I am packing up for my annual trip to Scandinavia. Although I am always excited to return to the land of the Vikings, there is one campaign that puts a damper on my enthusiasm for adventure. Whenever I am traveling, whether on a bus, train or plane, there is an unfortunate slogan that I have seen or heard the last bunch of years here in the US:
“If you see something, say something.”
I say this is an unfortunate request for two reasons: 1. Because of the real potential for terrorist acts. 2. Because it asks people to only set their sights for and report negative and suspicious things.
Let me be clear, I am all for the action of both seeing and reporting dangerous activities to keep the world safe. As a result of current events around the world, this concept is necessary and has helped. My suggestion (and challenge for you below) is to add to one detail your own personal campaign: set your sights for and report good acts too!
Good things happen around you every day and I am sure you are able to easily recognize them. You know when someone looks nice, did a good job or excelled in an activity or service. You probably see dozens of examples of things you consider “good” every day either in person or on social media. But do you immediately let that person know? Do you really take the time to compliment or thank the person for a job well done? Probably not. The difficultly, therefore, is not in seeing or thinking something is good, but in letting the person know about it.
But saying something nice when you see something nice sounds so easy, right? Well, for some reason appreciating people in person is harder than you think. As if there is only so much good to go around, you may often keep the good thoughts to yourself. And I have also noticed (even with my own limitations) the closer you are to the person, saying something good after seeing something good can actually be more difficult!
The reason you may have difficulty seeing something good and then saying something good is simple. Like anything else, this action is a skill that must be learned and then practiced. So, if you haven’t been taught to do this or aren’t focused on it every day, the odds of being a seeker and spreader of good news is diminished. The great news? Like any skill, finding and sharing good things can be developed with practice. And what better way to practice than with a consistent, daily action? That is why I came up with the
SAGA (See A Good Act, Share A Good Act) Challenge.
Why saga? Inspired by my trips to Scandinavia, I learned a saga is a long story composed of a series of incidents leading to heroic achievement, especially associated with the Vikings. My hope is you take my challenge seriously, start having a long series of positive incidents and write your own heroic story.
HOW THE SAGA CHALLENGE WORKS
For the rest of the month of December, your challenge is to find a minimum of 3 good things per day and then tell the person that did the act about it. Your goal for December is to be a daily finder of good and a spreader of good cheer. Do this 3 times per day for the next 28 days and your life and the potential 84 lives you touch are guaranteed to change.
Each time to see and share a good act with a person, you get a point. The goal is to shoot for 100 points for the rest of 2017.
Yes, the challenge is to do the sharing face-to-face. Although an email or message are nice, for your points to count, you must share the good news in person. As a bonus, however, you can get 1 point for every 5 emails or messages you send to people you may not be able to reach in person.
At the end of each day, review how you scored. Keep a sheet or note on your phone to keep track. Not only will this keep you consistent, but it will have your radar set for positive events the next day.
Now that you know the rules and have a score for which to shoot, you may feel a little out of practice. Need some ideas how to give out your daily dose of goodness? Here are 3 easy tips of what to do when you see some something good:
1. Give A Compliment
2. Give A Shout Out
3. Give A “Thank You”
With the holidays starting, you will discover during the SAGA Challenge the three examples above are actually some of the best gifts you can give. Three kind gestures a day don’t cost you anything, but will pay kindness forward in a big way. To make the effect even stronger, you can enhance each of the above with a smile, a hug or a high five when appropriate.
The original “see something, say something” campaign was unfortunately our reminder that the world can be a dangerous place sometimes. It is my hope that by setting your finder for “good,” you will be reminded the world is a good place too.
Starting today I am challenging you to point out and celebrate positive acts for the rest of 2017. If you do, the world would be a better place. How do I know?
Because everyone feels better when they hear something nice. (And when you share the goodness, the person that will feel the best is you!)
Yours in Strength,
P.S. If you take the SAGA Challenge, please write me to let me know about some positive stories about it worked out for you!