Updated: Oct 21, 2020
One of the scenes I love the most from the TV show This Is Us is when the Pearson family is at the pool on Summer break.
The daughter, Kate, gets a note from some girls on a napkin telling her that she can't play with them because she embarrasses them with her looks (Kate is about 8-9 years old and struggles with her weight for context.)
You can feel the sinking feeling of just being crushed that she is experiencing through the screen.
But arguably the greatest dad of all time comes through and completely changes her world in that moment.
Jack (the dad) comes up to her as she is sitting with her towel wrapped around her whole body and ask why she's covering herself up and why she doesn't use a tee-shirt. She shows him the note and tells him she left her shirt at home.
He responds with "Well I brought a tee-shirt. It's a magic tee-shirt. And when you wear it, your enemies will see you exactly how you want to be seen. Whether it's a warrior, or a princess, whatever you want to be."
She obviously asks "does it work?"
He says "Well you tell me -- I was wearing it the night I met your mother, and she thought I was the most handsome man in the world. And look at us now -- magic"
She smiles, takes the shirt, proclaims that she is a princess, and Jack then proceeds to address her as your highness as she is now filled with absolute elation. (Wipes tears from face and changes it to Die Hard with Bruce Willis to restore lost man card.)
It's 2020. I don't need to be the fifth person today to mention how shitty this year as a whole as been. And as much fun as sulking in it is, I was a little bored writing about all things fitness & health so I think a different approach might be more productive. Here are 31 things you can do today to make your world -- and probably someone else's just a little bit better, like Jack did for Kate.
You never know, all it takes is a moment to alter someone's life.
1) Next time you see a car on the side of the road with their hazards on, stop. Odds are, they have everything under control, but maybe they don't, and you could be the one who stopped to help. (Even if you know nothing about cars, you could call someone who does.)
2) Buy five copies of the book that’s impacted your life the most and gift it to friends/family that you think would benefit from reading it. (Don’t be a douche and buy a book titled "How to Better Love Your Wife" for your husband.)
3) Next time you’re spending time with your significant other, friend, or family, don’t just put your phone in your pocket. Turn it completely off for an hour. Be 100% there, one of the greatest gifts you can give someone.
4) Next time you’re at a coffee shop buy the person behind you’s drink (no that’s not just a Christmas thing you sh**)
5) Next time you see well-behaved kids, tell the parents what an amazing job raising them they have done.
6) Buy $5 flowers next time you’re at the grocery store and give them to the first older lady or little girl you see and wish them a beautiful day.
7) Compliment a young adult on a quality you love about them, and how excited you are to see what they grow into. (Be genuine, and don’t comment on their looks.)
8) Buy a gift card to your favorite restaurant and give it to the next cute couple you see on the street for a date night.
9) When you notice something special about someone you like, immediately tell them, don't wait.
10) If you go see someone performing any type of art (comedy show, live music, etc.) go up to them after the show and give them a genuine compliment letting them know how much they made you feel/think/etc. That could be the comment that inspires them to do more.
11) Send someone meaningful in your life a legit letter, like actually mail that sh**. I guarantee that will make their whole week.
12) Take blame for something that’s not your fault next time you’re in an argument. Odds are it won't really matter in the long run and can do amazing things to that relationship.
13) Text a friend and tell them the one thing that has impacted you the most that they’ve done. If it’s a lesson they’ve taught you, or if it’s a deed they’ve done for you that meant the world. Take a minute and actually think about it.
14) Next time a close friend or family member gets good news on something that they’ve been working towards, lose your shit with (genuine) excitement. Offer to take them out for a drink to celebrate or make them dinner. (Remember the last time you did something meaningful and no one gave a sh**? Imagine how different you would have felt if someone modeled that kind of enthusiasm for you.)
15) Bring a friend at work a cake-pop from Starbucks.
16) Ask someone close to you to vent about something bothering them lately. Just shut up and listen. Letting them talk it out will probably make them feel better.
17) Ask for the email of the owner of a locally owned store you shop and write them in short how much you love their store and how much it impacts your life. Be cute about it.
18) Wrap a small gift for someone and surprise them for no real reason. I don’t care if you’re 5 or 50, unwrapping a present will make you giddy.
19) Reach out to someone you aren’t on the best of terms with and let them know you still care about them.
20) If someone you know is trying to lose weight and you notice even the smallest difference (how they felt smaller when you gave them a hug, if their face looks brighter/more defined, if their clothes look baggier, etc.) TELL THEM. Losing weight is fu***** hard and someone noticing can give them the push they need to keep going.
21) Buy a couple bottles of wine and gift them to teachers you know, or drop them off at a nearby school in a gift basket. (Or a gift card for wine? I'm not sure you're allowed to just drop alcohol off at a school.)
22) Next time you go out to eat, leave a stupid generous tip. Like whatever you consider an excellent tip, at least double it. (Bonus points if you leave a cute note on the receipt. #keepitcute)
23) Learn the name of someone you see multiple times throughout the week but have never seemed to get to know. Could be the barista at Starbucks you see in the morning, the security guard at your work, your apartment neighbor, taking the time to use someone's name goes a long way.
24) Call your moms/mother figure. Say thanks.
25) If you're eating at an individually owned restaurant (not a chain) leave a short note on a napkin for the owner how much you loved the food/server/vibe or anything that stuck out. They worked hard for that and it matters when people notice.
26) Go to a dinky hole-in-the-wall place to eat, if you love the food leave a well written 5-star review on Google.
27) If a song makes you think of someone, send it to them and let them know.
28) Next time you're out at the store, call someone in your life who seems a little extra busy and offer to pick something up for them. It might be some butter they forgot to pick up for dinner, some extra trash bags they forgot they were out of, or some laundry detergent. Something small that will make their entire day.
29) Find the email of an old teacher that impacted your life and send them a letter letting them know where you currently are in your life was partially impacted by them. (It might take some google-ing to find them.)
30) Take a candid pic of your friend next time you're out that makes them look beautiful and send it to them.
31) Next time you have an afternoon off, go to your friend or significant other's work to pick up their car and take it to go get cleaned inside and out. (Thanks Jesse for the idea.)
So maybe try and make 2020 a little better starting with you. Or not. Up to you. (It'd be a lot cooler if you did ;))
Or, if you want to cry real quick, here's a youtube clip of the pool scene. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nw2XGWtuZY8