Yesterday, I wrote, “Find Gratitude & Happiness by Putting Others First“; today’s post will focus on HOW to start putting others first in your daily life.
1. I have about an hour drive to work each way. In bumper to bumper traffic, most of the time. Try to transform your commute and start to put others first. Use your daily commute to think about others. See how it feels when you stop rushing to get the last seat on the train. Be patient with other drivers; they are only trying to get to their destination, the same as you are. You won’t know these people, but you will still feel gratitude when you try these steps.
2. Let me know if I am wrong about this because I don’t have first hand experience with it; Try to incorporate putting others first into your parenting. I often hear that a child always comes first in the eye’s of a parent. Your children learn by your example. Help them to get off to a healthy start by talking with them about your values. Explain why you take the time to chat with elderly neighbors or volunteer at your church. Try volunteering in your community.
3. Practice at work. Most people spend most of their life working. This is a fantastic practicing ground! Demonstrate your team spirit. Look for opportunities to help others with their workload. Praise others for their accomplishments and share the credit for group efforts. I have written before that when you express your gratitude towards a worker, she/he will feel good about it as well.
4.I have to admit that my shopping style is different than my wife’s shopping style. When we shop together I try to take a different approach to shopping. Holiday shopping stampedes have gotten notoriously out of control. Make shopping more fun by attaching less importance to getting any one popular item. Make it an enjoyable experience by helping someone who needs the help; if you are tall, offer to get the item of the top shelf for someone who is straining to reach an item up there. Let someone ahead of you on line if they only have 1 or 2 items. Gratitude is made up of little gestures that won’t go unnoticed.
5. Time is our most precious commodity. Select your leisure activities wisely. Devote your leisure time to activities that help you to enrich the lives of other people. You may want to do formal volunteer work for a cause you believe in. Even eating out can qualify if you keep the focus on helping others to enjoy themselves and leave a generous tip for the servers.
6. Do you watch tv? Most people do. Use media strategically. You can still enjoy TV and other common pleasures. Just make them productive by viewing the characters with compassion. Analyze how their actions demonstrate selflessness and how that results in improving their circumstances.
Thinking of others first will make your life happier and fill you with gratitude. Spend time thinking about why it’s beneficial to consider the welfare of others and take advantage of the opportunities to practice this strategy in your daily life.
The Gratitude Guru