Make Someone’s Day, Every Day

a portrait of a happy child

What if you could inspire this reaction in everyone you met? Well, maybe you can.

Last month I was traveling for business, and I was grabbing a bite to eat inside of an incredibly busy airport restaurant.

The guy who was serving me was visibly stressed out, sweating profusely, and became extremely flustered when I asked him basic questions about the menu. So, I put the menu down and looked him in the eye and gently asked him a question.

“Hey man, not to pry…but, are you okay?”

It was crazy–just the act of asking him that simple question changed his entire demeanor. It was like a 50 lb weight was lifted off of his back.

He sighed, and then he told me that he just started at the restaurant yesterday and that this was his first shift alone. He then shared how much he needed this job, and how determined he was not to screw up this opportunity, even though he (admittedly) barely knew what was on the menu.

Unfortunately, we didn’t chat for very long because he was being pulled in every direction by all of the customers he was serving–many of which, were not very kind or patient with him.

I felt terrible for him–he was clearly trying his best, and I wanted to do something to help. So, when my bill came, I left him a tip that was more than the price of the meal (in case you’re mistaking me for a big baller, it was only $20), and a note that said:

“Remember, with everything that’s new, it’s always hard before it’s easy. Hang in there–you got this!”

Afterward, I went to the restroom, and as I walked out of the restroom and headed out of the restaurant to catch my flight, I was practically tackled by my waiter.

I still can hear the enthusiasm in his voice as he gave me a hug, “Duuuuuuuude! Thank you so much! That was so cool of you–you just made my day!”

And because of that, my day was made too.

What If We Did This Every Day?

This might sound silly to you, but typing up that story and replaying it in my mind is filling me up with a ridiculous amount of joy–even though it has been over a month since it happened.

There is so much power in offering kindness to others, and it feels so good to do it too.

That’s why I believe that we should actively and consciously commit to using kindness to make someone’s day, every day.

In case you’re wondering, this has nothing to do with leaving large tips at restaurants, or with money at all. There are so many cost-free ways to do this–here are just a few:

  • Instead of being the person who only says something when you receive bad service, make a point to consistently compliment great service (better yet, make sure to tell their manager about it too).
  • Randomly call up one of your friends or family members just to say how much you appreciate him/her.
  • Encourage someone’s dream instead of telling them why it can’t be done.

As mentioned, these are only a few examples, but how you choose to spread your kindness isn’t important to me. What matters to me is that you do it–preferably, every day.

Here’s why.

The Ripple Effect

You likely know how deeply I believe in the power of kindness, so I won’t rehash that here. Here’s what I will say, though:

Kindness is the fastest, most effective, and easiest way to positively change the world.

Just the simple act of making someone’s day can positively affect three (or more) people:

  • The person delivering the act of kindness
  • The person receiving the act of kindness
  • The person (or people) witnessing the act of kindness

Can you imagine if everyone reading this blog post committed to making someone’s day, every day? Can you imagine the positive impact that could have on literally millions of people? You (yes, you!) could literally be the person who restores someone’s faith in the goodness of humanity.

I believe that this “ripple effect” (one that we are responsible for starting, by the way) could be the key to healing the world.

And yes, the world needs healing.

The Fascination With What’s Wrong With The World

Do you know what drives me insane?

People sitting around and bitching about what’s wrong with the world.

Those conversations kill a tiny piece of my soul every time.

Yes, the world is definitely broken in many ways–I get that. But wouldn’t it be more useful to ask ourselves, “so, what are we going to do to fix it?”

I’m telling you, consistent and repeated kindness is the answer. Simply committing to making someone’s day, every day, could change everything.

For example, I believe that my brief interaction with the waiter at the airport, really helped him.

Maybe the positive effect wore off as soon as the next customer screamed at him for screwing up her order. Or, maybe he’s still thinking about me right now and using our interaction as motivation to keep fighting through a challenging shift. Maybe an onlooker chose to be kinder to someone in his life because he saw how genuinely happy an act of kindness made my waiter.

Who knows?

What I do know is that no act of kindness is ever wasted. 

Make today the day where you commit to making someone’s day, every day. Your commitment could spark the change that will positively change the world.

And if that doesn’t make your day, then what will?

Your Turn

Have you ever experienced the power of a random act of kindness–either as a giver, receiver or witness? How did it make you feel to make someone’s day? Jump into the comments below and make your voice heard!

Book Cover_newMaking Work Work

Are you tired of dealing with the bullies and jerks at your job, and ready to join the new workplace positivity movement? That’s good, because change is coming, my friend. If you’re ready to join the movement to change how we treat each other at work, reserve your copy of Making Work Work, today! Order link on



Founder of The Positivity Solution
Author, keynote speaker, and kindness extremist who is committed to changing the world by helping as many people as possible to live and work with more positivity.

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  1. Karen Atis says:

    This is one of the most pertinent posts you’ve shared with us for a while and a really useful reminder.
    I was just talking to my daughter on the phone – it’s the first day of Ramadan (we live in a predominantly Muslim country) and she told me she just offered to carry some heavy bags for an elderly lady who was clearly struggling. The lady’s face lit up and she heaped blessings upon my daughter.
    Like you said, her act of kindness made both their days, and maybe even a few more besides.

    • Thanks Karen! Isn’t amazing how easy it is to share kindness with someone else? Just the simple act of carrying the elderly woman’s bags brightened up her day, your daughter’s day, my day (yes, seriously), and anyone else who witnessed that act of kindness or read your comment. That is SO cool. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I love this!!! What a lovely place our world would be if we all did one small act of kindness daily! I do consider myself a kind person, but usually in a more passive way. From now on, I am going to be specific and intentional in my acts of kindness.

    Thank you for the motivation and inspiration. I need all the help I can get, which is why I love your emails!!

    Also, I pre-ordered my book!!! I’m excited for it to get here in September!!! <3

    • Double YAY! One for the book pre-order and the other for your willingness to be more specific and intentional in your acts of kindness. I deeply believe that kindness is one of the fastest ways to positively change the world, and if we all took the time to do it intentionally, can you imagine how quickly this world would change? Thanks again for being a huge part of the solution my friend, and I can’t wait for September either!

  3. I totally agree with you. I try and pay it forward everyday, even if it’s “just” a smile, or a simple please and thank you. After all, Kindness costs nothing 🙂 xox

  4. Shola, we missed you too! Like Kathleen, I have always been kind in a passive way, saying “please” & “thank you”, etc. In the 2 1/2 years I’ve been reading this blog, you have inspired me to totally commit, and be intentionally, actively kind. What a great feeling. It keeps me in positivity, and I keep spreading it around. I do get told I’ve made someone’s day. And as for those who dwell on what’s wrong, I overhear that talk a lot in our employee dining room. Shola, I also learned about
    the Good News Network from you, and I tell those complainers to check there every day.

    • As always Donna, I missed you too! Wow, that is so humbling to know that I’ve helped you to completely commit to being intentionally kind. That seriously warms my heart and I deeply appreciate it. And yes, keep spreading the word about The Good News Network! That is all the proof that we need to remember that kindness is happening around us every single day.

  5. I picked up a copy of your book at BEA and am so excited to share it with coworkers and other librarians.

    Today’s post was the first in my mailbox. Not even five minutes after I finished reading this post I found out I had made someone’s day. It was my first opportunity to pay forward all of the nuturing fellow librarians at my first library job gave to me. A friend of a friend now has a job interview after my help. I couldn’t be happier for her.

    Thank you for everything you’ve written. It’s getting me through some rough stuff at work. Sadly my boss fits nearly every one of the Krej characteristics.

    • Right on, Erica! As one of the very few people who were given an Advance Reader Copy of my book, I’m beyond thrilled to know that you’re excited about sharing it with others! Also, congrats for paying it forward by helping the friend of your friend to land a job interview–that is exactly the kindness that I’m talking about.

      As for your boss–if you ever invite speakers to your library, let me know and I would be happy to talk to your team about how to create a positive work environment. It sounds like a message that he/she really needs to hear. Also, I don’t know if you’re going to be at the ALA event in Florida this upcoming weekend, but if so, I’ll see you there!

  6. What a lovely read to start the week. Thank you, Shola! I’ve been blessed to be on the receiving end of people’s kindness, and there’s really no better way to respond than to pay it forward and to spread the love.

  7. I really enjoy when you share personal stories like these. I can easily visualize the act of kindness that took place and this is why we need more people like you in the world. 🙂 It just takes one person to start a movement and as long as we all try to make someone’s day, every day, we will definitely be closer to making this world a much better place to live in. Thanks Shola!

    • Aww…thanks Yenny! All it takes is one person with the guts and willingness to be kind, and that is exactly how the kindness revolution will begin. As Gandhi said, be the change that we want to see in the world!

  8. Malcolm Drake says:

    I just found your awesome site, Shola! Thanks for all the good advice.

    Since you asked, here’s one of my favorite experiences.

    While on a bicycle ride years ago, I ran across a young man, his wife, and baby, with their broken down car on the side of Interstate 5, here in Southern Oregon. The poor things had just bought their car the day before in California, and were on their way to pick apples in Washington.

    I was able to (barely) help them communicate with an auto mechanic who was fixing their car, as they only spoke Spanish.

    Turns out they were about $100 short to pay for the repairs. They were in serious trouble!

    I rode home, and came back with $150, enough extra to pay for gas and stuff on their way to Washington.

    The man offered to give me his driver’s license for security, but I said no way, just pay me back when you can.

    I’d done similar things in the past, and had never been stiffed. But after a year or two, I figured this was the first time.

    Get this: one day, a dude knocked at my door, and said, “Remember me?” I didn’t. He said “I’m the guy you loaned $150 to when our car broke down. I’m so sorry it took so long to repay you! I lost the paper you wrote your name and address on, and only found it under the car seat when I sold the car.”

    He then introduced me to his wife, and his NINE YEAR OLD SON!

    Made my day, and I also realized I’d made a huge difference in his and his family’s life. He no longer picked apples, and was working steadily as a semi truck driver in Washington.

    I’m going to take your advice and try to make someone’s day every day

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