We often lose sight of the small steps we can make personally to improve the lives of those around us. Below are the five greatest gifts you can give to those around you, that will cost you little, but have the potential to improve their lives significantly.
1. Give the Gift of Your Attention
“The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention.” ~ Thích Nhất Hạnh
The first out of the five greatest gifts you can give to those around you is the gift of your attention.
In an age where distraction is the default attraction, it’s easy for us to lose sight of the gift that we give to others when we give them our full attention.
Giving our full attention means listening.
It means putting our smartphones down.
It means looking someone else in the eye.
It means asking questions and waiting for the answers not just jumping ahead.
It requires us to be present in this moment. It means focusing on the here and now, without our minds wandering into the future.
It means making a real connection.
Give the gift of your full attention to others around you and allow them the stage they deserve.
2. Give the Gift of Kindness
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” ~ Mark Twain
The second out of the five greatest gifts you can give to those around you is the gift of kindness….
A little well placed thoughtfulness and kindness can really make a positive impact on people around us.
This doesn’t always have to mean grand, sweeping gestures as small acts of kindness soon add up.
Help a neighbour with their shopping.
Walk a friend’s dog.
House sit for someone.
There are many ways we can offer the gift or our kindness. Not expecting anything in return except maybe the warm feeling we get from knowing we are doing something good for someone else.
3. Give the Gift of Time
“Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time. It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. ~ Rick Warren
The third out of the five greatest gifts you can give to those around you is the gift of time.
In a world where busy is the norm, giving others some of our time can make a real difference.
We can do this by taking our commitments seriously. By booking in time with friends and keeping that time free for those friends. By making time to stop and shoot the breeze for a while with a neighbour. By taking time out to spend disconnected from the online world to spend undistracted with a loved one.
4. Give the Gift of Not Judging
The forth out of the five greatest gifts you can give to those around you is the gift of not judging.
We’re all human and sometimes we make mistakes in life. In such times it can help us all if we can talk to someone that will just listen without making judgements on us. Good friends will do this but we can also extend this gift to others.
5. Give the Gift of a Compliment
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ~ Leo Buscaglia
And the fifth greatest gift you can give to those around you is the gift of a compliment. This fits under the umbrella of numbers 1 and 2 on this list but is also worthy of its own spot. A well timed and earnest compliment can have an immediate and positive impact on the recipient. It shows we have noticed something positive in others.
This compliment could be related to the physical (a new hairstyle perhaps) or be behavior based (perhaps you mention how well they presented at a company meeting). Either way, we all like to hear a compliment every now and again.
These are the five greatest gifts you can give to those around you that will cost you little but will give much.