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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Small Moments Make Large Impressions...

No significance.  Just a picture of my dog.

Recently, I became somewhat active on Instagram (I still don't enjoy it) and if you are unfamiliar, basically it is a photo album smartphone app you can continually update and anyone "following" you can look at or comment on your pictures.  A few days ago, someone I was following had done a good deed by picking up a guy on the side of the highway because his car had run out of gas.  While at the gas station, he took a picture of the man as he was filling up a small, red can, put said picture on Instagram, and then wrote out the story of picking him up in the description.  The photo's description was filled with all sorts of bits about how great of a person he was for helping a stranger and how everyone needs to "pay it forward".  I immediately removed him from my Instagram and felt sick to my stomach.  Bragging about the nice things you do for people negates the entire gesture for me.  Someone's self-assurance must be pretty low or their ego inflated much too large if they attempt pulling off something so selfish.  

The topics I write about and direction I make a move to set people in through my blogs are as much for me as they are for anyone who reads them.  Something I believe we can all work on though is our level of appreciation for the smaller instances of life which often go overlooked.  What do I mean?

Most of my blogs spawn out of Friday or Saturday nights when I sit at a restaurant's bar near my house, pen in hand, and a spiral notebook, alone.  Actually, no, I am not alone because most of the servers and managers there have come to know me by now.  Over time, I have given all of them my card, and when I get a mental block, I draw these little pictures on my receipts. I have given nearly all of the servers one of my doodles over the past month or so and I never thought about where they went until last week.  They all have these little black, vinyl folders where they write down their orders and hold their cash.  A few days ago, One of the servers I have befriended and often get into some back and forth banter with showed me what she kept in the back of her folder shortly after I walked in.
 She had taped in my business card and the little doodle of a guinea pig I gave her.

I thrive on little moments like that within the instances most people do not think much about.  The fact of me drawing her a picture had nothing to do with why seeing it in her folder made me happy - but it had everything to do with the appreciation of her doing so, no matter what it happened to be. 

The world we live in moves very quickly, and we often miss important moments in life because we are taught to seek out the "bigger is better" mantra of living, by design.  Feeling good for doing something nice or meaningful is one of the great aspects of life that cannot be duplicated by any other action, but we have to keep the humble nature of purpose in check when doing so.  Getting praised by someone and feeling great as a result is just fine;  praising yourself publicly for being thoughtful is selfish and ignorant.  The problem on the same side of the spectrum is going into any situation of doing something properly with the expectation of praise or accolade from the receiving party.  The way I see all of this is that you should do something nice because you want to and for no other reason or expectation.

Go to any search engine and you will find all sorts of fun information about how to win people over, how to talk to the opposite sex, the same sex, and how to communicate in social environments.  The standard of etiquette all across the board is absolutely insane because you can find instructions based upon Victorian teachings and quickly migrate to nightclub pickup lines for casual encounters.  
What?  I want to pull my hair out, I really do sometimes.
Every last bit of these "helpful" guides could all go away if we would just do one thing; one little thing.
Appreciate other people.  The end.
I lived my life on the side of intimidation for many years until I figured this out all on my own.  The trick is not going into any social situation with an expectation of anything other than your own confidence.  Getting invested in something that does not yet exist makes interacting with other people much more difficult.  

If you see someone you think is beautiful, do not give yourself time to plan out anything, just step right up and tell them because you want to give a compliment and not because you are looking for a date.  Let that part of it happen all by itself and if it does not?  You have nothing invested other than your honesty.  Move on.

The above situation works for anything social.  I am not saying to be open about everything in your life, because, good lord, that would be ugly, but be yourself and keep your own mind from getting the best of you.  Step up to life, grab it by the face and never think anything you do is insignificant because if any of those actions make you happy while helping someone else, brightening their day, or making them smile, your purpose has been reached.  And if your effort gets no reaction?  Move on contently and confidently.

I always say "I try to be a nice person."  because I am happy to be making an effort, but not arrogant enough to stake claim on it being a defined trait of mine.  Think that over. 

We are taught to seek out praise for some reason and I have no idea why.
Sometimes we should all just step back and ask what we have done to help someone.
No positive action is insignificant.
Every social action does not have a reaction, but this should not matter to us.
Set yourself apart and push to do that much better in everything you attempt in life.

Stay confident.
Never take anything for granted.

Always tell women they are beautiful.  More on that: here.
Grace and Peace,

-Add me. Stalk me. Tweet me. I really don't mind.-
Twitter:  @JDrewSilvers



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