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Paying it Forward in Kindness: Finding Meaning in Doing for Others (+ Free Wallpaper Download!)

December wallpaper download on laptop

When times are hard, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed out. We can easily lose faith in the goodness of those around us. 

However sometimes it’s in dark places we find true examples of charity and kindness. 

Maybe you’ve paid for the coffee of the person behind you, or maybe you’ve volunteered to help build something or help someone in some other way. Whatever the case, paying it forward isn’t just an activity for the season; it helps our world - and us! - year round. 

Paying What Forward?

Some of us may remember the 2000 film Pay It Forward starring Helen Hunt and Spevin Kacey. This idea, though, is a much older one. There are many examples of it throughout history, but a major one is the plot of a play in ancient Greece.

So what exactly does it mean to “pay it forward”? Just as the words suggest it means that when someone does something for you, you go on to do something for someone else. You’re not paying it back, you’re paying it forward!

A great example of this is an experiment done by Tim Ferriss. He introduced the idea of buying a coffee for the person in line behind you. You’d step to the counter. Make your order. Then say you wanted to pay for the next order in line, doing so before they actually ordered. Then when they asked for their extra whipped vanilla latte, they’d find their coffee was already paid for.

Three cups 'cheers-ing' coffee

Bettering the World

A major part of paying it forward is the idea of doing something and expecting nothing in return. There are so many things in life that have helped us get to where we are. There are so many people who have supported us. The act is us taking what has been given and giving it to someone else with the hope they will then give it to someone new.

And it does seem to spark something! Like the first domino in a long chain, when one person pays it forward more continue to do the same. It creates a movement of positivity that everyone can be a part of.

It also builds community. It is based on the idea that we are all connected and can make a choice to strengthen those ties. It helps us and those around us to realize that we are not completely isolated.

Additionally, it helps us to see ourselves as part of something bigger. By expecting nothing in return, the act of paying it forward is a declaration. It says we are going out of our way to do something good because we are invested and the group matters.

Anyone can take part. Because all it takes is a small action, you don’t have to be a CEO to pay it forward. You can do for others in a way that fits your time and resources. 

This accessibility means everyone is a part of the bigger picture and matters. And that matters.

A paper heart being handed from one person to another

Bettering Ourselves

Part of the foundation of paying it forward is gratitude.

Coming out of Thanksgiving and Gratitude Month, it’s something that’s been on most of our radars. ‘Paying it forward’ relates because we are in our actions saying, “I have been helped and I am grateful. Now I will help another.”

And gratitude has proven to better our lives in a number of ways.

Studies show those who wrote down what they were thankful for were noticeably happier than those who wrote down peeves. They also reported better, more restful sleep and positive attitudes backed up by those around them.

Psychology Today shared in an article on the subject that “being kind helps you feel in control. By doing a good deed you’re saying, ‘Here’s something I can do to change the world.’”

December desktop wallpaper

Pour from a full cup (Free download!)

So as you head into the month, we would love to know how you are paying it forward. Tag us in your stories and posts on Instagram using @LovetPlanners and #LovetPlanners!

And for our gift to you, we have this free download of a desktop wallpaper calendar for December! 

As you go through the month, take a look at the text and repeat it three times a day. I will not pour from an empty cup.

Paying it forward is important, but remember you need and deserve to take care of yourself before giving to others. Pour from a cup that has been self-cared for and nurtured.

Below you will find instructions for setting the wallpaper as your background depending on which type of desktop device you’re using.

 How to Set Up (Mac Users):

  1. Download this file: Click Here
  2. Save the file to the Pictures folder on your Mac.
  3. Click the Apple Menu and select System Preferences.
  4. Go to Desktop & Screensaver.
  5. In the left panel, go to Folders > Pictures.
  6. Select the downloaded image.
  7. Look at the wallpaper and repeat the affirmation aloud 3 times daily.
OR
  1. Download this file: Click Here
  2. Save the file to a preferred folder.
  3. Open the folder and right click on the downloaded file.
  4. Select Set Desktop Wallpaper.
  5. Look at the wallpaper and repeat the affirmation aloud 3 times daily.

 How to Set Up (PC/Windows Users):

  1. Download this file: Click Here
  2. Click the Windows icon on the bottom of the screen.
  3. Select Settings > Personalization.
  4. Click on Background.
  5. Set the dropdown to Picture and click Browse beneath the images that appear.
  6. Select the downloaded file.
  7. Look at the wallpaper and repeat the affirmation aloud 3 times daily.

Here’s a pro-tip: There are numerous Lovet Planners that contain affirmations and mantras so that you’re uplifted and ready to go out and do good.

We hope you enjoy your new digital download! Have any freebies you would like to see from Lovet Planners? Leave a comment below!

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