31 is the magic number

Serenity is golden… But sometimes a few ripples are needed as proof of life.- Arti

“Serenity is golden” © Kavya Bhat. Some rights reserved.

Yesterday was the 30th day of my 1st Challenge – 30 Days of Climbing Stairs. Today, day 31, I stuck with it. And that was the point – creating a habit. I made a conscious choice to take the stairs today, so maybe it’s not completely habitual, but I’ll continue with it. Today also seems like a good time to reflect on some of the challenges I’ve been writing about here over the last couple of months.

Here are some of the things that have been rolling through my mind lately:

Ripple effects

Each time I’ve undertaken a challenge I’ve noticed other effects that I hadn’t specifically considered before beginning the challenge. They may seem obvious, but they weren’t things that I had thought about initially. For instance, when taking the stairs each morning, it was always easier if I’d had a decent breakfast, but because I have two small children it can be hard to make sure that I eat well before leaving for work. Since that realization though, I’ve done a pretty good job of eating breakfast before leaving the house.

With the “7 days of paying it forward to strangers” challenge, I found myself thinking about kindness and how I was conducting myself in general, not just in relation to the specific daily acts of “paying it forward”. It seems incongruous to do something charitable for one person and then act like a jerk to another.

Planning and spontaneity are a great combination

During the “paying it forward” challenge I had a few conversations about random vs. planned acts of kindness. They both have their place. In fact, planned acts of kindness are contrived, but that doesn’t take away from their sincerity, and a planned act can lay the foundation for ongoing ways of connecting with people and our environment.

Outside forces can be great motivators

Receiving challenge submissions has been great! They have been fun to do, I benefit from other people’s imaginations, and it gives me something to aim for. I think there is huge opportunity for this to evolve even more.

Offline vs. online

Even though my challenge dispatches happen here on the blog, most of my time has been spent talking to people about ideas and acting on them. I’ve recruited friends to join me on my challenge missions and it has been entertaining for me and my accomplices.

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