1. Pray and/or meditate. Start or end your day with a fresh, new perspective on life. Gain clarity through prayer and meditation. Recognize that life is much bigger than the proverbial cubicle in which you live.
2. Have a heart-to-heart with your spouse, relative, or a friend. When was the last time you sat down with the television turned off and the laptop aside, and spoke to your spouse or friend with intimacy? Share what’s really on your heart and mind, and allow them to be open and honest as well. This fosters deeper relationships and trust with the ones you are closest with, and builds lasting rapport.
3. Play with a child uninterrupted. Children need one-on-one attention and hands-on contact with parents and other guardians in order to feel confident and loved. When was the last time you crawled on the floor to play with your child? Step away from the couch and get off the internet, then go outside and toss a football or romp around on the playground with your son or daughter. Be a kid again!
4. Tell your parents you love them and how important they are to you. Too often, the people who deserve the most credit in life, never get it. This is certainly true of our parents. They raise us for 18+ years and very seldom get a ‘thanks’ in return. How about taking some time to remind them of how special they are to you. Fifteen minutes out of your day, is such a small commitment compared with 18 years. Isn’t it?
5. Take a walk/exercise. With the U.S. healthcare system crippling under the weight (literally) of a growing population of unhealthy Americans, it wouldn’t hurt if we did ourselves (and the economy) a favor by getting up and out to burn a few calories. Plus, walking can be a reflective activity. Exercise helps us to refocus and define not only who we are physically, but mentally as well.
6. Run a quick errand for a friend without a car. Know a friend in need? Why not give them a lift or take care of a task they wouldn’t be able to complete on their own?
7. Call or send an e-mail to someone you haven’t been in touch with for quite a while. When you receive a call, letter or e-mail from someone you haven’t been in touch with for some time, how does it make you feel? It’s encouraging to know when someone has been thinking of you and took the time to reach out. Why not do the same for someone else?
8. Write an encouraging note to someone you love. Who can deny that a sweet, inspiring letter to a spouse, child, parent, relative or friend can lift anyone’s spirits? Here’s an idea: slip the note into a place where they will unexpectedly find it during some part of their day. It will certainly put a smile on their face.
9. Share your story of triumph or challenge. Everyone has a personal testimony. And we all love good stories. If you notice someone who seems bummed about their day or needs some uplifting go over and offer some encouragement by offering a word of encouragement through story-telling.
10. Get to know your neighbor. If you’re new to the neighborhood, have a new neighbor, or know someone elderly living close-by, strike up a conversation, offer any assistance, or make yourself available for emergencies by providing your contact information. By doing so, you’re building a better community for yourself and others.
Keep the Discussion Going
How have you used 15 minutes today? Life isn’t about pursuing your career 24/7. Plus, living your dreams is simply the sum of every little accomplishment you’ve made in life. Commit to doing something positive for yourself and someone else each day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.