What is the Do Something Nice Challenge?
The idea is simple. To do something nice for someone else without being caught. The challenge, while simple, is designed to do two things. The first is to help encourage people to do nice things for others, but by getting you used to putting it into a routine. In other words, If you can embed this concept into your life and what you do, you will make a regular difference into someone else's life. Plus you can make it fun while you build up a routine. For example, try to make a game out of it and see if you can do something nice for someone one or two times in a week. Then if you succeed, or even if you don't, try it again the next week.
Whatever you decide to do, start taking on this challenge regularly and you'd be surprised how good it makes you feel. It will make you want to do it more and more, and before you know it, you'll be making a habit of it!
The second thing this challenge is designed to do is to help you consider doing things without the need for recognition. This is actually easier said than done though. In part because some of us naturally enjoy the feeling of being recognized for doing something or accomplishing things we are proud of.
But a reward is something we should not expect to receive back just because we did something for someone else. Sure, it's nice to get a thank you or see some token of appreciation, but we forget that sometimes those who receive our kindness aren't in a position or a state of understanding that they need to reciprocate. Or maybe they are and feel obligated to repay you out of guilt. But I'll get back to that part in a second...
With so much going on in the world, as well as within ourselves and our inner struggles, we could always stand to see a little bit of extra kindness in this world. So that is why you are being challenged to do something nice for someone without being caught.
So how does it work?
It starts with you agreeing to give this challenge a try, just to see how the end results make you feel. For the nay-sayers, you can try it just to prove to me that it won't make you feel good. Next, look for an opportunity to do something nice or help someone out. You don't have to do anything dangerous or heroic like what you hear in some of the podcast episodes, you can do something small and it will have the same effect. It also doesn't have to be anything expensive, all you have to donate is a little bit of your time.
It could be something as simple as leaving a positive message at a friends desk before they get in, or take out the trash without having to be asked. Of course if you want to, you can do other things like pay for the next person in line at the drive through, or cover someone's power bill when you know they are struggling.
Whatever you do, try doing it without being caught. Show to them that you wanted to be nice, just to be nice and you aren't looking for recognition. But what if you do get caught, or if they feel an obligation to repay you? Simply ask them to pay it forward. Tell them about this challenge and challenge them, when they are in a position to do so, to do something nice for someone else without getting caught.
So where did this idea come from?
Honestly, It started a long time ago for me from those who influenced my life and taught me how to be good. For me, there was a moment in my life that I wasn't proud of. As a kid, there was a moment when I turned against someone who had counted on me to be a good friend when no one else would. At first I had no problem being her friend and I felt it was horrible how others would treat this person. But as a kid, I too was subject to internal conflict and when kids started picking on me, I decided I didn't want to be her friend in an effort to stop being teased.
I was not proud of what I had done and deep down inside, I still wanted her to be ok. Fast forward to today, those actions still haunt me and I hope that one day I can apologize for hurting such a good person. But until then, I decided I should follow a path of kindness and hopefully help others learn how to be kind too. However, I didn't know how to put it into words how I felt and I didn't know how to make a challenge that was easy to remember and hopefully go viral.
That was until I saw a sign at my local hospital that said to do something nice when no one is looking. When I saw that, it literally made me stop and think... at least until the person behind me honked their horn because I had been sitting there too long!
But over the next several months I thought long and hard how it related to my feelings and it finally struck me when I was in line at a drive through. I had finally pulled up to get my coffee and handed the barista my money. The gal said there was no need because the person in front of me had already paid for me before they left. I was taken back and really wanted to thank someone, so I thanked the barista and continued to think about if I knew the person before me. In short I didn't, and I know they didn't know me. But it was at that moment I realized that my challenge to others was to do something nice for someone without being caught.
Later on, I had decided to run for office in my local community and I knew I had to raise money for that, but instead of just asking for donations, I decided to sell shirts that had this positive challenge I had recently cultivated in my head. So I asked my friend Braighlee Rainey, who is one of the most talented artists I know, if she would help me take this message and make an amazing design that people would like to see on a shirt.
And so she did, and I now had an idea and something people would like to look at and wear. Now while it was originally created to help raise money for a political campaign, I didn't want it to be tied to that. I wanted to continue to push my challenge to help promote kindness. So when my short political career had ended, I decided to continue using the design and the idea in hopes that it would help make for a better world.
Which brings us here to the Do Something Nice podcast. A podcast that helps highlight some of the worlds good deeds and acts of kindness. There are enough stories of individuals and groups of people to last a lifetime, and I hope that you will enjoy what we have to offer in the show. If you do enjoy it, please consider supporting the show by sharing it with someone, taking up the challenge, or maybe even order yourself a t-shirt or mug with the design and message I'm sharing with you. And above all, thank you for being you. Thank you for being a kind person. And thank you for doing something nice for someone without being caught!