New BeingGoode Hobby

I wanted to take a minute to share a new hobby of mine that makes me smile and feel amazing. It’s free and perfect to start right now.

My new hobby is making sure customer service workers get complimented for great service. It’s pretty simple –

  1. Have someone provide excellent service.
  2. Notice their name or ask for it.
  3. Ask for their supervisor, go online, or make a phone call to make sure their boss knows they did an excellent job.

While it’s always nice to smile, say thank you, and look someone in the eye when they provide great customer service, taking the extra time to make sure their boss knows can have a huge impact. It factors into performance reviews, raises, and generally in staying employed. Plus managers love hearing that someone who works for them is doing a great job especially when most comments are negative. It really doesn’t take that long and let me tell you, it feels good!

Kindness Pet Peeves

When blogging about kindness it seems like I’d only have puppies and rainbows to talk about. Well there is one thing that drives me up a wall and it’s commonly mistaken as a kindness.

“Smile,” he says.


I’m sure that some people think they are acting out of kindness, although probably more don’t think at all. They want you to be happy and more importantly demonstrate your happiness. And somehow most of the time it’s men telling women to smile. Some strange chauvinistic hold out that hasn’t yet been killed by the 21st century.

The feelings I get when someone says this to me are always negative. I’m usually in my head and jarred to hear that someone has a problem with my appearance. I may not be smiling because I’m upset or thinking about something going on in my life that is difficult or complicated. Or I could just be tired and not ready to put on a big fake smile first thing in the morning. It doesn’t even matter if I have a reason or not. Smiling is a decision that is completely up to me. And while I often smile it is not mandatory. Someone telling me to smile just makes me more upset to the point where smiling is the opposite of what I’m feeling.

If this is something you’ve done in the past – told someone to smile – I hope you’ll reconsider your actions. This isn’t kindness. If you see someone who isn’t smiling there are kindness that that can provoke – ask them if everything is okay, smile at them yourself, do something to make them smile, or just move on with your day.

If someone says this to you remember – it’s okay to be sad sometimes, it’s okay not to smile. It’s your decision. I know you want to have a happy life but smiling 24/7 is not a requirement. My life is filled with so much joy and still I’m often told to smile.
What are your kindness pet peeves? Does any “kindness” just drive you up a wall?

Being Kind in an Unkind World



We all go through hard times. All of us have come across people who might be jealous or sad, who try to break us down. Mean happens to all of us. It can be from strangers, acquaintances, or people we are close to. I try to keep in mind that these are mean moments, mean actions, not mean people. But honestly sometimes that thought leaves my mind entirely and I just think of them as the meanest person on the planet.

So how do you do it? How can you be kind in an unkind world? There are a few ways, unfortunately none are very easy in practice. But that’s just it – it’s a practice and it takes practice. Overtime you’re kind in the unkind world you get a little better at it.

Energy is like a snowball, the more you add to it the bigger it gets rolling down the hill. When someone comes at you with negative energy or a mean comment you can either add to it and get the ball rolling down the hill faster or you can counter it with a positive energy snowball and see if that can pick up some speed. Positivity may not stop the negative snowball but at least it isn’t adding to it. And more importantly it helps to keep yourself from getting dragged downhill with them.

But what you really need to do is take them out of it. Decide how you want to treat people and treat everyone that way – in a mean moment or a kind one. Create the integrity in yourself that you can be kind because you want to be kind and not base the decision on how you’re treated or if it will be reciprocated or if someone deserves it or not. Decide that everyone deserves your kindness.

It’s hard. This is something that challenges us all. It takes practice and patience with yourself. It’s unlikely that you’re going to be as kind as you want to be in every situation. But you can keep trying.

Try this – When you’re having a calm moment by yourself, think of something small that you can do that’s kind – looking people in the eyes, not complaining, complimenting, smiling, whatever it might be. Then write it down – “I am someone who _____.” and keep it with you, on your desk, your screensaver, in your wallet, etc. Challenge yourself to do that particular act of kindness everyday to everyone for 21 days. Strangers, friends, your boss, your kids, that person on the freeway that just cut you off, everyone. After 21 days write another note. You’ll find after awhile you won’t need the note, you won’t have to think about it. You will be someone who looks people in the eye. Personal kindness will become part of who you are instead of what you’re trying to do. And it will be a little bit easier to be kind.


Let me know what your note says in the comments!

What I Mean by Personal Kindness

Kindness, like most things, is better when it’s personal.

You can and should be kind to strangers but you need to be kind to the people in your life you have a personal relationship with like your friends and family. Since I started focusing on personal kindnesses I’ve been noticing just how kind my friends and family really are. When trying to remember something I’ve done during the week to be kind to someone else, I see so easily how a friend’s kindness effected me during the week. I have some amazing friends who never stop showing me kindness. Hopefully I am just as kind back to them. Supporting them when they’re having a bad day or making a good day great.

I tend not to use the phrase random acts of kindness. It’s because I think these things shouldn’t just be random; kindness should be constant and consistent. There’s nothing wrong with being reliably kind. That’s what I’m thinking about and aiming for, nothing wrong with random acts of kindness, any kindness is good but that’s not my focus.

Personal also means what’s best for me. Buying the person behind me coffee might not bring me much joy but asking about someone’s weekend does. Personalize it to what works best for you and fits your personality. Find the ways that being kind light you up.

How do you personalize kindness?

Weekly Check-In

It’s too hot here in Southern California. That paired with the blood donation I gave – double red blood cells – which was new for me, this week has been about taking it easy and drinking lots of water.

Traditional Volunteerism

  • 4 hours Crisis Text Line
  • 2 hours Double Red Blood Cell donation

Charitable Giving

  • $1 to Cancer Research. Again I was buying my winning lottery tickets and the cashier asked me if I wanted to donate… I didn’t feel like Karmically saying no was a good idea. I got to fill out one of those little things they stick on the wall with your name on it.

Personal Kindnesses

  • A co-worker has sent around a couple of emails about stray kittens and dogs that need homes. My home is currently maxed out with my sweet puppy (only 1 animal per person is my rule, no need to be outnumbered) but I responded with hopefully a helpful resource. They said their friends couldn’t take them to a shelter because they’d likely get put down. I passed along the information of the no-kill shelter in the area. Hopefully they’ll find a nice home.

Self Care

  • I went to the doctor to get a checkup. I need a doctor’s approval to run in my half marathon in September so that was the main reason for the visit but I always like to keep up on those things if I can. What really stuck me as lovely was going through the questions about my life and medical history and getting to answer positively to each one – “Yes, I’m healthy”. Good health is not something to take for granted and it was nice to be reminded of how good I have it.

How did you do this week? What are your go-to self care ideas when the news is as bad as it has been lately? Share in the comments!

10 Ways to Add Kindness to Every Day


I was thinking about what kinds of things I could do simply and easily on a daily basis to be kinder. I came up with this list. I tried to make sure that this list involved things that don’t require money or preparation. The big theme is that kindness comes from things as simple as acknowledging others, being present, and being positive.

  • Open doors for other people.
    • The simple act of opening a door for the person behind you is an easy way to acknowledge the person.


  • Say Thank You.
    • Say Thank You as often as you can.


  • Make eye contact
    • Making eye contact while you’re talking to someone or even just passing by lets the person know you see them and acknowledge them.


  • Share space.
    • This is especially important when you’re walking in a group, please share the sidewalk. Make room for others. If you’re standing in a circle at a party leave a little space for others to join in. Keep your body language open and inviting.


  • Say compliments out loud.
    • I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at someone and thought how nice their hair looks or how much I like his or her outfit… and then just walk away. Say those things out loud. Everyone likes receiving compliments.


  • Meditate.
    • Being calm and taking time for you is a great way to create a kind atmosphere.


  • Tell a joke.
    • Laughter is the best medicine. Share a joke, do what you can to make someone else smile.


  • Put your phone down.
    • We’re all hooked on our technology but whenever you can, put it down. Pay attention to whoever or whatever is in front of you. Key times for this are around the dinner table or while driving.


  • Ask someone what he or she needs.
    • People are good at hiding their troubles. Ask them sincerely if you can do anything to help.


  • Don’t talk negatively about yourself.
    • Talking negatively about yourself makes everyone feel bad. Saying you look fat in your outfit isn’t kind to you or those around you who have to hear it.


What would you add as number 11?

Saunders on Kindness

Back in the summer of 2013 I came across a graduation speech by one of my favorite authors. Even though I’d graduated many years ago, I always like listening to my favorite authors. Especially when they’re tasked with talking to people at such an interesting moment in their life; a time of transition and hope and panic. George Saunders has written some of my favorite short stories so when he was tasked with giving the convocation speech at Syracuse University I was ready to listen. That speech has stuck with me ever since.

His message was simple – Be kind. But of course like with all great simple things, it’s not really that simple. Being kind is hard. It’s easier to stay silent. It’s easier to worry about yourself. It’s easier to go along with the group. But if we want to lead lives without regrets, lead thoughtful and wonderful lives, we have to try to be kind whenever possible, as much as possible.

Saunders really says it so well. You can read his full speech by clicking on the quote below or watch the video which is an animated snippet of the speech.

“What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. ….

“But kindness it turns out, is hard.”

~George Saunders




Being Kind



We’re already halfway through the year and it feels like it’s flying. I suppose it always does. This next quarter I’m planning on focusing on Personal Kindness. When I created the four facets I thought that this one would be one of the simpler ones. Just be nice to people; seems pretty straight forward and I think I’m a pretty nice person. But having to think every week about what I’ve done to choose to be kind has proved tricky. What it has done is help me recognize how important it is when someone expresses kindness to me.


Succeeding or not, attempting to be kind and being aware of it is a great step in the right direction.


I’m excited to dive into this topic this quarter. Do you have any personal kindness or random act of kindness questions or tips?