Dr. Alan Schlechter, author of “U Thrive: How to Succeed in College (And Life),” is also the professor of the most popular elective class at New York University called The Science of Happiness. He reveals a simple exercise that you can do in order to be more happy. Following is a transcript of the video.
You’re going to set out on a day, and during that day you’re going to commit five random, conscious acts of kindness.
So not at the end of the day, looking back and saying, “Did I do five things?” But during the day, counting them up. “Oh yeah, I swiped somebody through the turnstile.” It could just be, “I held a door.” It could be that, “I called somebody who I know needs a call and I’ve been meaning to do it.”
And you count up those five things, if you do that just once a week we find those people, their well-being rises, and it stays up. Five random acts of conscious kindness has an enormous impact on somebody versus doing three random acts of kindness, which might be a little too simple.
They tried it with just one. They tried it spread out over a week, doesn’t do it. The five really makes you put your mind to it. Because I would bet many of us do something kind on almost any day. But this is about being consciously aware of it, and by making it five, it does feel like a bit more. “Have I gotten to that fifth one?”
It’s like the people who do well with the Fitbits. The people who do well with the Fitbits are those folks who at the end of the day look down and they’re like, “Oh, I only got to 9,000 steps. I wanted 10,000. I’m going to go around the block.” They go home and they have this tremendous feeling of achievement and that’s going to positively reinforce that they’re going to do it again.