25 Ways to Pay it Forward Today

“If you have much, give of your wealth; if you have little, give of your heart.” ~ Arab Proverb

Recently, a really good friend invited me to partake in the act of sharing daily gratitude. The idea is simple: We submit gratitude affirmations to each other – and the people around us -- as many times as possible throughout the day, every day. Since I accepted her invitation more than four weeks ago, I started to feel more blessed and grounded about everyone and everything around me.

That’s why I’m extending the invitation to you.

We live in a world that recycles the gift of positive energy. What you give out, you will receive back. Gratitude and abundance are intricately intertwined; one cannot exist without the other. When you allow yourself to see the world in a way that absorbs the goodness of humanity, like in gratitude, you can’t help but want to “pay it forward!” (Check out my post The Importance of Practicing Gratitude Daily).

Here are 25 fun ideas on how to pay it forward:

1. Sometimes the way in to someone’s heart is through their belly. Surprise a friend and pick up their dinner tab, or pay for a stranger’s coffee run at the Starbucks drive thru, or drop off homemade goodies at your local fire station.

2. Free up any spare change from the piggy bank. Put a quarter in the next parking meter you pass. A hurried driver might just appreciate the extra few minutes and save them from getting a parking ticket. (I know I did!)

3. Preserve Mother Earth’s resources. Use energy-saving light bulbs, turn off the lights in unoccupied rooms, ditch the plastics and keep a recyclable bag in your car, or carpool with a co-worker. Every effort counts!

4. Tip generously. Be extra generous to your service providers; you never know if the tips they earn is their sole income source.

5. Do you really need all that? Downsize your closet or furniture and donate them to your local charity drive.

6. Be an equal opportunity listener. Talk to the shyest person in the group. Give them a chance to feel heard and included.

7. Mentor someone. Share your knowledge and talents generously with others to help them gain new skills that may advance their professional or personal endeavors.

8. Respect your elders. Share your youthful and vibrant self with the elderly by offering to carry their groceries, run an errand, clean their yard, or lend your musical talents at an assisted living facility.

9. Easy on the meat. Go vegetarian for a day. You’ll physically feel better and help the environment at the same time!

10. Smile. It’s inexpensive and the easiest thing to give!

11. I have a referral. The biggest compliment you can give to a person is a recommendation. Refer the services of someone who is promoting their own business.

12. Share your friends. Bringing your network of friends together builds unity and promotes an opportunity for people to connect and explore shared ideas and interests.

13. Love the greens. Clean up the landscaping or plant a garden. Greens help purify the air, reduce pollutants, and increase physical and mental health of people nearby.

14. Adopt. Save a pet. Save a child. Love is the circle of life.

15. Imitation is a form of flattery. Explore new hobbies that someone else is passionate about. Tag along, ask questions, empathize, and promote!

16. Randomly send love and light. Dedicate your yoga practice to someone else or pray for someone who may have been forgotten.

17. Sweat it out for a cause. Sign up for charity walks/runs to raise funds and awareness while working on your own physical health and celebrating team spirit!

18. Hold the rage. Take a deep breath and let someone else take the “good” parking spot.

19. Save our libraries. Still own hard cover books? Donate them to your local libraries.

20. Make your money count. Give a little, or give a lot. Whatever you can afford, donate to a cause that is closest to your heart.

21. Life is a party. Host or organize a celebratory gathering for a friend’s promotion, engagement, birthday, or jewelry trunk show. Be the champion of celebrating someone else’s milestones.

22. Express yourself. Tell someone how much they mean to you.

23. Celebrate courage. Let go of your own self-worries. Someone else is always fighting a bigger battle than you.

24. Technology is power. Utilize social media to promote an organization, a project, a cause, or a friend.

25. Acknowledge inspiration. The foundation of most of my writing comes from within, but many sources of inspiration are drawn from others. Create something with someone else in mind. Write, draw, sing!

The possibilities are endless. What are some of your ideas? Join in the action and be a joy giver to others!

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