When you hear the phrase ‘act of kindness’, are you like me and your thoughts turn to physical actions and examples of good will and support for fellow humans?
Well, this week, I received what I definitely considered an ‘act of kindness’ from a friend who simply posed a pair of powerful questions to me. The questions were uplifting and empowering, and enabled me to pause, reflect, and then make some minor positive changes in my life.
During a normal phone conversation with my long-term friend, he directly asked me, “What has been the best hour of your week?” I enjoyed and appreciated the question. After checking if it was okay to have several ‘best hours’, I provided a couple of answers to my mate. He then added his second question, “How can you make it easier to have more hours like this?” The supportive and caring tone of this question and the freshness of this idea led me to numerous moments of reflection over the next few days.
How could I have some more ‘best hours’ in my week? It made me consider my signature strengths, it made me ponder my passions. I considered my values and the people and the projects that deeply matter to me. Naturally, some elements of my ‘best hours’ felt partly out of my control, and some felt ‘best hours’ because of some of the challenging, or even worst hours, that preceded them. I think all of this is okay; my main experience was that I was energised by a friend who presented me with the gift of an inspiring and uplifting question. I have made some little tweaks to my routine and my priorities that may well contribute to making it easier for me to have some more best hours in the future. Thanks mate!
The main message I offer you in this blog, is the invitation to consider a question (or two) that could serve as an act of kindness to a colleague, friend, or family member. I won’t leave you with half a dozen possible questions as I will leave it to you to brainstorm what would be some helpful questions that you could kindly ask someone near and dear to you.