One of the single best attributes of someone is how they lift up others. If you are a person that always has a kind word and talks nicely and respectfully to strangers, or does random acts of kindness expecting nothing in return, I salute you because you’re awesome!
Lifting others costs absolutely nothing. Telling someone thank you or holding a door for a stranger or giving a compliment to positively enrich someone’s day. Lifting others is a social skill built from kindheartedness and the love of yourself and mankind. We sometimes mistake niceness for kindness. Being nice is socially acceptable and we should be nice to others, but many times being nice is because we are looking for something in return.
We tell our children to be “nice to the teacher so they can get extra credit,” or we are “nice to our boss so we can take that day off to go golfing.” Nice has its ties to something in return. Being kind however has absolutely no ties to personal gain; you are kind out of the goodness of your heart and human decency.
There is so much power in uplifting others. Giving someone an accolade or just asking someone in an inspiring tone “how are you doing today?” goes a long way into fueling ones spirit. Life is already a struggle without adding more gloom and doom to it. Find it in yourself to laugh, smile, and even high five others; you will see your spirit will rise as well.
Recently I was visiting a client in Manhattan, NY. I entered the building and after getting my visitors badge I got into the crammed elevator with all the regulars going to the particular office floors. So in my own fashion, I started asking people, “hey how are your doing today!” and “wow what great weather it is outside” and “this must be a fabulous building to work in.” I finally cracked a few smiles and there was of course a few that didn’t pick their heads up from their phones.
Finally a lady in the very back of the elevator chimed in, “well someone is happy to be here” in a sarcastic tone. I immediately answered back, as my floor approached and the door opened, “yes ma’am I am, and you’re going to have a great day as well!” That caused a few laughs and I knew I accomplished what I intended to do.
I wrap all of this into a simple term, enthusiasm! Enthusiasm is the opposite of fear and is the foundation of positive thinking. Enthusiasm has no relation on your physical state; it’s positive “thought energy.”
If you’ve read my book Warrior Leadership: Steps to Success for Leaders on the Ground you will know that I emphasize you are always in control of your effort and your attitude. So when you’re lifting others up, never forget to lift yourself up! Salute your small wins and spread the uplifting enthusiasm to yourself! There are times when we are the negative person in the room, so don’t be afraid to check yourself. Always choose growth over perfection.
There are many people that look completely put together and in control on the outside; however you don’t know what they might be fighting internally. A kind word and a smile and a few words of encouragement might just be what that person needs to keep going.
You don’t have to be a professional leadership coach to do this, just be you!