I spoke to you all recently about Frost Bank’s current campaign: Opt for Optimism. To recap – it’s a campaign promoting selflessness, kindness, and generosity of spirit by small acts of random kindness. I’ve also spoken to you all about my personal struggles with mental illness and depression, and I’d like to discuss why all of these things are intertwined – at least they are for me .. so here’s a little story.
This week my depression has been especially present, pulling me down from my giddy self to a state a being more resembling that of an old, crotchety woman despising anything and everything. These moods are crippling – they zap all of my energy and will to do anything. They’re incredibly annoying but more dangerous than anything else. Moods like that feed into negative thoughts and ultimately very scary paths and decisions. Not good right?
I had two events I had to be present for on Tuesday – requiring me to be very social and ‘in character’. To be honest, I was planning on laying low and just staying home – for everyone else’s sakes – until something happened. I was begrudgingly running some errands merely to make myself leave the house when I ran to the mall to make a return. No makeup, grungy tee and jogger pants, sandals – aka hot mess express.
Firstly – someone in the mall “recognized” me which absolutely lifted my spirit. It amazes me when anyone says they’re a follower and/or reader – it’s the most magnificent feeling! This chic proceeded to tell me how much she adores my “boldness” and tells her friends all about me. omgahhhh yall! I was nearly in tears because she had zero clue how much I needed to hear her words that day. Secondly, I go outside to wait for my car and the valet attendant told me I had beautiful skin. You’re probably thinking he was just trying a move, but no – not in the least. He was so genuinely kind in his compliment, I was taken aback by such a generous compliment.
So the point of this story? The power of an unwarranted compliment is a very precious thing. We often don’t consider what someone’s day is like, or even think maybe they don’t need the compliment or hear it all the time. Everyday is a new day – like a reset. We can hear over and over again a similar compliment, but the magnitude never loses its value. So take the time to tell someone how much you love their shoes, or how great they look in the color blue. I promise you, you just made their day and maybe, possibly saved a life. It sounds like a reach, but it’s not.
What I’ve Learned from the Challenge
Although I sit here and talk to you all, I learned it takes some mindfulness to actively give kindness. No, I’m not a grumpy ol’ bugger who isn’t nice, but I do find it takes me getting out of my own mind a little bit and consciously think about paying someone a compliment or setting a goal to clean out the closet to donate items. It’s things we do all the time but either don’t register that we do them or don’t do them often. Being intentional in spreading optimism takes effort, but is SO worth it – wouldn’t you agree?
I love that Frost Bank has partnered up with companies like CultureMap Dallas to help spread the good word and create a bigger sense of community all around. When we feel more connected, we become more human and thus more likely to treat each other with kindness.
You can sign up for the Opt for Optimism campaign with Frost Bank to receive reminders in your daily inbox. By doing so, you are encouraging a movement that focuses on inspiring optimism in three major ways: fostering generosity, building community, and changing perspectives. When we become more intentional – we are more present and thus more aware of each other, particularly if someone is having a bad day and needs a hug or a kind word. Ya feel me?
Has anyone ever paid you an unwarranted compliment? What is your favorite thing to hear? How do you plan on spreading optimism? Share with me your experiences – and I hope you took inspiration from mine!