Christmas Reflection - Reaching Out & Changing the World

This Christmas I thought I was start off with the first post on our new site talking about changing the world, preferably for the better. There are three ways to change the world that you can directly influence.

First, we can work to better ourselves. This comes through self-reflection and understanding who we are at the base level, who we are in relation to those around us, and who we are in the larger spectrum that is this world. Once we know who we are, where we are, and where we are heading we can make a conscious decision towards change.

Second, we can work to better those around us. This is the one area that takes the most work as it can impact our ego, challenge our fears, and force us out of our comfort zones. When we better those around us we directly influence the paths they have set for themselves and hopefully reinforce their positive walk or help them to redirect themselves towards a better goal.

Third, we can better our world. Our actions every day can directly influence the world in our local ecosphere and in the overall global balance of things. Choosing to plant trees, ride bikes rather than drive, and to throw trash in a can rather than on the ground all seem like simple things but can end up making huge difference generations from now.

Today, Christmas day, I want to focus on the second point. Take a moment to reflect on the past year, think about the interactions we have had with others. Think about both the positive, the negative, and the neutral interactions we have had and think about those who are in our lives that we interact with every day.

Think of 2-3 simple ways you can make someone's day better. A phone call, a text, an e-mail, a handwritten letter (yeah, people still do that); a positive interaction which lets them know that they are thought of and cared for. 

Multiple studies have proven the benefits, for yourself and others, of being compassionate, sharing happiness, having empathy, and giving (time or gifts) to others. Your actions can directly impact countless others by those you directly impacted continuing to share their positivity to others, who then share, etc.

I encourage you to take 5-10 minutes this holiday to reach out to friends, family, coworkers, people you interact with every day, or even total strangers to positively impact them and to give them the gift of increased happiness in a season where sometimes many struggles with loneliness or the memories of a lost loved one. 

Tyler

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References

Klimecki, O. M., Leiberg, S., Ricard, M., & Singer, T. (2013). Differential pattern of functional brain plasticity after compassion and empathy training. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience9(6), 873-9.

Mathers N. (2016). Compassion and the science of kindness: Harvard Davis Lecture 2015. The British journal of general practice: the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners66(648), e525-7.

Otake, K., Shimai, S., Tanaka-Matsumi, J., Otsui, K., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2006). HAPPY PEOPLE BECOME HAPPIER THROUGH KINDNESS: A COUNTING KINDNESSES INTERVENTION. Journal of happiness studies7(3), 361-375.

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