It’s amazing what you can get done when you’re nice. I recently moved across the country. Again. Now, you know, moving is not fun. It’s stressful, it’s hectic, it’s tiring. And then there’s the unpacking to do!  

The first morning my husband and I woke up in our new home, I left in search of caffeine and food. That’s vital stuff! And until I get my coffee, I’m in an exhausted post-moving fog. I stopped at the first coffee shop that I found. While I examined the menua nice lady greeted me. I asked about some of the baked goods and she told me that her daughter had opened the shop 1.5 years ago.  

We continued to chat about the area and she formally introduced herself. When my coffee and breakfast were up, she handed me a muffin on top of that to welcome me to the neighborhood and asked me to come back and bring my husband. 

So, the next day, I went back, got my order, chatted about how her family came from Hong Kong and small talk about the neighborhood 

Then the third day (you seeing a pattern here?), I brought my husband with me and introduced them. She even asked to be introduced to our dog, Biscuit. We gave our order and when the order was up, she, once again, handed my husband a muffin (on the house) to welcome us to the neighborhood.  

This simple gesture can be such a lost art – the art of just being NICE. It would be easy for her to bustle away in her busy day. And it’s certainly not normal to give away pastries. But her simple gesture meant the world to two (and a half, if you’re counting my dog, Biscuit!) exhausted, still-trying-to-acclimate people.  

It was not about the free pastries, it was about making my experience memorable. She not only chatted but wanted to meet my dog, my husband and was genuinely interested in us. How many people can say they had a nice experience at 6 am??  

Here’s some fast way to turn someone else’s day around:  

  1. Give some praise to someone. Whether it’s a compliment on their skills, their hair or their kid  I guarantee you someone out there would love to hear it.  
  2. See someone struggling with a package or unruly mail pile? Help lighten the load!  
  3. Help someone out with their job search. Offer a recommendation or an introduction. Pass along interesting jobs, just to remind them that you’re on their side and supporting their career search.  
  4. Got roommates? Do the dishes. Clean their bathroom, or better yet, the litter box!  
  5. And the best one yet? Just smile at others. Say “hi.” It’s nice to be acknowledged.  

Simple acts of kindness go a long way – and they can even boost your own feelings of happiness. The best part? Kindness is FREE! Try it and watch doors open.