One thing that I can confidently say is on twitter (http://twitter.com), I am well known for promoting the concept of "paying it forward". Well, at least with my twitter friends, and my friends, colleagues and peers in person.
A common question people ask when interacting on twitter, is how do I "pay it forward"? Hmmm, good question, and one that I shall now try to cover off here.
Firstly, paying it forward is never something you could say is pre meditated. Instead, you pay it forward, when the moment grabs you.... or spur of the moment, totally off the cuff. So being in tune with your inner self is important. Some call it your higher self, others refer to it as your sixth sense, but whichever it is... listen carefully to it. It is normally right.
Secondly, a paying it forward action should never have real negative implications for yourself. For example, putting some loose change into a parking meter (something I have done) is not really going to tax your overall position financially, where as spending $5,000 on a random someone just may. Paying it forward comes from someone who "can" to someone who possibly "can't".
Thirdly, paying it forward is done without having to think "what will I get out of this?" The very point of paying it forward, is to do it when you get the opportunity, done randomly, and with zero expectations to receiving anything in kind. Rest assured though, when you are in need, pay it forward comes full circle.
So the next time you get a feeling to help someone out, listen to that feeling, run with that feeling, and pay it forward.