love, conscious acts of kindnes, emotional intelligenceYou may know of my life theme to promote conscious acts of kindness as a daily practice.

The idea is for you to actively take kind, compassionate actions day in, day out as a way to promote not just greater well-being in the life and soul of the recipient but in you too.

My mission

I see it as my mission to endorse and carry out this idea. I think we can achieve wonderful things together if we do!

Conscious acts of kindness come in many sizes, many degrees of importance. But I’ve noticed there are three common threads in people who are extremely kind and loving. Let’s look at them.

Trait #1. A generosity of spirit. The ability to consider the other person and want for their good fortune in life is essential; you can’t be loving from a position of scarcity. You have to feel you have what it takes and that you have enough for yourself and then some. We can force ourselves to ‘do the right thing’ on occasion, but over time this lacks authenticity and it shows. You won’t be able to keep it up. A generosity of spirit means a willingness to help and support without being asked and without expectation of reward.

Trait #2. A willingness to see what someone else needs. This is the ability to empathize. You must be able to understand the situation from another’s point of view and be able to anticipate what they want and need. Being able to observe is important here. If you watch someone closely you can see when they’re struggling and step in. Or ask. Do they need help? Do they need a cup of tea? And sometimes, it’s just about knowing someone, what they like and what they need.

Trait #3. Doing what it takes to help. Seems obvious but we all know people who stand back, leaving it to someone-else to fill the need. We’ve all been those people from time to time, too. But taking action is the greatest kindness. Meeting a need or sharing what you have with others, using your skills to further someone else’s fortune – these are ways we can move from simply thinking about generosity to embodying it. We must develop a sense of personal responsibility so that we are the ones who step up, own up and do what it takes.

Do you have these three traits? Would you be described as a generous person by others who know you? Could you do better?

Do it, then you’ll be it.

If you’re wondering how you can improve, let me tell you. Take one act of kindness every day. Even if you don’t feel like it. The bonhomie that it will engender will create a momentum of its own. Like muscles, usage begets strength. To be kind, do kindnesses. To be generous, complete generous acts. It is a circular argument. :-)

I am collecting stories for a book about conscious acts of kindness and their resulting impact. Tell us in the comments about your experience of offering kindness and the resulting impact on both you and the other person.

If you found this information useful, please do me a favor and share it on social media.  The more we can do to spread the information, the more those that really need it can benefit. You’ll find sharing buttons below.

Or ‘like’ the Six Seconds Facebook page for more valuable information about emotional intelligence. I would so appreciate it! Thank you.

The 7th International NexusEQ Conference is taking place at HARVARD UNIVERSITY in Boston, June 24-26, 2013. There isn’t a lot of time left! Join me, and luminaries such as Peter Salovey, Marco Iacoboni and Herbert Benson, for a ground-breaking three days. You can read more details about it here. :-)

About the author - Anabel Jensen

President of Six Seconds and professor of education, Anabel Jensen, Ph.D., is a master teacher and a pioneer in emotional intelligence education. A two-time Federal Blue Ribbon winner for excellence in education, she was Executive Director of the Nueva School from 1983 to 1997 where she helped develop the Self-Science curriculum featured in Daniel Goleman’s 1995 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence.

Comments for this article (7)

  • Joe Suleiman says:

    Makes good sense of course and we should all relate to the benefits of that but unfortunately also not all ppl are made or trained the same way .. not all have the same vision and feel about life …. best thing is perhaps where emotional intelligence comes in to create a balance between a person’s kind nature, the benefits of being kind and in the same time protecting your self from harm of being too good for those who dont feel the same way about life.

    • Kevin B. says:

      Its called “unconditional”… If we expect something in return, whether social or physical, then its not unconditional.

  • Great article Anabel! Imagine if we had kindness centers populating the planet like fitness centers. I have been married 27 years. In the first four, I routinely told my husband when I did not like something. This led me to deep depression and resulted in us separating for one year. When we reunited, I committed to complimenting him for things done well and seeing his struggles – along with my own – as precisely that. The compassion for the learning curve I developed in my marriage poured over magnificently into all of my life.

    Regardless one’s prior experiences or perceived barriers, you are so correct that we need merely commit to practicing, small steps each day, and in time kindness literally becomes a self-fueling cycle, with so much love and light pouring in you can’t help but pay it forward. Key for beginners, as you accurately state in #1 is avoiding the Grand Canyon of co-dependency and expecting kindness in return. Good coaches help. Thank you for being that Anabelle! Most assuredly sharing your love forward.

  • Great post! I must say that this is what I needed to hear today.

  • Wendy says:

    Love it. One of the programs I read about suggests doing one good deed a day for someone. If they find out, it doesn’t count. I love that idea. It encourages true giving, as if the one on the receiving end doesn’t know where it came from, there can be no ulterior motive behind the act of kindness.

  • ilaria boffa says:

    Dear Anabel, thank you for this “piece of you”. Sometimes life traps us in a corner and we are pushed to reply to violence with violence. Often it is verbal, but always violence. Kindness is a way of living and should be part of education.
    To overcome a deep crisis of sense, I started writing few years ago. This is part of a poem I’d like to leave you.

    “Name the violence and her sons
    A sort of callousness enshrouds us
    Harsh words friendly support bitter behaviours
    And tenderness is a privilege of few”

  • bbanublog says:

    I wish you very best of luck with your book on acts of kindness and would like to read more on this subject matter; also sharing this page on FB also leaving a link for you to read on my blogpost about a promise that i made to myself http://bbanublog.wordpress.com/2013/03/30/a-promise-fulfilled. good wishes!

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