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The Impact of Small Acts: From Overlooking to Valuing Daily Contributions

Do you find yourself depressed and demotivated, thinking that you have no purpose? That your existence has no meaning? Let’s reconsider.

Have you ever experienced a moment where a small gesture or act of kindness from someone else significantly impacted your day or outlook on life? What was it, and how did it make you feel?


We contribute to a better world every day, but we don’t always realise it. In a world where we’re constantly hearing negative news and our own inner critic is always pointing out flaws, it’s no wonder we often struggle to see the good things happening around us.

So, it would be nice to remind ourselves that our daily contributions, no matter how small, have a significant impact on the world and contribute to making it a better place.

I have often carried the belief that my actions fall short, lacking in significance and impact. The gestures had to be grandiose and the contribution resounding otherwise I was somehow failing.

The success stories of individuals who started from scratch and achieved great heights surrounded me, leaving no room for excuses. This comparison, fueled by childhood beliefs, led to feelings of failure.

For me, success has long been represented by the formula Effort + Abundance (financial, of course) + Validation/Recognition = Success. However, I did my Master’s degree only in Effort. The others I experienced sporadically for short periods, but enough to realise that this was not what success was about, for me at least. The emptiness was still there.

I wanted to be a kind of Mother Theresa, with all the recognition, laurels and resounding image. I believed that unless it added substantial content, it wouldn’t truly make a difference.

Ego Transcendence – I haven’t ticked it yet. I wanted my efforts to be recognised, validated and crowned. This was the perfect recipe for failure and depression.

By labelling myself as an imperfect, mediocre human, I diminished the significance of numerous contributions that were not only shaping my own well-being but also positively impacting others.

However, every now and then an existential crisis comes to shake you awake, leading you to rethink the beliefs that were unquestioningly accepted in the wake of variously-promoted consumerism.

Values Reassessment!

Contribution is now at the top of my list of values ​​and part of who I am.

I’ve discovered that my soul is at its best when I engage in acts of contribution. Period.

For a long time, although I was aware of their Importance. I did not see how my daily gestures – that made the other relax, smile, tell stories, learn or inspire me, making them feel heard and respected – constituted a meaningful contribution.

Looking back, I recognise the joy and beauty I shared with the people I encountered.

Contribution can be found when, after meeting you, someone leaves with a smile, feeling lighter, better within themselves or more inspired. When, after meeting you, someone has the courage to make a small or a big change in their attitude, professional or personal life. And all this because you came through their path life.

Super cool, isn’t it?

Traveling the outer and inner worlds for some time, I had the opportunity to encounter the massive contribution of small gestures to my wellbeing. I found them:

  • in the clean hotel room, arranged with care, in whose bedside table I unexpectedly discovered a good book slipped.
  • in the best, most refreshing lemonade, made not hastily but with love, felt and validated by my taste buds 🙂
  • in the well-kept gardens and houses encountered along the way that pleased my eyes and served as inspiration
  • in the sincere and kind smiles of the people we meet, as well as the willingness of many to extend help or make a positive contribution
  • in the effort of loved ones to welcome you with everything on the table and open arms for your comfort and enjoyment

I know social media is full of great things that others are doing, which can discourage you if you end up comparing yourself. The result is thinking that it’s impossible for you to make a difference in this big world full of problems.

Except that you already do. You have to allow yourself to notice.

Small gestures through which you can contribute to a better world:

Daily ‘small’ gestures such as encouragement, a coffee made with love for the other, your time that you give to help, teaching someone what you know, a smile offered, a gentle word when needed, all these are contributions.

Do you have a job? You are already contributing. Do you encourage people around you? Do you help your family by doing their shopping? Are you rushing to pay their bills? Are you making a pie for a friend who doesn’t know how to cook? Do you shake the hand of someone in distress? That’s contribution!

Are you paying your bills? Do you buy fresh vegetables grown in the own orchard of those who care what you put on the table? You contribute to the fair circulation of money.

Then remember that many of us contribute as mentors/teachers too. If you have children, you surely know how much energy you put into teaching them the basics. Maybe you coached (mentored) someone at work or had an apprentice.

Or you can contribute by inspiring others through the unique beliefs you have, the courageous actions you take, the responsible way you live your life.

You are more valuable than you think

This world is a better place because of you! Recognise and validate your own contribution!

Consider and then list some of the ‘big’ ‘small’ things that you are currently doing which contribute to a better, more beautiful world.

Have you posted positive images or quotes on social media with the simple intention of inspiring? What made that post special for you?

Do you feel that you add joy and beauty to your vocation/job? In what way?

Have you chosen to make a charitable gesture at random? What is it and how did it make you feel?

What is your contribution to your family and circle of friends? What do you do for them on a regular basis?

Feel free to share your answers in the comments.

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