By Amit Sood, M.D.
At each conscious moment you are in a relationship – with yourself, others or the world around you. The specifics of the engagement vary depending on your immediate needs and preferences, and what you are entrusted with. No matter the specifics, the universal nutrient that can nourish each of your relationships is kindness.
Kindness is the key ingredient missing which life is incomplete. Kindness enhances competence. When you are kind, you care, and make the effort to serve others to the best of your ability. I have never met (and do not expect to ever meet), a professional who is kind yet incompetent.
If you can, practice kindness each day, at home, at work and elsewhere – when you look back at life you’ll have fewer regrets.
Consistent practice of kindness in thoughts, words and actions, every single day, won’t be easy. Kindness keeps the company of humility, gentleness, and patience. Your kindness might be mistaken for weakness. By being kind you could be taken for granted. You’ll have to accept that cost.
But eventually others will get it. Kindness in contagious and grows on people. It takes time, often longer than you might prefer. You’ll need to be patient.
If you can, make a commitment to kindness today, and recommit to kindness each morning. It will help you and others experience greater happiness, for the path to happiness courses through kindness.
Your only day’s job is to practice kindness.
Amit Sood, M.D. is Professor of Medicine, Director of Research and Practice in the Mayo Clinic Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program, and Chair of the Mayo Mind-Body Initiative. Read more of from Dr. Sood's blog stressfree.org here .
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