The other day I was driving along in not the best of moods, mainly due to the traffic and the rain. I flicked on my indicator to change lanes but, given my mood, I expected to have a hard time getting across. But no, the car that was coming up on my left immediately slowed down and let me in. As I exchanged a smile with the driver, my mood immediately lifted.

What this simple act of kindness made me realize is that often it doesn’t take much to make someone else’s day. So your mission for today, should you choose to accept it, is to go out into the world and brighten someone else’s day. Here are a few ideas to get you rolling:

1. Remember a birthday

People always love it when you remember their birthday. Tip: go through Facebook and enter your friends’ birthdays in your diary so you don’t forget.

2. Stand up for someone

Do you know someone who is being harassed or picked on? Show them some support by standing up for them.

3. Ping

If time is an issue, consider “pinging” a friend by sending a quick email or text message. This is a great way to show someone you are thinking about them.

4. Listen

Sometimes people just need to vent. If you get the impression that a friend, family member, or co-worker has something on their mind, just listen. They will appreciate it.

5. Tell a joke

As E. E. Cummings once said, “the most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” So tell a joke, even if it is just to your cat.

6. Buy a friend lunch

If you haven’t seen a friend for awhile, taking them out to lunch is a great way to catch up.

7. Lend a good book

Friends and family seem to be forever lending me books that they have read. I know this makes my day :) .

8. Compliment

Everybody loves to receive a sincere compliment.

9. Buy a small gift

This shows that you have been thinking about the person you buy the gift for.

10. Babysit

Any parent will tell you how nice it is to receive an offer to watch the kids (even for just an hour!).

11. Give chocolate

I find that women, in particular, appreciate chocolate :) .

12. Believe in friend

Many people struggle with confidence. Show a friend that you believe in their big idea and you may just help it become a reality.

13. Show your love

Saying “I love you” to your partner is nice, but an even better idea is to show your love. You can’t go wrong by offering to give your partner a massage without being asked.

14. Smile

A smile can be infectious (as I learned in the story at the start of this article).

15. Share a happy memory

Did you just think of a funny event that happened to you and a friend? Or do you have some photos from a recent outing? If so, send a quick email to your friend so that they can relive the memory.

16. Compile a music CD

A great idea to brighten someone’s day is to burn a compilation of your favorite songs to CD for them.

17. Cook a meal

You may be noticing a pattern here with the food suggestions. I always was a fan of the expression “the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach”.

18. Commend excellent customer service

Making the boss aware you received great service or leaving a generous tip are two ways to commend excellent customer service.

19. Say thank you

Saying “thank you” is perhaps the easiest way to show someone you appreciate them.

20. Donate to a charity

You may not see the person you help, but that’s not really the point, is it?

21. Give someone a dizzy wizzy

This works better for young children than adults (see the photo at the start of the article) :) .

Peter Clemens

Peter Clemens is founder of The Change Blog and author of The Possibility of Change books series. Click here to learn more about Peter and his books.

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