The 3 Good Deeds A Day Challenge!


When was the last time you did something nice for somebody - stranger or friend - randomly without the want or expectation of reward..?

At 12 years old, I saw a change in myself. To cut a long story as to how and why short, I ashamedly found myself finding it increasingly easy to silently cut people down in my mind, mainly on their looks, to make myself feel better. I never voiced these thoughts, but every now again if I was feeling low about myself I found it a 'pick-me-up' to find a flaw in somebody else, as a means of coaching the belief that things aren't so bad, 'look at what this person has...'.

After a short while I became increasingly aware that I was doing it without even looking to. Without even the aim of attempting to make myself feel better, I was able to look at a person and pick out something wrong with them, or basically something out of nothing. At this sudden realisation at what it was that I was actually doing - and the fear I found in myself at how easy it had become and how good at it I was - I realised that actually, it is not that fun at all. It was bad. It felt wrong. And it felt mean. And I did not want to do it any more. I did not like who it had made me become - it was not me or who I wanted to be. It was not what God would want from me and it was not what I wanted for myself. I did not want to be that person and I did not want to feed happiness out of finding a blemish in somebody else. This is the first time that I have voiced any of this. for even at the time I kept my tabloid-celebrity-abusing inspired thoughts to myself out of fear for hurting another's feelings, as I knew even then that any distasteful thought about them was not something that anybody would need to hear. But also it was out of shame that I did not want anybody to realise that I took the 'lets-pick-out-this-persons-flaw' mindset from reading trash magazines and tabloids and mistakenly applied it to real life, (as if it belonged even in the magazines in the first place!?)

It was then that I made 2 decisions.

1 - To stop reading such magazines and tabloids.
And I can honestly say that I have never since. I did not like the person they made me and although now older and, (slightly), wiser, I still think that it is not a mindset that needs to influence a person of any age.

2 - To challenge myself to do 3 nice things a day for other people.  
The complete opposite of what my silent thoughts were doing, although due to those thoughts that were primarily based on other peoples appearance, I made the added on rule with myself that giving somebody a compliment could not count, that was too easy to do. After realising the horrible thoughts as my biggest flaw, finding the beauty in others became too easy! (My friends still roll their eyes at me for stopping random people in the street to tell them that I love their hair/bag/coat/etc. But I still think that its always a good thing to tell that person! When can making somebody smile about themselves be bad?) As I began to start to do more charity volunteering and fundraising, I decided that they could not count either - it had to be 3 separate, genuine good deeds.

So over 10 years later, I have realised that with my added rules and the way that some days unfold, that maybe trying to do 3 a day can be a bit ambitious. 

But what I also quickly realised as I when 12 years old, began to apply this to my life, that I was no longer counting for 3 after a while. Like how easy it had become for me to silently tear somebody down without realising that I was doing it, the new routine began to take its place and I was looking to do things for other people without even realising it.

What started as a bid to meet my 'at least 3 times a day' quota, slowly became a lifestyle choice - without even realising it. One that I am forever happy that I made. 

You find that after a while you begin to lose count or not count at all and would only really notice if you knew that you had not done something for somebody that day when you possibly could have, like forgetting to hold the door open or not stopping to help somebody pick something up because I too were in a rush. But these are not things to beat yourself up over. Trying to do 3 good things a day for people on a busy day can be hard! But it is always worth the effort.

I have realised that over the years that there are days that I can not do 3 things to help people, and also sometimes there seems to be days where I end up doing or saying 3 things that are bound to do anything but help someone with their day. But having that aim to guide me as really helped me try.

It has made me take more notice of my behaviour towards others.

It can be as easy as holding the lift open for somebody, giving a friend a lift without the ask of petrol money, holding the camera for a group of tourists, and of course, complimenting people! (You don't have to do it all by my rules - make your own!) When you start to make more of an effort to make others smile and to possibly make their day a little easier, you start to realise how easy it actually is and in how many ways it can be done! And you never know how much that person may have really needed that smile...

So I challenge you all, dear readers, to just for a day, a week, a month - challenge yourself to do          3 Good Deeds A Day. 

Start with one and build up to 2, 3 or even more! Watch the time unfold as at first it is effort, it feels like a chore, sometimes you are just looking for anything to count as a good deed and are just doing it for the sake of reaching 3. And then it becomes easier, you realise that it is actually easier and so much simpler than you think. Just such little things that generates such a big rewards - on both sides. And pretty soon you find yourself liking the feeling of that reward for generating that smile and that happy energy - and sooner than you think you will find yourself wanting more of it, and wanting to help others more. You will find yourself surpassing your quota and after a while not even bothering to count it any more, because helping people has become a part of your nature and you are no longer just doing it to challenge yourself do to better for others, for yourself. You are doing it because you want to help others. And that does not need thinking about or counting up on a check list.

So go on, go try it! Enjoy how it implements your life. I have also noticed over the years that magazine and tabloids are not as bad as they used to be on the people bashing and looking for flaws for a boost ethos. Although I would still warn anybody, no matter their age or emotional intelligence, to be weary or what you let influence you. Keep an extra eye on what you read, what you watch, what company you keep, and most importantly your own thoughts. Be who you want to be, not who others or society or the media or whatever attempts to shape you to be! 
But that is all for another blog for another time... In the meantime - Good luck with your challenge of doing 1/2/3/15! Good Deeds A Day! 

Challenge Accepted...?


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