Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pay it forward... how can I actually do this?

Back on the 1st of December I wrote a blog covering off the simple, yet very effective concept of "Paying it Forward". As a result of this blog, a number of people have asked me.... "how do I pay it forward?"

Hmmm... I really can't say that I have actually given the "how to" part of paying it forward any real serious thought... so I guess, now is as good a time as any.

Paying it forward: a simple concept of helping someone (usually unknown to yourself) by making one little part of their life easier/happier. This allows that person to achieve something better than perhaps they previously would have. They then are energised to do the same for someone else.... and so it goes... paying it forward.

How to pay it forward... a layman's perspective.

The main common theme behind the majority of all pay it forwards, is that they are normally quite often, off the cuff, or spur of the moment decisions, with little analytical thinking behind the action. So, exactly right what you are thinking, pay it forwards rely on your subconscious, your sixth sense, or what I refer to as your higher self.

So, I guess, paying it forward involves selfless actions on your part, without expecting anything in return. And no I am not suggesting for a moment that you be a martyr, as you shouldn't disadvantage yourself to the benefit of somebody else.

So how do you pay it forward? Let's look at some simple examples:
  • Topping up a parking meter before you drive off, giving the next parker something to smile about (perhaps helping them make that important meeting on time)
  • Positively affirming someone's decision, allowing them the drive to follow through on their chosen path (maybe, as a result, they apply for that new job, and get it)
  • Tipping the waitress if they actually did make your night that much more special/or even just saying thank you for someone else doing their job (you never know who may be watching)
  • Helping someone who appears lost/upset/confused/not well (speaks for itself really)
  • Tweeting that bit of information/linking one tweeter to another tweeter who needs a helping hand (and why would you do this... because you can!)
  • Share information if you can to someone who needs it... actually take the time to send the helping tweet, instead of worrying about your next self promotional tweet.

And yes, the last couple of ideas are based around ... why? twitter is an easy to access, simple to use, application that can literally put you in direct contact with someone who is literally on the other side of the world... and that someone may actually need you to pay if forward.
So there you go... in almost any situation, there is the ability to pay it forward.

And remember... if you are the recipient of a pay if forward by a complete stranger, please be open to paying it forward to someone else, when the opportunity presents itself.

Good luck and enjoy paying it forward, as I do.

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