Today, Justin G., one of the most thoughtful, dynamic people we know, shares how he stays present and grateful.
Sometimes in college, I would get so wound up in my studies that I would feel disconnected from the people around me. When exploring ways to reconnect, I discovered a method that worked every time. I still use it to this day:
First, I go to the nearest public location – a library, small park, mall, zoo, or even the grocery store – and find a quiet place to sit with a pad of paper and pen. I then write short notes, fortunes, quotes, song lyrics, and inspirational messages on slips of paper. Once I have a few dozen, I wander around, strategically placing them where they might be found by unsuspecting individuals – under rocks, in the pocket of a yet-to-be-purchased jacket, on a bench, or in a book. I leave the paper in a place where it can be found, but only after I’ve left the area.
With each note I place, I imagine the reaction of the person finding it. Perhaps it will make them smile or laugh; perhaps it will cause them to reflect; or maybe it will inspire them to do something they’ve been putting off. Regardless of their reaction, I know my efforts have an effect. By leaving some small seed of goodness for someone unknown to find, I am giving them the gift of a moment and myself the gift of connection.
Early in our blog, we featured a story on how sharing gratitude gives it meaning. While we all might not write notes to strangers at the mall, Justin reminds us of the joy of human connection – beyond Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, email. His activity pushes us out of our own world and into the world around us.
Often, life sends us the messages we need, right when we need them. Justin might just be one of those messengers. Keep your eyes peeled – you might be his next target.