What if there was a way that you could maximize the potential that you could be helping someone nearly EVERY day? What if it required little or no effort on your part? Does this sound appealing?
Most people would jump at the chance to help someone else especially if it required very little inconvenience. There is a way that you can make it happen, by paying it forward. I know, "what in the world is "paying it forward?"" Many of you may have seen the movie, Pay It Forward. Paying it forward is the opposite of paying it back!
When someone does you a favor, what do you typically say? "Thanks so much (Sue, Charlie, or John), I'll pay you back!" Well, instead of paying back Sue, Charlie, or John, you do something nice for someone else. Awesome idea huh! Only instead of paying it forward once, do it twice! Thus, one good deed could spawn hundreds of others in a relatively short time, as you ask others to pay it forward instead of paying you back. Imagine the good that can be accomplished.
Trevor, the 12-year-old hero of Pay It Forward, thinks of quite an idea. He describes it to his mother and teacher this way: "You see, I do something real good for three people. And then when they ask how they can pay it back, I say they have to Pay It Forward. To three more people. Each. So nine people get helped. Then those people have to do twenty-seven." He turned on the calculator, punched in a few numbers. "Then it sort of spreads out, see. To eighty-one. Then two hundred forty-three. Then seven hundred twenty-nine. Then two thousand, one hundred eighty-seven. See how big it gets?"
The Pay It Forward concept, of doing unselfish acts of kindness, a service for someone, and asking them to pay the kindness forward instead of paying it back, is a powerful idea.
Tricia asked Mike to drive her to the airport to catch her flight. She did not want to leave her car at the terminal for four days. When she was almost ready to board she told Mike that she would "pay him back" as soon as she got home. To her surprise, Mike told her that she did not have to pay him back at all, but asked her to pay two other people forward. As she boarded the plane she thought about his request, and could not wait to try it out. She was so excited, that by the time she returned home she had already fulfilled her end of the bargain.
On the two hour flight Tricia struck up a conversation with a fellow passenger, and offered to help her break into a new market for her small business by introducing her to a few of her contacts. She exchanged business cards and sent the e-mails to her contacts as soon as she reached her hotel. Her second good deed as completed when she offered someone a ride to their hotel when she learned that the car rental had run out of vehicles. In essence Tricia repaid her "debt" within hours of incurring it, AND by asking the two people she helped to also "pay it forward", she put the ball in motion for many others to benefit from this practice. The best part for Tricia was the wonderful feelings that accompanied the acts of kindness. She was very happy that she could help others, especially strangers, and that feeling carried over into the other parts of her trip. Tricia had a wonderfully successful trip, as like DOES attract like.
So remember the phrase "why don't you pay it forward?" Be prepared to sit back and watch the rippling effect of how powerful and positive this is. It will help make this year a better year for many.