HAVE you ever gone to pay your dues on a toll road, only to find out the driver in front already paid for you?

What about coffee shops? Ever ordered a latte to discover it had been pre-paid by someone ahead of you?

I’ve been the donor in both of these cases. I’ve also deliberately left my coin in the shopping cart, as well as ‘accidentally’ dropping a quid onto the ground for someone else to find and use, paid for someone’s groceries and even for a stranger’s car fuel at the filling station.

I still remember the last one vividly. Some poor guy had filled up his tank, then realised he didn’t have his card. He was trying to call his partner, then tried a friend, but nobody was picking up. He was panicking, coming out in a cold sweat, and the fuel station attendant was glaring at him. The people in the queue didn’t look overly delighted with the situation either!

Calmly, I waited for a pause in the conversation and asked how much he was short. I remember it was £48.

“I’ll get that,” I said to the cashier, and handed over my debit card.

Missing Card Man reeled for a moment — equal measures of shock and relief. He was as pale as a ghost.

He asked if he could take my number, so he could arrange to pay me, even offered to give me his address. I smiled, waved it all off, told him to have a great day and to show the same kindness to someone else some day.

He asked if he could take my number, so he could arrange to pay me, even offered to give me his address. I smiled, waved it all off, told him to have a great day and to show the same kindness to someone else some day.

That was it. I got back in my car and drove off, getting on with my day. Good deed done. Mission accomplished.

Just because…

There’s something really special about paying it forwards. Doing something good for another human being not because you have an expectation of getting something in return, but just because it’s a nice thing to do.

Half the time, you’ll have no idea how the lucky recipient might react, so there’s no point doing it just to fill up your own reserves off the response either.

It’s about doing something totally unselfish. Something to restore a little faith in humanity.

Small gesture, big impact

I remember, some years ago, not having enough change for a parking meter and lady stepping up and buying my ticket for me. It was only a few pounds but, in that moment, running late and panicking, that small gesture meant the world to me.

Some time later, I paid it forward to someone else — I paid someone else’s parking. I still remember her chasing after me, trying to give me some money she’d fetched from her partner, and me waving her off and telling her to return the favour to someone else. The look on her face was priceless.

It’s not about the money, money, money

Of course, it doesn’t have to be about cash. It could be helping someone in need, maybe doing some repairs to someone’s fence, helping with their shopping, cleaning their car, walking their dog, even giving someone a lift somewhere.

It’s about doing something selflessly for the good of doing something selflessly.

The point is, it’s about doing something selflessly for the good of doing something selflessly.

I promise, once we let go of expectations and operate from the heart, the goodness filling you up will be all the return you need.

Try it for yourself and see.

Be warned though… paying it forwards can become addictive!

Until next time,

#UnleashYourAwesome,

Taz

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Taz Thornton is the author of Awesome Sauce — a free, weekly positive life and business round-up, with good news stories, positivity tips and visibility hacks for your brand. In a few minutes each week, you get a dose of optimism and some awesome advice to get seen and stay happy.

Taz is a best-selling author, inspirational business speaker and multiple TEDx speaker, consultant on confidence, personal brand and visibility, and an award-winning coach (UK’s Best Female Coach 2018 — Best Business Woman Awards). She is also the creator of the #UnleashYourAwesome and #BrandMastery personal and business development programmes, as well as #UNLEASHED — an affordable confidence, content and cashflow building programme for coaches, healers and therapists, and #LIFEFORCE — an affordable online spiritual empowerment and coaching programme for people wanting to bring more optimism into their lives.

Taz has been featured on BBC, ITV, in HuffPost, Diva, The Daily Mail and countless other newspapers, magazines and podcasts. Taz is also a regular columnist for the America Out Loud talkshow network. In 2019, she was named as one of the most inspirational businesswomen in the UK.

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