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8 Things Extraordinary People Give to Others

inShare 230Email There is no exercise better for your heart than reaching down and lifting others up. Today, as I was sitting on the edge of a cliff at the distance and thinking about my day, I turned was almost in tears slowly walking down to where ed up to her and asked, What s wrong? She told , but was worried about me and wanted to get over ly sitting by myself, and she wanted to make sure e of mind. a local park, staring off into around to see a young lady who I was sitting. I got up, walk me she was deathly afraid of heights her fear because I looked lone I was OK and in a healthy stat

Her name is Kate, and her braveness and kindness blew my mind. I spent the rest of the day thinking about what an extraordinary person Kate is and about what it means to be extraordinary. Above all, I think, extraordinary people give generously in numerous ways. Specifically, they give others 1. Reliable, sincere support. The closest thing to being cared for is to care for others. We are all in this together and we should treat each other as such. The very demons that torment e ach of us, torment others all over the world. It is our challenges and troubles that connect us at the deepest level. If you think about the people who have had the greatest positive effect on your life the ones who truly made a difference you will likely realize that they aren t the ones that tried to give you all the answers or solve all your problems. Th ey re the ones who sat silently with you when you needed a moment to think, who le nt you a shoulder when you needed to cry, and who tolerated not having all the a nswers, but stood beside you anyway. Be this person for those around you every chance you get. 2. Undivided attention and focus. There is greatness and beauty in making time, especially when it s inconvenient, f or the sake of someone nearby. You don t have to tell people that you care, just show them. In your relationship s and interactions with others, nothing you can give is more appreciated than yo ur sincere, focused attention. Being with someone, listening without a clock an d without anticipation of results is the ultimate compliment. It is indeed the most valued gesture you can make to another human being. When we pay attention to each other we breathe new life into each other. With f requent attention and affection our relationships flourish, and we as individual s grow wiser and stronger. We help heal each other s wounds and support each othe r s growth. So give someone the gift of YOU your time, undivided attention and ki ndness. That s better than any other gift, it won t break or get lost, and will alw ays be remembered. (Marc and I discuss this in more detail in the Relationships c hapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.) 3. The freedom to be themselves. Life s greatest privilege is to become who you truly are. You have to dare to be

yourself, one hundred percent, however anxious or odd that self may prove to be. The people who support you in doing so are extraordinary. Appreciate these pe ople and their kindness, and pay it forward when you re able. Never bully someone into silence. Never victimize others for being different. Accept no one s close-minded definition of another person. Let people define them selves. You have the ability to show people how awesome they are, just the way they are. So act on this ability without hesitation; and don t forget to show you rself the same courtesy. 4. Their willingness to be open-minded and wrong. The mind is like a parachute; it doesn t work when it s closed. It s okay to disagree with the thoughts or opinions expressed by others. But that doesn t give you the right to immediately reject any sense they might make. Nor does it give you a right to accuse someone of poorly expressing their beliefs ju st because you don t like what they are thinking and saying. Learn to recognize t he beauty of different ideas and perspectives, even if it means overcoming your pride and opening your mind beyond what is comfortable. Healthy relationships and human interactions are not a power struggle. Be willi ng to be wrong, while simultaneously exploring your truth. (Read The Four Agree ments.) 5. A voice of inspiration and positivity. If you attach to the negative behavior of others, it brings you and everyone clo se to you down to their level. Stay positive when negativity surrounds you. Sm ile when others frown. It s an easy way to make a difference. Every time words a re spoken, something is created. Be conscious of what you say and how you say i t. Use words that build up, appreciate, encourage and inspire. It s your job to inspire and motivate others, to feed another s senses with the idea s and endeavors that move you. Inspiration and positivity begets inspiration an d positivity times infinity. Imagine if the people who were inspired to create the light bulb, the telephone, and the personal computer didn t share it with the world. 6. Recognition and praise. A brave, extraordinary soul recognizes the strength of others. Give genuine pra ise whenever possible. Doing so is a mighty act of service. Start noticing wha t you like about others and speak up. Having an appreciation for how amazing th e people around you are is extremely rewarding. It s an investment in them that d oesn t cost you a thing, and the returns can be astounding. Not only will they fe el empowered, but also what goes around comes around, and sooner or later the pe ople you re cheering for will start cheering for you too. Also, be sure to follow this rule: Praise in public, penalize in private. Never p ublicly ridicule someone when you have the option not to. If you don t understand someone, ask questions. If you don t agree with them, tell them. But don t judge them behind their back to everyone else. 7. The compassion and space to save face. What others say and do is often based entirely on their own self-reflection. Wh en someone who is angry and upset speaks to you, and you nevertheless remain ver y present and continue to treat them with kindness and respect, you place yourse lf in a position of great power. You become a means for the situation to be gra ciously diffused and healed. A Zen teacher once told me, When somebody backs themselves into a corner, look th e other way until they get themselves out; and then act as though it never happe

ned. Allowing people to save face in this way, and not reminding them of what th ey already know is not their most intelligent behavior, is an act of great kindn ess. This is possible when we realize that people behave in such ways because t hey are in a place of great suffering. People react to their own thoughts and f eelings and their behavior often has nothing directly to do with you. (Read Bud dha s Brain.) 8. Gentleness and consideration. Be gentle and compassionate with those around you. Mother Nature opens millions of flowers every day without forcing the buds. Let this be a reminder not to b e forceful with those around you, but to simply give them enough light and love, and an opportunity to grow naturally. Ultimately, how far you go in life depends on your willingness to be helpful to the young, respectful to the aged, tender with the hurt, supportive of the striv ing, and tolerant of those who are weaker or stronger than the majority. Becaus e we wear many hats throughout the course of our lives, and at some point in you r life you will have been all of these people. Afterthoughts The difference between ordinary people and extraordinary people is the word extra . As Anne Frank once said, No one has ever become poor by giving. Whenever you ca n, go out of your way and do something nice and unexpected for those around you, especially those who may never be able to repay you. Be the extra in extraordina ry. Your turn In your mind, what makes a person extraordinary? What else do extraordinary peo ple give to others? Leave us a comment below and share your thoughts.