Yesterday, while unsuccessfully attempting to lug my new wooden desk out of a cab and into my apartment building, a knight in shining armor came to my rescue. Okay, he wasn’t a knight and he didn’t have armor, but he did rescue me from myself. This very nice man was walking by with his daughter, noticed my struggle and asked if I wanted help carrying the desk to my apartment. Did I ever! I don’t know what I was thinking foolishly believing that I could schlepp this thing up 4 flights of stairs!
I have never met this stranger and I will likely never see him again. Regardless, I am in deep gratitude to and for him. Dr. Martin Seligman, the “father” of positive psychologysays that the fastest way to improve our well-being is to do something nice for someone else. As he says, acts of kindness not only make the recipient feel good… they make us feel good too! And because feeling good is contagious, this one act of kindness can ignite dozens more.
And if just one act of kindness generates wellness, imagine what multiple acts in 1 day can do! According to acclaimed researchers Lyubomirsky, Sheldon and Schkade (2005), 5 acts of kindness in 1 day quadruples our happiness! Who needs an energy drink with this kind of boost?
What research tells us, this man confirmed. Doing something nice for someone elsematters to everyone’s well-being. Certainly, his kindness mattered to me. Wherever you are, my helpful “Knight”, thank you. I’ll be sure to pay it forward.