Instruction #1 – Compliment 3 people every day

OK, so it’s been almost a month since I undertook to improve myself via the instruction provided in Life’s Little Instruction Book… as I mentioned in my previous post, there’s 1,560 of them so, not so little a book. And impossible to start doing them all at once. So, I thought “one step at a time” (a fairly common and highly recommended approach) and started with Instruction #1 – Compliment 3 people every day.

Now at first glance, this seems fairly straight forward, fairly easy… very achievable. Turns out, either it’s actually not… or I’m a mean, nasty, horribly selfish person! Now I admit, (as is my nature) I started off very enthusiastically, though I did cheat a little by sending out a generic (but genuine) compliment to the Twitter community, and then it did kind of peter out quite a bit.

When it came to the real live people I was complimenting, I predicted that a pattern would emerge fairly quickly. Those who knew me, were genuinely thankful and touched by my compliments (I decided early on that I needed to be genuine with my compliments otherwise, what was the point?). This was a good thing. This was a great thing.  In return for taking the time to say a few nice words to my friends and family, I was rewarded with a few moments of conscious and heart felt love. I was loved.

In the other camp, I had thought, that the people whom I didn’t know – strangers, for want of a better term – would look upon me with great suspicion. But I was wrong, partly… There were those who showed fear and mistrust. But that may have been down to my own apprehension and uneasiness at delivering such a personal observation to a stranger. Maybe the compliments didn’t come across as so. But mostly, people actually responded positively. And I was again rewarded with a little bit of conscious and heartfelt love.

Like the archetypal Brit, I find it difficult to be open with my emotions. Sometimes even with those close to me, never mind with complete and utter strangers. I think we can all agree that it’s a fear thing. But, putting my psycho-analysis to one side for the moment, this experience has taught me that there is some truth in the saying “it is better to give than to receive” because actually, when you give you get a little back too. And braving the emotional hurdle of “giving” kindness to strangers is definitely worth a try, as it increases the chances of “receiving” a little conscious love.

Now, as I said earlier, my enthusiasm for “giving” fizzled out a little and I admit that making a conscious effort to compliment 3 people every day, in the end, was too demanding for me (whether that makes me mean, nasty, horrible and selfish is a subject of a much longer and deeper blog, no doubt). BUT I do, now,  try and remember to spot opportunties for complimenting people – loved ones and strangers alike – in the hope of spreading a little love. I’m just not counting, that’s all.

Why don’t you go ahead and give it a try yourself.

In the meantime, I’m going to try out another little instruction… Instruction #1128 – Write some poetry.

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