The Doing Project: Day 5

Wow, it’s Saturday! For some people, this will be reason enough to stop what they started five days ago (this project). Don’t be one of them. If you’re serious about changing your thinking, habits, behaviours, outcomes and life, then keep doing what success demands. Finish what you started. In case you’ve forgotten, success is not convenient and it doesn’t care about your social commitments or your issues.

Decide. Commit. Do. Finish. Grow. Repeat.

Here to Help

The other day I was sitting at a café reading the sport section (as I do) when the owner walked over and asked me if I had some kind of magic pill (figuratively speaking) to ‘fix’ his sore neck. Although I don’t know him well, he knows a little about me so I guess he figured that I might have some advice or solution for him. He was in considerable pain (complete with headache) and his movement (rotation) was quite restricted, so I offered to give him a quick (therapeutic) neck and scalp massage.

Who’s gonna say no to that?

Fifteen minutes later… no headache, full-range of movement and almost no neck pain. Possibly, a little massage-induced dribble on his shirt. ;) Needless to say, he was a very grateful. But you know what? I think I got as much out of it as he did. For me, it was incredibly worthwhile and rewarding to take fifteen minutes out of my not-very-busy (newspaper reading) schedule to make someone’s life a better place. To help them escape some discomfort.  

Challenge Five: A Random Act of Kindness

So, as you may have guessed, today’s challenge is not about you. Well, kind of. It’s about other people. Okay, other people and you. It’s about you doing something to make someone else’s life a better place; even if only for a few minutes. No agendas, no hooks, no catches; just some genuine selfless kindness. While I don’t (necessarily) recommend handing out free massages to strangers in cafes, I do suggest that, for this challenge, you allow yourself to venture a little beyond your normal comfort zone (while exercising discretion and intelligence). Preferably, make the ‘target’ of your kindness either somebody you don’t know well or a total stranger.

Your random act might simply be to offer some words of encouragement and support to someone who needs it. While totally forgetting about your own stuff for a while. It could be to give someone your total attention and emotional energy for fifteen minutes. Sometimes, all people need (in that moment) is someone to listen, connect and care but in the middle of our busy-ness, sometimes we’re oblivious. It might be to do something anonymously (washing a car, paying for someone’s coffee, leaving a small gift, repairing something, leaving an encouraging note). You get the idea.  

BTW, with this challenge, don’t wait for an opportunity to ‘present itself’. Consciously make it happen.

A Story to Finish

The other day I was in the supermarket and I watched a lady in a wheelchair ask a teenage girl if she would pass something down from a high shelf. I was interested to see her response. The young girl politely obliged. I smiled. But I smiled even more when the girl then turned and asked her mum if it was okay for her to help the lady with the rest of her shopping. Mum agreed and off they went. The two of them; the lady with a physical disability and the teenager without one. What a great kid. What a great picture.

Gold. 

Sometimes, it’s not about you.

Let us know how you go.

*You can also follow what people are saying about the Doing Project on Twitter at #doingproject.

Free Stuff

Hey WesD!!! Congrats man, you’ve scored yourself an Everlast pack just for being part of the Doing Project. Easy peasy. Good for you. And to Leni (2.12pm), Melissa Ansaldi, Tiff – SA, and Lisa (NC,USA) get in contact with Johnnie and the great man will hook you up with some me-dot-com freebies. Giddy-up.

If you liked this article, subscribe to my blog and receive my FREE eBook. Click here: I want a FREE eBook. If you’re interested in having me work with your organisation you can contact me here.

{ 195 comments… read them below or add one }

Suu January 20, 2012 at 9:27 pm

What a wonderful challenge. Gratefully accepted. Back tomorrow after having feel-good dreams.

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Rhonda January 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Hi hope you are enjoying the project, Cheers, Rhonda

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Jeni January 20, 2012 at 10:56 pm

This is going to require some creativity and a huge dose of courage.

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Rhonda January 21, 2012 at 10:06 pm

may courage be in abundance for you, wishing you well, cheers Rhonda

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Heather 66 January 20, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Now i am out of my comfort zone – i can be a good samaitan if the opportunity is there in front of me – but to consciously make one happen ? Challenge accepted. (Gulp)

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Rhonda January 21, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Just wanted to acknowledge that being out of ones comfort zone isn’t the easiest thing. I hope it is the best thing for you. good luck. Rhonda

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Mezba January 21, 2012 at 12:08 am

So today was easy. I don’t drive so I walk to work and back everyday – 25 minutes each way. I get to walk through parklands on the edge of the beautiful city of Adelaide in South Australia. Everyone you pass says good morning or hello – it is a great way to start the day. People that don’t walk miss out on that interaction. The backdrop of the Adelaide Hills is also stunning. I did pick up the pace a bit today – half because of the challenge and half because I was running late!!
Now for the next challenge – I live in a major city and homelessness and people living on the streets is a major problem. I have a meals station down the road – it will be too late to volunteer at this stage but I will make a point of interacting with some of the people heading down there. Cheers

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Rhonda January 21, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Hi Really enjoyed reading your reflection Thanks. Rhonda

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Ange January 21, 2012 at 5:45 am

What a lovely story Craig! I’m looking forward to today’s challenge :)

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Rhonda January 21, 2012 at 10:09 pm

hope you have had a good day. Cheers Rhonda

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Eleanor January 21, 2012 at 5:52 am

Done!!
Just bought breakfast and a hot drink for a homeless lady on sunset blvd.
Won’t forget her smile, totally worth it.

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Craig January 21, 2012 at 11:28 am

Good girl!

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Rhonda January 21, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Hi Elenor, heartfelt gesture- so lovely of you. I lived in LA for 5 years, sometimes used to buy groceries, baby food and nappies when I did my shop and drop them off to homeless mums with wee ones who were on the pavement- as a young mum myself at the time it is very humbling – so too was your post. love and care to you. Rhonda

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Laura January 21, 2012 at 6:24 am

Tricky one for me, I am, well, a bitch! Although, if I can’t find a stranger to do something nice for, there is always the free PT session I am giving my sis later, guess that counts?

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Craig January 21, 2012 at 11:29 am

I don’t think you’re a bitch Laura. Bitches aren’t that self-aware or honest. :)

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Rhonda January 21, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Amazing how tricky can sometimes be lighbulb- wishing you well in your doing project- good luck Cheers Rhonda

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Leanne January 21, 2012 at 6:34 am

Hey Laura, I dont think that counts.

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Laura January 21, 2012 at 6:41 am

Damn! Look out strangers of Hobart, here I come…..

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TrailRunner January 21, 2012 at 6:44 am

Love this challenge – took the husky down to Royal Adelaide Hospital to visit mum – parked her in the garden near the front door and instantly had 5 people crowding around to give her a cuddle. Turns out they are patients missing their pets and a pat & cuddle from another dog was enough to bring tears (I’m welling up here now)…anyway – came back 1/2hr later (after visiting mum) and the crowd was still there new faces and the originals. Best feeling ever (plus they made me promise to come back tomorrow for another dose) :-)

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Losing It January 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Lovely!

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Mazz (Mildura VIC) January 21, 2012 at 5:25 pm

How simple, yet how heart-warming!! thank you for sharing!

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Rhonda January 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Such a lovely gesture- the healing power of a warm paw and a smoochy dog nose- ah- the true meaning of giving. Wishing you all the best trailrunner, Cheers, Rhonda

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Suzanne January 22, 2012 at 6:46 am

Love this TrailRunner. Animals are so therapeutic :)

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Kathy65 January 21, 2012 at 7:35 am

I think I needed Craig in a cafe yesterday with a popped muscle in my shoulder/neck :) Unfortunately stopped me doing my 15 minutes walk yesterday. Exercise is not really my “issue”, I love it, so I will make up for it today with a 4 hour walk.

Now for today’s challenge,,,, I am incredibly shy and socially challenged, so to approach a stranger is something that requires so much more from me than committing to a 4 hour walk! I have often passed up RAOK opportunities because of fear and berated myself for days afterwards. Today I will do it.

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Craig January 21, 2012 at 11:30 am

Go Kathy65!!

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Rhonda January 21, 2012 at 10:17 pm

Good luck- you can do it- I just feel it in your post. Best wishes Rhonda

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Mazz (Mildura VIC) January 21, 2012 at 7:37 am

well this one is going to be hard for me today (slight sarcasm) today we will be finalising and setting up for a HUGE fundraiser night for my best friends family … her son was diagnosed with leukaemia just before Christmas at 2 1/2 – the same age as my youngest… so I might have to try and think of something NOT related to tonight to do tonight and see if I can stretch myself just a *little* bit further… I’m all about giving… the taking is much harder for me!! so can I say DONE, but I will expand on this to someone else!!

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Rhonda January 21, 2012 at 10:19 pm

hi, sounds like a pretty big gig supporting your friend- me thinks the stranger you need to give to is yourself- sounds like a very worthy person to me. here is a hug for you. Rhonda

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Shaun January 21, 2012 at 7:44 am

I believe that if you have an urge to tell someone something kind, that you MUST do it. It’s very hard sometimes. I had this happen in an airport a few days ago.

I had this feeling that I had to tell a flight attendant that she had a beautiful smile. Voices went through my head saying “everyone is going to think you’re trying to pick her up,” “She’s not going to appreciate it,” etc.

Anyway, my plane was boarding so I ran to tell her that. The short story is that we are now connected on Facebook and I really made her day.

This is simply one example but my lesson from that was to never withhold love.

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Theresa January 21, 2012 at 7:57 am

Just checking in now for yesterday’s challenge late to say done and no I haven’t fallen off yet. I have 2 kids, a dog, 5 guinea pigs, I’m pregnant, and am studying along with the rest of my duties. I walked on the treadmill for 45 minutes at 10 pm so I missed the check-in. We’ll see how I go with today’s challenge. Check in again later :)

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ange January 21, 2012 at 8:10 am

im in, lets see what this day brings…….. :)

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Edwina January 21, 2012 at 8:52 am

Go me,I already gave my best hubby a head scratch and back massage just because.Random acts of kindness r my favorite things to do.I love seeing people so amazed. Well done reporting on the teenager we always heard bad things about this age group , I have two aswome ones myself. Ps my best act of random kindness was ringing a hairdresser after an app and telling her how much I appreciated her taking the time with doing such a great job with my hair. She was so shocked she thought I was ringing up to complain like everyone does!

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Melissa January 21, 2012 at 9:08 am

Love the idea of this challenge. Although staying home with a sick bub today could make this slightly tricky. Hmmm will see what I can do. If not today will definately make a point of repeating this whenever I can.

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Symone January 21, 2012 at 9:27 am

Yay! I love the whole “pay it forward” thing. I am sitting in a cafe in St KIlda having a coffee typing this. When I am done I am going to pay for my coffee and the next 3 random people’s coffees as well (the cafe staff can decide when I am gone) and I’ll throw in a large tip for them as well. Feeling good – YES!!

Thank you Harps – great one today :)

SymoneinOz

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Kirralee January 21, 2012 at 9:32 am

That felt good! A simple meaningful task done, I overheard a lady telling her 3 children that they can only afford milk and bread today & not to ask for anything else. I bought a supermarket store card with $50 gave it to her and said enjoy your day while running out the store. I have been sitting in my car last half hour to watch her walk out with two full bags of groceries. A small gift to other really makes me feel alive!

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Craig January 21, 2012 at 11:32 am

WOW! DOUBLE WOW!! That’s amazing Kirralee. Good for you. And them. :)

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Suzanne January 22, 2012 at 6:47 am

That is so awesome Kirralee :)

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WesD January 21, 2012 at 9:33 am

This might be the one to break me… Not through shher lack of trying though!
Look out, good Samaritan on the loose!

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FranM January 21, 2012 at 10:02 am

I am really happy to offer help when someone is obviously struggling or asks for help – that’s a given! I always get asked where things are in the supermarket, or where someone can buy something – maybe I look like I tuck into everything on the shelves :P or like I won’t relatiate too badly if asked.

I volunteer whenever I can, but to offer or give something when it’s not required…. what & to whom? This is a toughie!!

Overthinking this again? not sure – but what if my act of kindness is rejected? I think that’s my real fear!!! Is it still an act of kindness if the recipient says no?
It’s really freaking me out now!!!!

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Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker January 21, 2012 at 10:15 am

I did this challenge but not for strangers. I washed and dried clothes for my daughter-in-law this morning. Her washing machine, which is only a few months old left her with wet, soapy clothes last night. She brought her clothes over this morning and put the first load in and then went and ran some errands. Before she returned, I put the first load in the dryer and put the last load in the wash. She got back in time to get the last load out of the dryer. I have offered to let her wash clothes here before when her old washer died but I haven’t actually done the washing and drying for her.

Also spent some time reaching out online to other survivors who seemed to be hurting this morning. Again, this wasn’t with a stranger but for today, it is the best you will get.

I try to do kindnesses for others often, not necessarily because they need it. Sometimes they do. Sometimes they don’t. I need to be kinder so I practice being kind.

The best stranger story that I can share is when I was going into Walmart and noticed a slightly older lady coming up to the door. I stopped and offered her a smile as I held the door open for her. She stopped and told me thank you and said me opening the door for her was the only good thing that had happened in her morning and she appreciated the small courtesy. You better believe I smiled for over an hour because I felt so good from her words. We can all make a difference with the little things that we do for others.

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Symone January 21, 2012 at 10:19 am

Follow-up on my last post….DONE! But the poor barista was so confused and kept asking me “why do you want to do that?” I just smiled and said “because I want to”. Poor guy thinks I’m a few sandwiches short of a picnic. And it’s my regular cafe so I am going to get sideways looks every time I go in there … care factor ZERO … It was totally worth it :)

SymoneinOz

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Leanne January 21, 2012 at 10:26 am

Ok. Here we go. I did my running today (task 4) as I ran out of time yesterday. Yeah, I know, I couldnt find 15 min in my busy 24 hour day. I’m hopeless. However, it’s only 10.15am and I’ve completed task 5. A young girl was waiting for the bus, on my way home from gym, so after assuring her that I wasnt crazy, I offered her a lift. Her name is Amy, she’s doing year 11 this year, she works at macca’s full time. Ok, bye for now. C u all tomorrow. Ciao

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sarahsarah January 21, 2012 at 10:48 am

‘Success is not convenient and it doesn’t care about your social commitments or your issues’ ~love this. Great challenge today am going to buy one of those monster bags of dog biscuits and take it to the lady that runs SAFE here in town(Saving Animals From Euthanasia). It’s a win win, she’s always needing donations and it’s just one of those things I’ve always thought about but never done. So since this is the ‘doing project’ ……

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Gail January 21, 2012 at 11:05 am

Random act of kindness complete !! bought my neighbour who is mentally unwell some tobacco I know not the healthiest but he has asked before and I dont smoke so hopefully that will make him feel good today and it was a nice feeling although now I know how expensive tobacco is wowserz!!

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Natalie NZ January 21, 2012 at 11:07 am

Tough, because I’m not leaving the house today. I had some very bad news this morning – one of my best friends has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. I plan to visit her tomorrow and went out and bought her a beautiful diary and pen to record her thoughts, questions and the myriad of information she will need to remember.

Does that count?

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Mazz (Mildura VIC) January 21, 2012 at 5:09 pm

it does in my book… I hate the “C” word with a passion right now… but about to go look smoking hot for the fundraiser tonight – Charity Auction and Trivia Night… hmmm I hope they ask really odd questions cos I’m good at those ones!!

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Sue (Jacksmum January 21, 2012 at 11:08 am

This was hard, yesterday I got stopped by an old man at the shopping mall, he would have been in his late 80′s and just wanted someone to talk to so I stopped and we talked for about 10 minutes about nothing at all (just a bit of human contact was all he was after), I gave him a big hug and he told me I was beautiful so I definitely gained a lot from that encounter :) :)

Yes I know, that doesn’t count as it’s TODAY’s challenge. I’m not planning on leaving the house today but I do belong to an online card making forum so I just scoured the member list to find the people who I don’t really know or connect too and put their names in a hat – drew a name out and they will receive a handmade card and some craft supplies in the mail with a little note explaining it’s a random act of kindness gift. Hope that counts. If so challenge accepted and started :)

Thanks Craig I like this one :)

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Tiff - SA January 21, 2012 at 11:46 am

Looking forward to seeing how today plays out and where my opportunity for the RAK presents itself.
I was rapt to find my name in the winners list so thanks Craig; i certainly feel like a RAK recipient myself.

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Wendy January 21, 2012 at 12:07 pm

hmm random act of kindness! I don’t know if this is acceptable … But I helped to soak up very hot spilt coffee! Lol my dear friend spilt it, um well all down my jean clad leg, I’m laughing she’s mortified, we’re at the Tennis all of today and tonight, so I can’t get changed and to top it off, I hate the smell of coffee! Lol.

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Trish January 21, 2012 at 12:08 pm

mmmm…

Few comments for you Craig

Whilst I appreciate the different way my mind shifting at the moment, instead of saying NO WAY!! It is saying lets give it REAL HOT GO. I am trying very hard to keep that momentum going. What I DO NOT appreciate is my calves are still hurting half way into day 5 and the fact that I am told that i walking like I have a stick up my ar…. Day 3, 4, 5 completed.

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Lisa January 21, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Done! Awesome challenge. : ) Can’t wait to see tomorrows!

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Suu January 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm

I’m housebound but did a similar thing as ‘Sue (Jacksmum) – I randomly selected a name from my address book and gave them a call. My aunt is 88 years old and lives alone. We usually only call each other on special occasions or to give her bad news so she was very surprised and a bit afraid that I was calling with bad news. I assured her that it had been ages since we just talked and after a few minutes she seemed to settle down into a normal conversation and I listened rapt to what she talked about. My uncle’s war service, our family history (did you know that my ancestors settled Woolgoolga?) and her bowling days and Stockton winning the pennant one year with her as skip as well as her winning streak at housie at the RSL.
She also told me that she’s going to move into a caravan one day, in the back yard of my cousin! What idiot thought of that idea? I asked her to think about moving to the glorious Central Coast with us!!! It didn’t just slip out of my mouth. It was the right thing to say. No regrets.
I also told her I’d ring every week just for a chat and to rehash old memories.
Phew – what an emotional morning.

I’ve read all the other responses here so far and all I can say is that there should be a lot of proud people here.

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Jc January 21, 2012 at 12:49 pm

*ugh*
Did not help any stranger today. Went to work first, then went home.
So, it’s a no stranger day.
I waved in lots of people when I was stuck in traffic though. Does that count? :)
I’ll give this one a try tomorow…
Good night!

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Banjo January 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Hilarious!!! Remembered I’d seen a front yard of weeds down the street, so popped my gardening gloves in my pocket and wandered down….to find them all gone! Bugger. Kept walking and then saw the town’s “Mr Growly Grumpy” in his front yard. Gathered all of my courage, stepped onto the forbidden territory of his manicured front lawn and asked “Would you like a hand with anything?” Left 30 mins later with a bag of gorgeous fresh cucumbers and a new best buddy :) Continued my walk, handing out conversation and cucumbers to everyone I encountered (including some Polish backpackers in a minivan). Smiles all round and I arrived home with a cucumber, a dozen tomatoes, 2 zucchinis, and a bag of lemons. The circle turns pretty quickly around here! What a great way to start a weekend :)

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Suzanne January 22, 2012 at 6:50 am

Go Banjo – this is what communities are all about, awesome :)

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B January 21, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Hi Craig,

Yesterday’s challenge was completed last evening.

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Soph E January 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I suffer from a terrible affliction called extroversion… I have to fill silence when I feel a bit awkward… Even it’s inane crap. Introduced myself to the new neighbours…. I think she is introverted. Asked her if her kids wanted to come over for a play while they moved in…. I heard stuff coming out of my mouth like if she ever needs to borrow a can opener i am here. Can opener??? Wtf? Anyway, her kids seemed to like me. Maybe I just need practice.

Yesterday’s caffeine fueled run was fantastic. More physical challenges please!

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Elad January 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm

That was interesting and highly uplifting. I woke up such a grump today and wasnt in a ‘kind’ mood at all. Went to get a few things from the shop with a scowl on my face, but purposely looking for my ‘victim’. I noticed an elderly couple carefully checking prices of essential foods to put in their trolley. I had done my shopping and just waited outside the shop. As they got to the checkout I went up to them, put my hand on the ladies shoulder and placed some money in her hand. Not a huge amount but it wouldve paid for half their shopping. The look of confusion on their faces was quickly swapped with two huge smiles and teary eyes. I smiled & told them to have a lovely day and walked off. I must say it was a fantastic feeling and I swear I walked out of that shop 10kgs lighter ! Great challenge Craig. Random acts of kindness are easy when they are ‘presented’ to me, but to consciously make the effort was a buzz. Shook out my grumpies thats for sure. Day 5 done :)

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wendy January 22, 2012 at 2:03 pm

It might not sound like much of a ‘challenge’ but I accepted an invitation to go out last night with an aquaintance when I totally would have preferred to stay in. I knew she had some issues going on and thought I could offer a shoulder and ear, so I thought that would count as my act of kindness. Actually got to know her so much better and found out she has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. So I have decided to extend myself on this challenge and am planning to create a fundraiser for her to assist with the medical costs. I would also like to utilise the opportunity on this forum to ask all women to get a mammogram. Not matter what your age or history. Just get one. My friend had none of the regular symptoms but needs to get a full masectomy! It can never be too soon to book in.

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Elad January 21, 2012 at 1:11 pm

I just want to add something…I was near a shopping trolley a few days ago. Two small children were climbing around in it while their mum was a few feet away chatting to friends(?). I have seen many accidents happen in this situaion so was just being aware of the kids while waiting to be served. As one of the littlies was climbing out, the trolley started tipping so I automatically grabbed it to stop it falling saying ‘be careful’. The mother gave me the filthiest look, grabbed the trolly then yelled at the two kids. Some people just dont appreciated kindness.

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Mon :D January 21, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Day 5 challenge completed ;)

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Cat, Auckland January 21, 2012 at 1:16 pm

What a great challenge. Three people now happier – the pregnant lady that I helped, myself and the bloke who jumped in and helped out as well. It was also at the end of a yoga class, so a fabulous end to the nicest part of the week. Thanks Craig… and go ‘Team Sar’.

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Candy January 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm

That was a lovely thing to do Elenor, it bought a tear to my eyes. And kirralee, beautiful stuff. I am volunteering today at a gallery does that count?? If so nearly done. And Trish, I’m hearing you, Ouch….

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Beach bear January 21, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I have just been to the hairdressers early this morning and an older lady was trying to get out the door and people were barging past her to get in as if the world was about to end or something….in other words THEIR time was more important than hers. So anyway without even thinking about it i held the door opened, stopped others from pushing in and allowed her to come out the door nice and slowly without being pushed aside.

I dont think anything of doing things like that for people i do it everyday whenever i see the opportunity to make life just that lttle bit easier for a few seconds for someone else…..THEN i came home and read todays challenge……i know it wasnt much waht i did but i can absolutely relate to what you are trying to highlight today. I am about to go and do my grocery shopping where i encounter numerous acts of rudeness and self-absorbed morons…..i will be keeping my eyes open for another opportunity to make someone else smile.

Thanks for these awesome WAKE UP CALLS Craig. i am loving every minute of it :)

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Diana January 21, 2012 at 1:54 pm

This is my fav one soooooo farrr….day without coffee Was a toughie….don’t laugh but have bought underwear for a women’s shelter . Women leaving abuse don’t take anything while running out the door so no fresh nickers . Also made kids choose unused toys to give to the shelter also.

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Kat January 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Funny how a situation presented itself to me after I read the challenge for today. One of the delivery men at work is really sick and needs a test done at the hospital. He has a high deductible on his insurance and needed $1000 before the hospital will even look at him. The staff got together and I said I would donate $100 toward the cause. When I wrote the check I made it out for $200 without broadcasting it to anyone. I’m newly single again and struggling but the joy of giving is well worth the price.

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Shay January 21, 2012 at 2:09 pm

dooonnnneeee

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Sue (Jacksmum January 21, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Loving all the posts. Banjo yours really made my smile :)

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Banjo January 21, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Thanks Sue- would you like cucumber? I still have 2 left!!:)

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Leonie January 21, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Ok day 5 complete xx

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Fi January 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I like this one, although for many years I have always made acts of kindness part of my every day…. :-) and yes complete..

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Losing It January 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Done.

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Lu January 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Well, the opportunity to dispense some kindness presented itself clearly in the case of my mother-in-law at morning tea this morning. Over the years I have found her increasingly difficult. It appears she is now developing some kind of dementia which explains her personality change. I consciously allowed myself to enjoy her company this morning and give her lots of affirmation instead of feeling irritated and ‘here we go again’ with that same old old story again scenario. I found myself enjoying her company more than I have in a long while and there were smiles all round. She actually said how much she’d enjoyed herself as she was leaving. And I enjoyed myself too! Nothing earth-shattering. Just a positive shift :(

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Sandy Fishwick January 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Have completed day 5 day of the challenge (1hour of walking)

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Damo January 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm

Great challenge and really enjoying each day of the program. Completed some kind acts and extra doses of patience this morning and the results are their own reward. But does that mean i can go to being a prick for the rest of the day? HA just joking!

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Symone January 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Nice work Elad! You’re post made me smile :)

SymoneinOz

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Elad January 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Thanks Symone. Im still smiling :)

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Alida January 21, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Sitting in front of the computer this morning I wondered if there was any way I could avoid going out into the -6 degree temperatures and still get this one done. After trying to figure this out for much of the day I finally realized that today my act of kindness would be to simply do something for my own aging mother. One daughter, one grand daughter, a box of her favorite chocolates and a hot water bottle.

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Trish B January 21, 2012 at 3:08 pm

I thought this one was going to be difficult as I was not planning to leave the house today (rainy Sydney Saturday) and then thought of something I can do which I hope fits the bill.
I had promised to make a blouse for a friend ages ago, and have been putting it off (because it’s a boring job), so I figure if I get started on it now, it will qualify, because it will be appreciated by the recipient, and require quite some effort from the donor, me.
Thanks again for shaking up our complacent little lives, Craig!

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Nashy January 21, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Today’s is done – the lady across the road had an operation during the week and returned home from hospital yesterday. I went over and offered to take her dogs for a long walk which she normally does. She would never have asked anyone to help. The kids are going to take out her bins on Monday night for her which they offered and she was over the moon.

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RoxbyMum January 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Today’s challenge completed. Check.

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Mel B January 21, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Well done everyone and especially Eleanor, Kiralee and Elad!
I’m not planning on leaving the house for the rest of today (and even if I was I’m very shy and would struggle with this challenge) so I have to confess that I’m taking the easy way out with my act of kindness today, by making a small donation to charity that will fund dinner for 10 people in need. However I will definitely be on the lookout from now on for RAOK opportunities, thanks Craig for challenging us!

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Laura January 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm

I forgave a friend, she needed it. I didn’t.

Sweet dreams.

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Kelly NH January 23, 2012 at 5:52 am

Laura – I did the same. Its been on my mind for a few weeks now. I had one of the toughest years of my life last year complete with brain surgery, and my best mate of 28 years forgot all about me. I had let myself move on, but she couldnt stand my silence anymore and had asked my husband what was wrong?! He let her have it :o )
(From a quiet, friendly guy I think it was a shock, but he was so upset by the treatment she gave me!)
So several apologetic letters etc later, I have chosen to forgive her and I have moved on.
Everyone gets busy and caught up in they’re own lives I guess.

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FranM January 21, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Craig, You’ve made me cry – I feel like taking my bat and ball and going home. I don’t want to play any more.

I can’t – I spent 2 hours at the shopping centre & just can’t ! I don’t want to copy all the other fantastic ideas, but think of something else, but- in the end I couldn’t walk up to someone & just give them a bunch of flowers or cash or anything, and there was no-one in obvious need I could help.

As this is all online I have volunteered for a local environmental group – that’s the best I can do.

Sorry. It’s all about me here – very uplifting & inspiring ideas from everyone else but they are just making me feel worse. It’s really upsetting – not reading any more emails today.

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Fi January 21, 2012 at 9:25 pm

Hi Fran

You are a kind soul I can just ‘feel’ it. You know it’s not about doing what others do….to win the prize or complete the task..

You know if you have to be told or asked to do this task – that is the biggest lesson one can learn. You got a little uncomfortable.

You know what, you have completed this task because you have self awareness….a found the lesson….nothing can buy that..

Take care

Fi xx

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Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker January 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Fran M., every comment that you have left here for someone else has been an act of kindness that you didn’t have to do but you did. I know your note to me on Day 7 made me feel good. You are not a failure at all with kindness. Thank you.

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RoxbyMum January 21, 2012 at 9:55 pm

FranM, Cheer up. You’ve still done well. I’m sure the local environment group will be very pleased for your offer of assistance. Please don’t feel bad about everyone else’s positives. You put yourself out there and you spent 2 hours at the shops thinking of how you could help people. That is nothing to be ashamed of, a pat on the back for the time spent thinking of others.
I hope we will still see you here tomorrow.
-xox-

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Suzanne January 22, 2012 at 6:57 am

Hang in there FranM! I find today’s particularly challenging too.

Volunteering for the local environmental group is fantastic – they will surely appreciate your help.

This is something we can work on (and keep in mind it doesn’t need to involve money).

Keep up that positive thinking.

Suzanne :)

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Gail January 21, 2012 at 3:58 pm

It looks like the tobacco was a success I left it on my neighbours door step with a note saying for you … Now its gone …. awwwww warm feeling in my belly

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Tori January 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm

This was quite a challenge for me Craig. Being a shy person I usually don’t talk much to strangers unless I really have to. This afternoon though I did come accross a couple of tourists looking a little lost in the Botanic Gardens. I walked up to them and offered my assistance. Turns out they were trying to find the restaurant near the lake and had entered the gardens by the wrong gate. I pointed them in the right direction. Day 5 done :)

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Mandi P January 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Done, for a stranger too, I nearly chickened out but thought about how it would make them feel instead of how nervous I was feeling about doing it.

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Melissa Ansaldi January 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm

ok I can tick off today’s challenge! Yay !
Thanks Craig

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Hayley H January 21, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Hi All,

Thank you for today’s challenge Craig!

It was much easier than I had thought it would be. Walking into the supermarket, a gentleman outside asked for some change for a coffee, and instead of what I might usually do, which would either be to say no, or give him a few coins, I offered to buy the coffee for him. So we walked across to the coffee shop and bought a coffee and we had a little chat which was nice.

On a roll, I then saw a few guys getting into their car that had a parking ticket on it, I pointed it out to them because they hadn’t noticed, and then, because I know how much it sucks to get parking tickets, I gave them my tattslotto ticket for tonight that I’d just bought in the hopes that their luck might change. It might not be worth anything tonight, but I hope they do win something. Wouldn’t that be cool!

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Annette W January 21, 2012 at 4:20 pm

This was an interesting one for me. My husband calls me “the Buddhist” as I even avoid the ants when out walking. For the record I’m not a Buddhist, but I do believe in helping others when the opportuninty arises. Whether something as simple as today’s day 5 project where I took a trolley back to the store for an older lady, to rescuing bugs from the birds drinking water (yes my family laughs at me too). I like the thought that I can make a small difference to the life of another.

Thanks Craig – a little kindness goes a long way, I was really impressed by the young lady you talked about – makes one feel there is hope for the human race.

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Chris NZ January 21, 2012 at 4:22 pm

I try to remember each day to ‘be kind’. Limited opportunity today with mostly being at home with a sore back and a grizzly 5 year old. Did have to get to the supermarket though and let someone with less groceries go in front of me in line. But that’s one I try to watch out for all the time, so will keep this challenge in mind when I’m out n about tomorrow as well. Loving the little stories from everyone – gives some great ideas to watch out for.

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Sue (Jacksmum January 21, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Fran M if you check back in I’d like to give you a virtual BIG HUG.
Volunteering is an act of kindness that lasts far longer than a few minutes and is a very worthwhile thing to do so kudos on completing todays challenge in a way that will make a difference xxxx

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Jackie January 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm

My random act of kindness, involved curbing my control freak motherly tendencies. I allowed my 10 year old daughter to pick her own clothes for our outing today, she was beaming from ear to ear. I let her push the shopping trolley in the supermarket where she remembered to give way to the gentleman in the motorized scooter instead of ploughing into him :) Not mind numbing brilliant I know, but the look on her face when I said, go and pick your own outfit was priceless, I couldn’t help but comment thought that less is more when it comes to accessorizing :)

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Heather January 21, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Challenge # 5 is not so much a challenge as in what else can I do to make a difference? So…my usual Sat routine after gym is to have a coffee and read the w/end papers. Little girl comes up and seems intrigued by me (what the?), so I wave hello and smile. She keeps coming back and edging closer, so her mother/grandmother comes over, says I’m really sorry etc…long story short, I bought her (the little girl) a funny face cookie and then went over to explain why. The Mother and the Grandmother both were smiling, the kid was munching on said cookie and I thought, ‘cool ok a coupla people are happy’ :-)

The End of the Day 5 Challenge

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Kayley January 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm

When I read what today’s task was I took a deep breath. I do “kind” things everyday for people (that I know) but to do something for a stranger…tough call. I am not confident at all to approach a stranger so this one was probably going to be harder than the water torture task!
But I made a promise to myself that I was going to see out all 7 days and that I will.
So off I go this morning to Lort Smith Animal Hospital to find out about becoming a volunteer (pre arranged so that can’t count can it?), let a L plater driver into traffic (would have done that anyway), held doors open (ditto) and thought I am really sucking at this.
So, I too did the coffee thing…brought one for me and asked to pay for the next person. The lady that served me was on board with it all from the start which was great! But the thing is that I don’t know what reaction that got…hoping a good one.
I also left money at the car wash for the next person (who I saw was a young girl on her Ps).
The question I guess have I really completed the task? I feel like I fell short.

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M@ January 23, 2012 at 7:31 am

I’d say you completed it in spades. Wish I was folowing you around on saturday…. :)

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Suu January 21, 2012 at 5:17 pm

FranM – please don’t feel badly. You posted here and I read it so you actually did an act of kindness by allowing me ( us) into your life. One day you’ll not even realise what you’re doing and will unknowingly help a stranger whether it be pick up an item they dropped or even move out of someone’s way who are in a hurry. No need to give a stranger cash or money. Maybe that split second for a smile will make someone enormously happy.
Thank you for letting us into your world for a minute
Cyber hug coming your way (((((((FranM)))))))

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Mazz (Mildura VIC) January 21, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Okay my RAOK involves two people… my friend “S”, who has just left her husband (and they both work together) and her other friend “T” We have a Charity Fundraiser tonight – and tickets cost $20, not much but when you are trying to save for a house as “T” is, then every bit counts. “S” is sad and feeling lonely and “T” can’t afford to come tonight… “S” and I had been shopping 2 weeks ago and got her a smoking hot dress (before she left her husband) and was debating about whether to wear it as her husband and male colleagues (and their dates) will all be there… would she look like a tramp/tart? I gave her the option of taking the dress back for something a bit low key, but she grew determined that she would wear it, as we both knew it was before split that she purchased it, as did her husband…
Anyway, I told “T” that if she buys the ticket off “S” I will reimburse her… on the proviso that she doesn’t tell “S” what I am doing… When she asked was it a surprise? my SMS reply was: No, I just don’t want her to feel sad/happy that I’m doing it… I don’t want anymore tears from her… especially today/tonight.. I hate seeing her sad.. and she needs her friends right now…” So my RAOK will benefit both “T” who gets a night out with the girls, and “S” who will have the support of her friends around her tonight… oh and we all get to help raise money for Kai’s Leukaemia treatment!! WIN WIN WIN!!!

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Damo January 21, 2012 at 5:26 pm

thankyou all for heaps of ideas , would like to try to pay it forward alot more often, simple gestures, wide rewards.

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Heather 66 January 21, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Hard one, helped invalid mother-in-law, but nothing random. Saw a couple of tourists and considered rushing over to ask if they would like me to take their photo – but chickened out.

Trying to make it happen – and if it doesnt today I will keep trying.

Although is that still random?

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Helen January 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm

Done. Don’t know who had the biggest smile, me or the other person.

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Deborah January 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I am a single parent and a nurse working in aged care. I didn’t think I had anything left in me to give…
I was at the shops today and a lady asked me to get something down from a high shelf. I did it, but was on the phone and didn’t hang around to see if she wanted anything else.
I have not been angry with my kids today for leaving their crap all over the house, I have just quietly gone about cleaning up after them.
I don’t believe the above is enough, but…
I am counting myself as still in!

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Susie January 21, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Was very kind to a friend’s mother today.

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Tash January 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Well today was a very non people day. But the last 2 days I’ve been helping tourists on the tram system & locals with directions, so is it OK if I don’t do these challenge projects in your order…..
It’s interesting when helping people in a city where you are actually a tourist yourself.

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Sarah January 21, 2012 at 6:24 pm

The challenge today was doing this for strangers, as I tend towards the ‘safe’ option doing it for people I know well.

As with others, the barista now thinks I’m odd, paying for others coffee and giving him a big tip. But the older women in the supermarket thinks I’m very “sweet”!

Go Cath, helping a pregnant woman, nice work girlfriend! One member of Team Sar seems to be AWOL … MD are you still out there? The chic’s are leaving you for dead – please post a comment :)

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Clozza January 21, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Day five done! I really enjoyed this one – what a lovely feeling :) .
I made a point if striking up a conversation with an elderly lady in our small local supermarket. We chatted over the freezer section for ages and I learned that her husband has died and she now lives on her own. She said she doesn’t see the point in cooking for just herself and told me how she used to cook for all the workmen on their farm. We talked and laughed about the benefit of frozen dinners leaving no dishes etc in the kitchen! She told me she’d let me know what the meal tasted like next time she saw me! It was a beautiful moment and she leaned in close to me and touched my arm. We then chatted several more times as we crossed paths in the aisles. It made my morning I have to say, and I could see that she had gained something from our interaction too. I found myself saying G’day to strangers and smiling more than usual! I felt so good I then gave $10 in credit at our local cafe for the next customer/s. It was wonderful to see the positive impact on the girls face as I explained to her what I wanted her to do with the money.
Thanks Craig for setting this one. As with the steps I’ll also do this regularly from now on and be more mindful of getting outside of myself.

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TraceyPh January 21, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Everyone in this challenge is special,everyone. I am a keep to myself person and have struggled all day with this challenge, with both the lack of confidence to carry out a rak and not completing day 5. Yes I have been over thinking it. Today I have spent the day with my husband and children with no phone, computer or request for chores to be completed (pls clean your rooms etc) so I know this is not as asked by Craig but in having some much needed family time I am feeling ok about it. Thanks to everyone for your honest sharing especially with this challenge it makes me feel ok with myself. T

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jacmac January 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I went to our local IGA supermarket to pick up a few things (as you do) and told the checkout chick she was doing a great job.

Her smile was amazing :)

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Linda January 21, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I haven’t managed to do this one yet but will roll it over until tomorrow.

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Jenny B. January 21, 2012 at 7:10 pm

On my way home from work, I noticed a mother possum dead on the road with her baby lying close to her. The baby possum wouldn’t leave its mother, who obviously had been hit by a car. With my husband, we wrapped the possum up in a teatowel and drove it to a possum rescue service. So sad but glad the possum had a chance to survive. He wouldn’t have lasted the night otherwise.

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TSC January 21, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I promised my neighbour I would look after his cats while he’s out of the country.

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Kate January 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm

hmmm….I’m not really sure if I managed this one or not. I did make sure to make eye contact with every person that I had a conversation with today and to give them my full attention. I always say hello to strangers when I’m walking or cycling so that doesn’t really count. We are staying in a caravan park so I’ve spoken to all that I’ve come into contact with here as well. I don’t really feel that I’ve done anything special or different though, so I’ll continue to look for opportunities.

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Mel333 January 21, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Done! Kind of… I think? I volunteered to teach a 10 year old to score at the cricket today…. And better still, he was from the other team! It was tough – and took a lot of patience. I could have easily just sat in the car and did my own thing, but I put my hand up.

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Heidi January 21, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Donated a school uniform to a family in need. Word de jour: Thanks

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Simone January 21, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Craig , I had to Giggle this morning as I could not beleive your challenge today. I was already planning to surprise my sister in law by cleaning her house for her. She is going through a tough time at work with having their own business and she is trying to do it all. So I spent 4 hours there, washing , vacuuming , cleaning windows and polishing furniture, mopping floors and all the rest, my daughter wrote a cute note saying the cleaning fairys had been(she is 8). I know it was meant for a stranger, but when family is in need it takes priority. Sim xx

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Fiona January 21, 2012 at 8:08 pm

So, this was interesting! I did manage to complete, but I’m genuinely unsure if my contribution will make a huge difference or not. I have a client, who is a “friend” on FaceBook. She is Bipolar, so her posts can be interesting at times, and I do find them somewhat hard to read, but I have kept in contact because I would like to make a difference to her life if I can – I really feel that Mental Illness is underfunded and that the public do not understand it fullly, and am constantly grateful for my time working with people with disabilities. Today she was having a manic episode, with some pretty heavy duty posts, that indicated that she wanted “out”. So I reached out to her, and put myself out of my comfort zone in a fairly big way. I’m really hoping that it has helped make this episode easier for her.

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Fi January 22, 2012 at 6:50 am

Good for you Fiona, well done for reacing out to her. Mental Health can be scary for others looking in – imagine how busy it must be in the head of your friend.

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Danielle January 21, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I did mine this morning, and didn’t realise until afterwards. Luckily I got it out of the way early, as the rest of the day has been a shocker! Finally moving back into my own apartment after being away for 3+ years – excited as hell, and the removalists dropped my TV, delivered my pride and joy (hand-made bed) with some majorly broken pieces, and so far I’ve noticed at least four other broken/damaged items. Not the best day for feeling or sharing the love, I tell you!

Jess messaged me to say she’s done her good deed, and I’m sure it was one of many today – that’s just the kind of woman she is and that’s one of the reasons I love her so dearly.

Anyway, off to finish unpacking.

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Andrea January 21, 2012 at 8:24 pm

What fun ! I try to practice an act of kindness / gratitude every day – by sending an unexpected card or gift when someone pops into my head.
Today I was at St Kilda Pier for a photography class , so I deliberately bought a whole day parking ticket and as I was leaving gave it to a new arrival. Made their day – and mine too !

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Theresa January 21, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Ok I failed this challenge today. Particularly because there were no opportunities with strangers but I do not call myself a failure because I make random acts of kindness with my family and strangers in need very regularly. I’m always offering help to people I see in need perhaps requiring a steady arm or a hand carrying a heavy bag or to pick up something they have dropped. So I await tomorrow’s challenge and perhaps I can complete a Day 5 challenge before the 7 days are up.

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Geri January 21, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Didn’t do anything extra special but was particularly mindful of my interactions with others today. Took the kids to the Lego exhibition in Melbourne and struck up conversation with people nearby in the queue. It’s always fascinating to learn a bit about others’ lives and to be an ear for those who just need to be heard.

A great way to live each day. I realise that I don’t have to extend myself too much outside my comfort zone to make a real difference to someones day.

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Wendy January 21, 2012 at 9:07 pm

FranM – I agree ill didn’t want to copy others fantastic ideas, nor am I financial enough to do some of the big stuff. I am proud that you have been taking part in this challenge Craig set. Proud that you wrote honestly. Sending you a big virtual hug and see you in tomorrow’s challenge.

Done! Thank you Craig for challenging our comfort zones.

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Vanessa January 21, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Done .. Today was an easy one thank goodness!!

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Helen January 21, 2012 at 9:15 pm

I always enjoy random acts of kindness & “pay it forward” – happily completed today.
Plus trying to keep moving and keeping water intake high each day.
Like someone else mentioned: similar to the 12 days of Christmas!

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Rtlf January 21, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Another interesting day. I’m quite happy with my own company and don’t readily engage with others.
I also do a bit of sailing, but today I volunteered for patrol boat duty. Never done it before- new faces etc.
As it happened the wind was pretty strong and I had to jump in, swim 100m to help a couple of young kids whose boat had been washed up on to some rocks. Helped carry it a few 100m to clear water and help them walk it back to the yacht club.
Kids safe. Boat undamaged and I met a group of new people. Winners all round

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Missbkcol January 21, 2012 at 9:41 pm

After reading the stories people have shared today. I sat here thinking “wow, that’s amazing” and then I thought to myself I didn’t do anything remotely close to what so many others have done today. I kinda thought for a moment “I suck!”. Not good I know, but it’s true.

Here’s what I did do. I set out today to direct my smiling face at as many people as I could (more than what I usually would) and see what their reactions were. Some smiled back, some seemed surprised, almost shocked that I was smiling in the first place, let alone at them and some said “hello” and engaged in a little polite conversation. I helped a lady put her heavy groceries on the checkout belt at the supermarket. I really enjoyed doing these things and as a result of doing them it made my energy increase as well. Like a feel good tonic!

Here’s what I have learnt about today. I started out thinking that I needed to do something “big”, like feed the world, or end poverty, and I’m not kidding when I say that. What I realised, is that I didn’t need to do something “huge” in order to have a positive impact on people around me. I can do small things that can make people smile and feel good too and it all can be done within my local community, this is something I had never really stopped to consider.

Thank you for setting today’s task, as it really increased my awareness and definitely made me realise that everyone can contribute and have a positive impact on those around us, including ourselves no matter how big, or small. Every bit counts! :-)

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Kelly O'Malley January 22, 2012 at 2:02 am

Like !! Even the smallest things make a huge impact – way to go!

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Catherine January 21, 2012 at 9:42 pm

This morning I wondered what I would do to make someone smile throughout the day. In the morning without telling my hubby I ensured we spent lots of time doing things together, time we don’t normally get. Then when I was doing something at the shops for myself I received a call from my mother in law saying she was not feeling well. I just dropped everything and off we went. Hours later when she was feeling a little better I offered to do somethings around the unit she was not able to do due to her sore shoulders. (putting up framed pictures). In all my efforts the hooks she had did not take the weight of the frame and the frame came down, smashing the frame and glass. I felt terrible and said I would replace it. Craig in all my good intentions I had failed. I put the frame in my car to replace the frame and went back in the unit to make my mother in law another camomile tea. In looking back now even when you try to do something good, things can go wrong but that’s ok. It’s the efforts you make to do something for someone else without reward that make you feel good in side that matters. My mother in law is a lovely person and I feel good we were there for her today.

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Leni January 21, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Have no real inspiring stories to tell today…
I did take some time today to bake some scones and a (reasonably healthy) cake for some friends who I am seeing tomorrow. Money is kind of tight for them, so I thought this might be a nice treat.
I also put together a bag to drop off at my local Salvo’s.
Not really random acts of kindness, but it’s in my thoughts now and I’m sure that I can do better in days to come.

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Kylah January 21, 2012 at 9:48 pm

What a beautiful idea! I also paid double getting a coffee this morning at the markets, for the next fabulous person who came along (the girls’ pick). I later found out that the delighted receiver did the same thing for someone else… and so begins a secret love-in-a-coffee chain reaction!

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Tracey V January 21, 2012 at 9:53 pm

I haven’t completed day 5′s challenge – yet. I don’t know why to be honest, I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

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Annette January 21, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Well I have to admit that today just didn’t open up for helping a stranger, my hubby and I had the day booked with visiting a friend who’s partner walked out and then helping my mum in law with all the things that a re a bit hard when your more mature, mowing & all the fun things.Will keep an eye out for an opertunity in the next 2 days

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Chris Howard January 21, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Deal done – took the grandchildren out to lunch & movies. Enjoyment for all.

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Viv January 21, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Craig! You made a lady cry today!

This one’s been a hard one for me. I heard about this random acts of kindness from wakeup sydney a while ago. They send out free cards that you can leave behind. I ordered some but didn’t have the guts to follow through.

Anyway, a commitment is a commitment and it took till about 5pm. Sitting at a coffee shop we’ve never been to, we were worried it was going to shut so after our coffee arrived we went back up to the counter and gave the staff cash for 2 coffees & the card for the next customer. The staff were confused initially then on reading the card, appeared to understand. Later, a staff came by with some change which we declined. It was then she said the lady was in tears.

It’s such a great feeling knowing you can make someone’s day :)

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Rhonda January 21, 2012 at 10:25 pm

day 5 tick-
for anyone interested go to http://www.socday.vpweb.com.au
SOCDAY is about acts of random kindness to help Black Saturday bushfire affected people continue to recover. SOC DAY can be used to make a difference to people in any situation. It was statred by me a bushfire affected person for impacted people anywhere and everywhere.
Cheers all. have a happy Sunday

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M@ January 21, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Ok, just reporting in via phone to say its done. More details when I get near a keyboard to type…

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Anon for today January 21, 2012 at 10:30 pm

I overheard my elderly neighbour have a conversation in her back yard the other day with a friend, saying that ‘when she starts to feel better, she’ll weed the front garden’. Mine needed doing too, so given that I saw this in late, late, late last night, I got up an hour earlier and did hers too.

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Jen Stas January 21, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Not as easy at it sounds spent the day at Australian open tennis spoke with a lady on her own behind me at the Ennius ws gratifying as well as helping someone with a list letter simple nothing earth shattering but none the less it felt good !!

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Renae January 21, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Spent the day at home with family so didn’t really have the opportunity, will be out tomorrow so will do it then.

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Edith January 21, 2012 at 10:57 pm

Just managed the walk yesterday as had a hectic day away from the PC. I didn’t know what I would do for today’s little challenge when out of the blue my 86 y.o. neighbour rang to ask if I was going near the shops today. I hadn’t intended to but this was easy to fit it and be able to drive her to the supermarket for her weekly shopping and help her with all the carrying and sorting. I thought that wasn’t enough for today so I climbed the ladder and cut dozens of branches off a nuisance tree on my back fence that was also a pest to my side neighbour. My 70 y.o. muscles will tell me about it tomorrow, I bet!

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Ann-Marie January 21, 2012 at 11:09 pm

This was a hard one.

I saw an old friend (well someone I clashed personalities with in the past) today. She is going through a hard time. I listened without judgement and am organizing a proper catch up.

I think she is grateful and I’m an outsider to the situation.

Last week I sent a random thank you card to the gentleman who helped me get my new job. I was surprised at how grateful for the gesture he was.

Hope that counts as done.

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Jeni January 21, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Well, I didn’t find the courage.

I can’t decide what to do, nothing feels safe.

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Theresa January 22, 2012 at 12:16 am

Mowed my lawns & also my neighbours

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Kim January 22, 2012 at 12:20 am

OK, my Mum is no stranger but I did sweep her floors, also wanted to call out encouragement for the walkers, joggers & runners who exercise around the golf course where I live but they were all wearing headphones – d’oh, but I did open doors for strangers at a restaurant tonight so much so that one of the people said I could get a job there!

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Michael January 22, 2012 at 12:30 am

Mowed next doors front lawn today while I was doing my own. Made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Could have been the heat and wind but I am sure it was a result of my good deed.

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Yiannis January 22, 2012 at 12:49 am

ok,
I’ve offered some calming moments to a fellow near me

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Tania January 22, 2012 at 1:01 am

I’m afraid I didn’t have opportunity for helping a stranger, we’re all go go for getting organised for camping tomorrow. However, I have spent some extra time in the kitchen and made some lovely treats for friends we’re going camping with, and their kids, and also stayed up this late, packing almost everything and tidying the house for my family, so instead of all the ‘jobs’ they think they have to do tomorrow, they can just get up & pack the car & we’re off camping. Does that count? I sort of feel like this challenge is ok, because on Friday at work, I ran into a lady who was having a really difficult personal time and I ended up spending an hour just listening to her. She left walking lighter, as she had no one she could talk to and although I’m virtually a stranger, I think it just really helped her to have someone listen and not judge. I felt pretty good. Hopefully I’ve ticked the box for this one, but I’ll keep an eye open for the opportunity for a random act of kindness while we’re camping!

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Olga January 22, 2012 at 1:16 am

I failed. I’ve been at home all day, doing my things to do, sad. But I’ll do my best to catch up with this task as soon as I can.

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Lalo January 22, 2012 at 1:18 am

Having had to stay at home with no opportunity for human interaction this Saturday except with my family (which would be too easy, I feel, for the purposes of this challenge, although I did do a couple of things for them too), I’ve just wired an online donation to MSF (Medecins sans Frontieres), an international organisation providing emergency medical and other aid to people in conflict areas and other emergency situations.
I will be on the lookout these coming days (and hopefully beyond) to help people directly.

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ratbag January 22, 2012 at 1:26 am

I provided some information/objective advice to someone so that they can make a very informed decision regarding their future, ensuring that they look at it from each person’s perspective/angle before they jump :-)

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Kelly O'Malley January 22, 2012 at 1:59 am

I thought I was gonna struggle with this one, but whilst at the gym I changed the handles for the lat pull down machine for an older gym goer, they seemed to have appreciated it lol. Day 5 completed me thinks!

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Caz January 22, 2012 at 2:03 am

Day Five : Visited a mate on a cold winter’s night, who needed a friendly face, when I’d have preferred to stay on my sofa, but the warm fuzzies that resulted from the visit were far better than any night on the sofa

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lisa harper January 22, 2012 at 3:50 am

decided too give an old chap 15 mins of time, offered him a hand down some stairs, he looked at me and laughed, then commented , that he is 92 and still able to dance, never mind a set of stairs, then asked if i could jive, as he wouldn’t mind having a little dance with me ;) ..45 mins later, he has same name as my son, has a facebook account and was away to catch bus home too look after his disabled wife, WOW, what a guy,he certainly gave me hope :)

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Brian C January 22, 2012 at 6:22 am

Failed miserably yesterday. Got too wrapped up in my own world. Will make amends .

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Suzanne January 22, 2012 at 6:45 am

Yesterday I caught up on Day 3, and only had water the whole day. Man that was hard! I do drink a lot of water anyway, but also have coffee in the morning and the occasional Coke as well. I had a mammoth headache in the evening, but that might have been heat related. I did drink a lot of water to try and keep hydrated – there were many toilet stops lol.

Sadly, I failed on Day 5. I struggle with anything that involves strangers. Now I know that this is something I will have to work on, personally. I will read through the comments now and see how everyone else faired.

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Jacinta January 22, 2012 at 6:56 am

Great challenge . A while back I witnessed someone “pay forward” in a coffee shop. It was interesting to watch the chain reaction and the responses as each person continued to do the same. It changed the days start for quite a few. I believe in looking for opportunities for random acts .. It is both uplifting for the giver and the receiver and as you observed even the witnesses.

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Trevor W January 22, 2012 at 7:42 am

Met a work acquaintence & his family whilst on holidays and shouted them all coffee. I hope he shouts me back when we get back to work lol…

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Chris Coutts January 22, 2012 at 8:00 am

That was harder than I thought…

I’m usually not much of a one for housework, but when battling for inspiration, I suggested to the Mrs that I would do the washing (laundry) and then followed up by doing the evening dishes…

Our second pregnancy is causing her considerably more discomfort so she was truly grateful for the help…

Might have to do that a bit more often!!!

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Tracey B January 22, 2012 at 8:05 am

Hi all,
This is a late ‘done’ for the last 2 days. I didn’t walk,run but instead took on just dance 3 for longer than the 15mins. Yesterday I went and visited my almost elderly neighbor – don’t alway have the time. Felt good.

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Peter_B January 22, 2012 at 8:54 am

Day_5 was spent at home after a ‘melt down’ between my partners 12 yo boy (who lives with us) and his Dad. Cancelled a client visit and just hung out with a distressed little boy lots of ‘chats’ about why and why not certain people do and act in certain ways – it can be totally confusing when you are 12. Then for no reason (maybe the subconscious) I gave my partner a half hour neck and shoulder massage – the emotional stress as the ‘melt down’ was evident. by the end of the day our unit was ‘whole’ again – if that doesn’t count then that’s OK I can make good somewhere else by the time we are done.

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Peter_B January 22, 2012 at 9:04 am

PS – Still no coffee since Day_2 and the headache is nearly gone – LOL – New morning drink is protein shake with banana and egg – sets up the day just fine!

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Emi January 22, 2012 at 9:21 am

Day 5 done. At work I stopped what I was doing and offered someone to do theirs instead for a while. It was a nice feeling as I saw that they appreciated the gesture.

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Sue P January 22, 2012 at 9:31 am

Done! I was at a BBQ last night and a friends elderly mother was talking to me about storing cold cuts and mentioned she used to have some great Tupperware containers but over the years they’ve disappeared. I have some new ones and I’m dropping them off to her today so she can now enjoy fresh meat again, she was so overcome that I’ll give her mine when her family keep taking her items home. Greed is such a terrible thing.

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Tracy January 22, 2012 at 9:40 am

Love this one, but it will have to wait til tomorrow. I’m at home all day today and no neighbours or passers by where I live….Looking forward to my shopping tomorrow though, will be looking out for a ‘random stranger’….

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Cardinal Cyn January 22, 2012 at 10:07 am

I haven’t participated in this 7-day challenge because day 1 was stair climbing and I live in a very flat area with no hills or steps and I don’t own a step-up thingy and the nearest steps are 40 minutes away. So found that I didn’t participate in the rest of the challenge either. But I sort of wish I had (except for the no-coffee day). I would’ve liked this challenge. I have loved reading all your stories. And am thinking I will do this challenge anyway for the hell of it.

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Vitalia Bryn-Pundyk January 22, 2012 at 10:32 am

Funny that Jacinta mentioned the coffee shop. I was in the Starbucks line this morning for a cup of hot chocolate (I know this probably isn’t on the approved beverage list but it is very COOOOLD in Minnesota). I paid for my beverage and for the stranger’s behind me. The reaction was incredible–the expression on the stranger’s face was a great big smile and disbelief. He quite cheerfully and graciously thanked me and it seemed as though he had a little skip in his walk as he went about his way. Love the random acts of kindness – feel good” type of challenges! Made my day! :-)

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Jane January 22, 2012 at 11:04 am

Struggled with this one…. I have a bet (a bottle of wine) with a friend that she will kill her new plants before I kill my new herbs. She has had to go away unexpectedly, so I went and bought some water storage crystals to help her plants survive a bit longer(I wouldn’t want to win under false pretences!!) but i’m not sure that really counts….! But i’ll keep this one in mind.

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Mooks January 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Didn’t get to post yesterday, but spent time last night at a function talking to people and asking them about themselves and really taking the time to listen to what they were telling me rather than getting distracted. When you take the time to listen, they really open up and I had a few “thanks for listening, I feel so good being able to talk”. Made me feel really good as well and I feel that I have a better understanding of them now too.

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Aleesha January 22, 2012 at 1:26 pm

i didnt just do this for today’s project. I always try & help random people when needed. I have become one of those people who smile & talk to people on the tram. I just think that showing some type of kindness might just make someone’s day or make their day a little easier.

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Mel January 22, 2012 at 3:13 pm

My son had a bday party to go to all day at the local water park. There were 8 other boys attending and the mum was by herself. I offered to stay with her for the day and chat and also keep an eye on them.
Done. It’s funny I still feel that I could have done more.

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Lyndal January 22, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I’m often partaking in random acts of kindness. Makes me feel alive! Even simple little things like picking up rubbish or smiling and saying hello to a stranger as I pass them by. So for me this challenge wasn’t very challenging at all!
What I realized though was how robotic they had become and how unconscious, for example, my greeting actually was.
So today (being yesterday as I didn’t get round to posting!) I wanted to be fully aware as I performed my random act(s) of kindness and this is what happened.
I noticed that my smiles where wider and my voice clearer, cheerier and louder as I gave my ‘usual’ hello to my passers by. In doing this I also became aware these greetings felt different to usual so I stopped myself to see what was going on. What I noticed was they were being generated from a different place. They were coming from my heart instead of my head!
So thank you Craig for this challenge as it was a gentle reminder of
being in the moment, aware and in my heart space when giving, which I will practice doing every day. :)

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Kate,Central Coast January 22, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Ok, just home from baby sitting.. my sisters kids so that her and her partner coudl go out, cut her hair as she is pregnant…. went and volunteered at Sydney – yesterday.

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Jackie January 22, 2012 at 7:25 pm

I finally did a spring clean today…. Just 4 months late :)

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Korryn January 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm

It never ceases to amaze me how much of an impact a small gesture such as holding a door open for someone or offering to help someone struggling with carrying their shopping can have on someone’s mood – both theirs and mine.

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Heather Sydney January 22, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Feeling like I only half did this one act of kindness was 4 those I know and wasn’t out of my comfort zone so will have another go

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Kelly NH January 23, 2012 at 5:55 am

I dont know if it counts, but on my usual Saturday shopping with two feral kids in tow, I helped an elderly lady with a bad case of Parkinsons unload her shopping into her vehicle.
Its something I normally do when I see her though. I just hope my kids recognise the act and try to do the same in thier lives.
Also being 6ft tall I regularly help people reach the top shelf ;o)

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M@ January 23, 2012 at 7:41 am

ok, I know everyone else has completely moved on from this, but I committed earlier to a better report on my done – so (although it won’t be read) I’m writing it, because I’ll know.

Like Kayley, far above, being the samaritan is kinda my shtick…so this posed a bit of a challenge. in the end I decided that ‘going out of my comfort zone’ was the key, and that ended up bringing the focus closer to home.

Now this is going to sound weird to almost anyone else, but there it is…

My son has been been bugging me for almost a year to be allowed to use the lawn mower to mow our rather ample lawns. I have refused every time, because I’m actually very particular about the way the lawns should be mowed (straight lines, overlapping rows etc) and I knew he just wouldn’t do it my way. He’s 10 – what chance was there?

After picking up a ton of glass from where some local kids smashed it in front of a strangers driveway on my walk. Helping some guy catch his dog, and helping a kid get his chain back on his bike….I returned home and actually allowed my son to mow the lawns. His way. Without me yelling at him that he was doing it wrong, missing bits and leaving grass everywhere. He had a ball and has told almost anyone he can that he mowed the lawns all by himself.

He did an ok job in the end, and I’m even leaving it without going over it again…but it’s WAY outside my comfort zone…

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lsg1378 January 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Good for you M!
It will become a treasured memory for him =)

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FranM January 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm

Had to track back to find this – really made me laugh – i can totally relate :P
Good on you!

Fran

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Suu January 23, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Thanks for coming back and posting this. Yep, it’s hard to let go of the reins and allow someone else do our job their way. LOL

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Kara January 23, 2012 at 7:46 am

Late post but I did day 5 and 6 – I just didn’t have time to post. I took my nonna out of the nursing home for her 90th birthday on Saturday and took her for a sleepover at her old home on sat night, she was delighted and so happy!! (we had a party for her yesterday!).. My nonna (italian) is my soulmate – she is my lady… anyway my random act of kindness came when I went across to the shopping centre to buy her some underwear at Target.. The lady in front of me was paying for some things with her kids scurring around her – she look flustered as she shuffled through her purse looking for 40cents. She tried to not accept my 40cents and said she could pay on card – I said no please let me – she walked off smiling with her 3 kids clinging to her leg :) … maybe not the most heart-string pulling act of kindness – but it had to be random and that was the opportunity that arose!! :)

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M@ January 23, 2012 at 11:46 am

Like.

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Suu January 23, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Ditto :)

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Cranky January 23, 2012 at 8:41 am

All done – reminds us that we should be looking beyond our own sphere doesn’t it?

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Adam January 23, 2012 at 9:36 am

I was weeding my front garden yesterday, and so weeded the elderly next door neighbours small garden as well. No biggy, only took and extra 20 mins

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Cheryl January 23, 2012 at 10:39 am

Oops, catching up on posting, loved Day 5 challenge, thanks.

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Kerrin January 23, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I’m part of a “crew” of people who are committed to losing their weight, motivating each other and encouraging each other to be the best verion of themselves. My good deed was to pay for another member’s ticket to our end of season dinner. We had an “Angel Fund”, to help out the members who couldn’t afford the splurge. A good time was had by all.

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lsg1378 January 23, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Haven’t been on the computer, so hence the lack of update, NOT the lack of participation ;)
I stayed back at my Sister’s work to take her home (In the opposite direction and delayed my plans) so she didn’t have to take the bus!

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Kymberly January 25, 2012 at 2:04 am

Late in posting, but done. I noticed that some ESL students (none that I knew) were discussing how to write an official-ish letter in English after a class. Despite feeling way out of my comfort zone and pressed for time, I offered to help them, and gave an impromptu mini-tutorial when they gladly accepted the help.

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Carmon B January 30, 2012 at 3:56 pm

Spontaeous kindness is always a heart rewarding & soul uplifting act to the day. I always try to do one lil good deed a day, its my dose of reality & grounding. I love doing it without people knowing, or letting them know. All I have ever asked is that in anyway they do something for someone else… that is my thrill, knowing that the appreciation passes on!! Simple pleasures!!

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