How to a Simple Gesture Can Make the Biggest Difference in Someone's Life

How a Simple Gesture Can Make the Biggest Difference in Someone’s Life

I read a lot. It’s a habit and a point of pride for me. It’s also the reason for this site.

I’ll share books I finish, along with my few cents on each and a link to purchase. It’s all new and exciting, and the possibilities of this turning into something bigger are motivating.

What’s also motivating is this quick story.

I’m trying to build a blog and a following, right? So I turned to Instagram. It’s a good place for what I’m trying to do.

I shared a post on what I’d recently read and what was on deck. This post: 

View this post on Instagram

It’s been a good week for reading! The Magnolia Story was quick, entertaining, and inspirational (as you might expect from Chip and Jo). It’s all about how they met, fell in love, started businesses, and eventually did well enough that someone wanted to put their work on TV. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 Rules of Civility is about Katey, a young woman in Manhattan capable enough to conquer the world, and about her year – 1938 – that started and ended with Tinker Grey. It’s artfully crafted, and every paragraph made me want to read the next. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 (Though I think I’d like it more the second time through, which is a compliment.) Agatha Christie never disappoints, and I’m excited to learn more about Rand Fishkin’s take on the startup world (especially since I live in it myself). You can keep up with what books I’ve been reading, and my 2 cents on them, at burkebits.com/books (link in bio). You can also tell me what you’ve been reading, because I always want to hear that. 😄 #reading #read #readers #goodreads #goodread #amreading #readingnook #book #bookstagram #bookshelf #bookworm #bookish #bibliophile #novels #relaxing #booklove #booklover #booklovers #writer #writersofinstagram #writinginspiration #inspiration #motivation

A post shared by Kenneth Burke (@kennethburkewriter) on

I also tagged the authors. Chip and Joanna Gaines, Amor Towles, and Rand Fishkin.

Within a few minutes, Amor had liked the post. Later he even commented his thanks. That night, Joanna tapped the heart. The next morning, Rand acknowledged it, too.

And I felt like a rockstar.

These are big names! Television personalities, best selling authors, and large company founders – and they’re paying attention to me.

The truth is probably that they didn’t pay attention to me. A notification popped up on their profile, and they took half a second to respond to help their own brands out.

But they took half a second.

And that simple gesture from each made a big difference in my day. It told me people actually are paying attention to my work (that can be good and bad). It showed me that what I’m doing might matter – might become something – and motivated me to do more.

That’s quite an impact for half a second.

And it got me thinking.

Life really is all about the small things. There are thousands of opportunities to create joy and positively influence others. Opportunities like:

Adding a polite comment to an email.

Donating a few dollars to a friends’ GoFundMe.

Following someone’s blog.

Helping a friend – or stranger – move.

Complimenting a coworker.

Introducing an introverted friend at a party.

Taking time to teach when others say “figure it out.”

Showing up to a little league game.

Even liking an Instagram post.

You don’t have to do anything exotic or heroic. These actions are so simple and common that we all have hundreds if not thousands of opportunities to take part in them throughout our lives.

But they can make all the difference. They can create motivation, bring a smile to someone’s face, even build self-confidence and so much more.

The more little things you do for others, the bigger and more positive impact you can make on someone’s life – or in many people’s lives. To me, these are beautiful chances we’re given.

I know I fumble far too many of them, yet every time someone offers me a simple gesture of kindness and support, I feel better. I feel giddy and energized, even loved! Then I ask:

Why don’t I do more of this for others? Why don’t we all?

How much better would my life be – how much better could someone else’s life be – if I took advantage of all the small things that can make a positive differences?

The thought leaves me in awe.

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