes.
The day that I decided to quit my last job and the day that I handed in my notice were almost 90 days apart. In those three months, I worried — a lot. I decided to pursue my desire to become a full-time writer. But shit was getting scary.
Things like “what if I can’t pay my bills?” and “what if I fail?” went through my head. I freaked out, but as it turned out, the solution to my excessive worries was easier than I expected.
Many of us worry about all kinds of things: Work, relationships, money, health. Some concerns are real, but many are unnecessary.
No matter what kind of worry you have, the response in your body is always the same: It increases your cortisol levels.
And an increased cortisol level is something you definitely do not want. Cortisol compromises your immune system. As a result, you will become more susceptible to disease.
Researchers have also found a relationship between cortisol and diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart disease. Also, stress and fear can cause depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, and burn-out.
Have you ever met an idiot and thought “What an idiot?” Well, don’t be so quick to judge — idiots can teach you a lot about life.
A few years ago I went to Shangai. When I boarded the plane in Amsterdam, I met a first class idiot as soon as I stepped foot on the aircraft.
When I got to my seat, the overhead bin was already full, so I had to store my bag on the other side. But when I tried to do that, an idiot came from nowhere and started screaming at me. I didn’t understand him, but I got his message: “That’s my seat, and I want to store my bag there.”
I grabbed my bag, walked two rows down, asked the person who was sitting there if it was ok I placed my bag in his overhead bin; he said yes, I stored my bag, walked down to my seat, and sat down.
Was that difficult? No. Could the idiot have done that? Yes. He didn’t have to make a scene.