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Intentional Acts of Kindness: Well-Being Practice

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This is the suggested Well-Being Practice for week six of the challenge. If this practice does not work for you (for whatever reason), then you can choose from one of our 3 Foundational Well-Being Practices. If you are a veteran player or these three practices are not new to you, then feel free to select from our comprehensive list of Well-Being Practices.

This Week Kindness Grows Through Intentional Acts

Simple Instructions:

  1. Each day, consciously perform an act of kindness. It can be as small as you like.
  2. Examples might include something as simple as holding the door open for the person walking behind you when you’re in a hurry or taking time to thank someone who offered you help or support. There is no lower limit to kindness.
  3. At the end of each day, reflect back on the acts you did or didn’t perform. If you didn’t perform an intentional act of kindness, consider why. Was it a lack of opportunity? Did you forget? Were you self-conscious?
  4. Consider any opportunities you might have missed.
  5. Score the practice as a “yes” only if you intentionally performed an act of kindness.

Watch this video for an explanation of this Well-Being Practice from Whole Life Challenge co-founders Andy Petranek and Michael Stanwyck.

Why Is This Practice Important?

It’s easy to feel like you’re disconnected from the world — like nobody actually cares about each other or the things that matter to you. It’s as if everyone is left to take care of things alone.

It doesn’t have to be this way. In truth, it’s impossible to get by in the world without the often-unseen thoughtfulness of others. Much of what makes our lives better are the small demonstrations of care that people express through their everyday actions: the held door, help with a flat tire, a quarter for the parking meter, or even just leaving the kitchen as clean as it was found.

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This week’s practice is an exploration in being the person to take those actions, to put forth those small, but intentional acts of kindness. By putting your attention on what others need, you’ll be contributing to the kind of world you want to live in — a place where needs are met through connection and mindfulness.

The good news is you get to live in that world, too! It’s been our experience that the more you act with intentional kindness, the more you also see it happening all around you.

For More on This Practice

Dr. H. Ron HulnickIn one of his podcast’s, Andy spoke with Dr. H. Ron Hulnick, a pioneer and worldwide leader in the field of spiritual psychology. What is spiritual psychology and what does it have to do with acts of kindness?

Click through to listen to the podcast for the full answers to those questions, but the short answer is that your own self-worth and self-value are deeply linked to your experience of life — and love really is the key to everything.

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.