Norton: Unleash your kindness
There are lots of conversations going on these days about unlocking or unleashing our potential. There are so many podcasts, webinars, columns, and blogs speaking to the need for us to focus on our mindset so that we can keep our heads and attitude in a good place right now. As a matter of fact, I am one of those voices and faces on those podcasts and webinars and authoring many of those columns and blogs, just like this one.
Kindness is a mindset or attitude, but it is also an emotion and an action. How awesome would it be if we could unleash our human potential and also unleash our kindness at the same time? Powerful.
During this time, we are seeing so many examples of kindness being lived out. After last week’s column where I shared the story of an owner of an awning company repairing an awning at no charge for a shop on Main Street, I received so many emails from people sharing their experiences and observations of other people and businesses demonstrating kindness.
When we live with the attitude or mindset of kindness it means we are actively thinking about ways that we can show kindness, and our kindness radar is always on. When we live with kindness in our hearts, we get to experience firsthand the emotions that are stirred as acts of kindness play out in front of us. I don’t know about you, but it brings absolute joy to my heart when I see kindness in action. And when we live with the attitude of kindness and with the emotion of kindness it’s impossible not to demonstrate kindness in everything we do and in everything we say.
My brother-in-law Dylan is a perfect example of this. He and my sister-in-law Caroline have this awesome dog, Ziggy. As Dylan was walking Ziggy the other day, there was a woman in their neighborhood walking her dog. She was using one of those retractable leashes and as her dog maxed out the length of the leash, the leash snapped and recoiled all the way back into the handle.
As the woman tried to gain control of her dog, she realized that the leash broke. As she was still quite far from her home, she became a little distressed. Dylan quickly came up with a solution. Since he was close to his own home, he offered the woman his leash so that she could get her dog home. He unleashed his kindness. Hence the origin of this week’s column. Thanks, Dylan.
Kindness costs us nothing, but it returns to us everything.
That old saying, “No good deed goes unpunished,” is absolutely a falsehood. Some may say that they attempted to do something nice for others or show kindness in some way only to be on the receiving end of anger or hurtful words. I do know how that feels — it feels like a gut punch, and it is awful. However, when I look back at what I might have done with the attitude, emotion, and act of kindness to help someone else, I let that sink in and remember that while I can’t control how others react, I can only control how I choose to respond. Unleashing kindness is never a bad thing. As a matter of fact, it is one of the greatest things we can do for each other.
“Do things for other people, not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are,” Harold S. Kushner said.
So how about you? Are you seeing amazing acts of kindness in your home, neighborhood, and on your virtual meetings? Are you living with the attitude and emotion of kindness that puts your kindness muscles to work? I’ll bet you are, and I would love to hear your kindness story at firstname.lastname@example.org. And when we all learn how to unlock our human potential and at the same time unleash our kindness, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of Tramazing.com, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager, and motivator to businesses of all sizes.