Are you rude? Don't bother answering. Most of us are, most of the time, women and men included. You deserve this label if you're not respecting the people around you, taking them for granted or not even noticing them. Or worse: Bullying them or deliberately hurting them in other ways.
Being rude to others fosters immediate gratification in most cases, but in the long run it does nothing for your well-being. And it could actually you miserable by adding to your negative thinking — a surefire way to become unhappy.
We humans no longer have to kill and fight (literally) to make ends meet. But many of us go about life as if we were still in the competitive war zone of our ancestors. Yet even though we might struggle individually, we humans are not fundamentally enemies. We are very similar — and we have the gift of empathy.
When you feel miserable, lonely or depressed, exercising that gift may help.
Doing something unexpectedly good for someone else — especially someone you don't even know — can make you feel human and alive again. It takes so little to do just that, and yet few people utilize this world-changing ability. Just one good deed a day can inspire a feeling of purpose in you, a feeling that there is meaning to your life. That feeling, even if only achieved once a day, can make the difference between depression and happiness.
Here are 10 ideas that might inspire you to do something good and admirable today:
Berit "Brit" Brogaard is a co-author of The Superhuman Mind.