Retirement Planning Strategies - February 2020

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FEBRUARY 2020

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An Act of Kindness Can Go a Long Way IT JUST NEEDS THE OPPORTUNITY

been paid for by the person in the car in front of me.

On February 17, wake up with the intention to perform one random act of kindness for someone that day. Just one. Take a look around and ask yourself: Who can I help? How can I make things better? What can I do that I’d like someone to do for me? It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. It can be as simple as buying someone a soda. If you slow down and really try, then I guarantee you’ll find dozens of acts you’re able to perform. Let February 17 be the first day of this new habit. After that, wake up with the intention to perform one random act of kindness every day. Soon, you won’t have to think about it. It’ll happen naturally. The beauty of this holiday is that you have no idea the impact you might make because you never know how someone might be feeling. Rough days are not uncommon. But your act of kindness has the potential to change the trajectory of someone’s day. The kinder we are, the harder it is to see the world as a bad place. And when fewer of us see the world as a bad place, there’s more potential for good to grow. I think we can all agree that this makes it a holiday worth celebrating.

I know it doesn’t sound like much — it was just one little soda, after all — but here I am five years later, and I remember every detail of that moment and how it made me feel. That’s because the driver of the car in front of me, whoever they were, took a moment out of their day to perform a random act of kindness for a complete stranger. It was such a simple gesture, but it has had a lasting impact to this day. National Random Act of Kindness Day is about taking time to realize that living with kindness can make life a lot happier for everyone. We tend to get wrapped up in our own fast pace, and we develop a sort of “scarcity survival” because of it. There’s so much happening so quickly in the world around us that our natural instinct is to focus only on ourselves. We live in a pretty abundant world, and there’s a lot for us to indulge in. But that also means we have plenty of ways to indulge others. In the last newsletter, I talked about getting into the practice of writing down something you want every single day and making a habit of it. We should all approach acts of kindness the same way.

Thanks to Valentine’s Day and how ingrained it has become in our culture, February is often focused on love and relationships. While there’s nothing wrong with celebrating the loved ones in our lives, I think there’s a way we can take things a step further when it comes to compassion. That’s because there’s another wonderful holiday this month that doesn’t get nearly as much exposure as it should. February 17 is National Random Act of Kindness Day. Five years ago, I was out running around and feeling the midday drag that hits when the morning coffee wears off. So, I jumped in line for the drive-thru at a Wendy’s down the road to grab myself a soda and get a quick boost of caffeine. I put in my order and patiently waited for my turn, but when I got to the window, the server informed me that my order had already

–Ann Vanderslice

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