It was lunch time and I was starving. I stopped off at a local Subway to grab a sandwich. The sandwich artist who took my order was very pleasant and engaged me in conversation. You could tell that she didn’t meet strangers.
Not too long after, a regular customer came in to greet the friendly lady. He said to her, “Man, I am having a rough day and nothing is going right. I can’t seem to catch a break!”
She said, “Your luck will turn around. I just know it. The key is to believe that it will.”
She offered him these kind words of support and understanding in their brief interaction. Her sincere words of encouragement seemed to wash over him as his face developed a look of relief and comfort.
As I quietly listened to his story, a feeling came over me. I wanted to do something to make his day better. I wanted to encourage him, so he knew that things can change for the better.
When it came time to pay for my order, I whispered to the sandwich artist that I wanted to pay for his order.
A huge grin formed on her face, as she winked at me and honored my request.
I attempted to get out of the restaurant before he could notice. I didn’t want him to know it was me. As I got into my car, the man from the restaurant runs out waving his arms. I tried to wave him off. But he caught me before I could leave. He said, “There really are nice people in the world. You made my day. You showed me that my luck can turn around.”
I learned that sometimes it’s the small things that truly make the difference. To give of free will with no expectations of a thank you, accolades or return of the same gesture can really make you feel good.
I must admit, I was being a little selfish by giving to that guy that day. A rush of excitement, enthusiasm, and joy oozed from my pores. It made me feel like a million bucks. You see, I actually would have preferred for him not to know it was me. It was the sheer act of giving that filled me up. I was curious about this. So I did a little research.
Here is what I found:
Scientific studies show that giving from the heart, without strings attached or expecting something in return, results in the release of hormones such as oxytocin – also known as “the cuddle hormone”.
Feelings of connection, gratitude, appreciation, abundance and the ability to give freely are all associated with the creation and experience of a coherent heart field.
The coherent heart field is central to experiencing health, happiness, personal empowerment and effectiveness, and overall well-being.
It makes so much sense, why I got this rush of what felt like adrenaline, but was most likely oxytocin. I got a high from giving at Subway!
My experience is proof of the saying ”When you give, you really receive”. I received a rush of joy, love, and human connection.
Interestingly enough, a few days later a stranger paid for my lunch unexpectedly. It’s amazing how things come full circle!
I’d love to hear when you have given to someone and your experience with “Paying it forward” If you haven’t experimented with this, try it.
- Pay for a stranger’s lunch or coffee
- Leave a just because “thank you” note for someone that you admire
- After you have a positive customer service interaction, ask to speak to their supervisor and share with them the great service you’ve received. More likely than not, they are accustomed to hearing the negative comments.
- Add money into someone’s parking meter
- Drop off donuts to your local fire or police department
Leave a note below and let me know about your experience.