27th January 2015
You can change the world with a slight shift in mindset.
There is an invisible force in the universe working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can’t see it, you can’t smell it, you can’t touch it, you can’t hear it and you certainly can’t taste it. All you can do is trust it is there. But do good things and I guarantee you will experience it.
I’m talking about love.
And before you start throwing up into your lunches, I’m not talking about romantic love. It is said that there are two base emotions – love and fear (or positivity and negativity). All other emotions fall into one of these two categories. If we want to live happier lives, we must fill them with more love than fear. Easy, right?
It should be, but my observation is that we pursue happiness by serving ourselves, or “looking after number one”, as they say. The words: “if you want something, go get it for yourself” are often bandied about. However, I think many of us are missing the point.
Give, give, give
The trick is not to try and make yourself happier directly by serving the self, but to fill the world around you with as much love as you possibly can, without expecting anything in return.
The more love you put out, the more you will attract. We are like beacons, radiating signals so that, when a like-minded signal is detected, we’re automatically attracted to it. Therefore, the more love or positivity you put out into the world, the more love or positivity will be attracted to you. We all seek like-minded people.
The £5 conundrum
If ever there was going to be a day to prove this to me it was today. This morning, on my way in to the office, I stopped off at the local supermarket to pick up a few bits and, as I was paying at the self-service checkout (how poetic), I looked down to see a £5 note staring up at me in the change tray.
I looked up to see if the last person to use the checkout was loitering around so I could grab him to give it to him, but by that time it was too late. He was gone and I was left with two options; hand it in to supermarket in the hope that the person I handed it to was honest enough to do the right thing with it, or keep it.
At this point, it occured to me that there was a third option and that this was a small opportunity to make someone else’s day a little bit better. So I decided that with the £5 I had just found, I’d use it to purchase a copy of the Big Issue from an elderly woman who sits on Camden High Street every day, come hell or high water. For those that don’t know, the Big Issue is a magazine that the homeless sell in order to earn a legitimate income. I gave her the full £5 for a £2.50 magazine.
Love & customer service
If the feeling of doing a good deed wasn’t enough (which it was), later in the day I recieved an email from a favourite company of mine, Unbounce. Unbounce is an online tool that both techy and non-techy people can use to create beautiful landing pages simply and easily for their business and / or clients. I had recently been exchanging emails with a couple of people at Unbounce (Justin, Mitchelle and Mark) whereby I was seeking support for one of their features.
Not only was my problem solved, it was solved in emphatic style. The standard way of helping a customer which we’ve come to expect would be to exchange a few emails (which is absolutely fine) until hopefully the customer’s grievance is solved.
Justin at Unbounce went the extra mile by creating a personalised screen cast, visually showing me exactly what I had to do in order to achieve what I wanted to acheive using their tool. A few minutes of ‘elbow grease’ from Justin solved my problem instantly. It blew me away that there are people willing to go this far to make sure I was happy when it wasn’t expected.
Not only this, but they thanked me for the feedback on the feature I was having difficulty with. They also thanked me for the kind words I wrote in an email thanking them for great customer support. If polite, enthusiastic, thankful email wasn’t enough, they are sending me a free t-shirt in the post as another little thank you.
Love is all around
You may ask what this has to do with me purchasing a copy of the Big Issue from a homeless woman with £5 I was lucky enough to find – Well nothing, directly. However, I like to think that by using the element of good fortune I experienced this morning to help improve someone else’s day, the universe repaid me with great support from the Unbounce team. I also received a little bit more than was expected, by way of personalised screen cast (yes, Justin directly spoke to me and mentioned my name in the screen cast), and a free t-shirt, which overall probably amounted to a lot more than £5.
By writing this blog post, I like to think I’m continuing this cycle of positivity by paying a little bit back to Unbounce (by giving them a mention) but also it may just inspire you in to doing something good for someone else without expecting anything in return. In isolation, you may think a free t-shirt and £5 spent on a magazine isn’t particularly significant. However, just think what could be achieved in the world if everyone shifted their mindset slightly and started to give a little (or a lot) more, without expecting anything in return.
Two more customer service stories we loved:
- This heart-warming story from Lego, in which the consumer services reply to a boy who’d lost his Lego character featured a personal message from Lego minifigure Sensei Wu.
- The John Lewis sleepover. Featuring a hearty meal and a place to stay, the John Lewis sleepover was hosted spontaneously in High Wycombe after the store realised it couldn’t bear to send its valued customers out into a pre-Christmas blizzard.