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20 Ways to Give Without Expectations

“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” ~Samuel Johnson

Some people say there’s no such thing as a selfless act—that any time we do something to help another person, we get something in return, even if it’s just a warm fuzzy feeling.

I’ve spent a lot of time playing with this idea in my head. It doesn’t really bother me to know it feels good to help someone else. That, to me, is a completely acceptable type of selfishness. What give me cause for concern are the underlying expectations we often have when we give “selflessly.”

We’ve all been there. You cover for your coworker because you know you’ll need her assistance next month. You give your sister $20, and then silently look for ways she can pay you back, even if not monetarily. You help your friend get leads for a job, and then feel angry when she isn’t as proactive in offering you support.

I’ve found that these expectations cause more stress than joy. They mar the act of giving, which makes me feel slightly guilty; they lead to disappointment if the person I helped doesn’t return the kindness; and they tie my intentions to an internal score card, which places a wedge in my relationships.

Recently I’ve been asking myself, “What is my expectation?” before I do something for another person. The answer I find most acceptable—cheesy as it may sound—is: to feel good and show love. Strangely, when I release the need to control what I get for giving, I get enough, somehow.

I’ve made a list of 20 things you can do to show you care, without needing the recipient to return the kindness—20 ways giving is its own reward. Maybe some of these will resonate with you. Or perhaps you’ll want to write your own list to spur the spirit of giving without expectations. (Although I’ve written you, these are things I try to do.)

1. Give money you can spare to someone who needs it and then pretend you never had it.

2. Let someone tell a story without feeling the need to one-up them or tell your own.

3. Let someone vent, even if you can’t offer a solution, just to be an ear—without considering how well they listened to you last week.

4. Help someone who is struggling with difficult feelings by admitting you’ve felt the same thing—without considering whether they’d be as open with you.

5. Ask, “What can I do to help you today?” Then let it go after following through.

6. Tell someone how you feel about them, even if it makes you feel vulnerable, just to let them know they’re loved and not alone.

7. Apologize when you’ve acted selfishly, even if you don’t like feeling wrong, because it will remind the other person they deserve to be treated with respect.

8. Let someone else educate you, even if you’re tempted to stay closed minded, because you value their knowledge and appreciate their willingness to share it.

9. Forgive someone who wronged you because you have compassion for them, not because you know they’ll owe you.

10. Hold someone’s hand when they feel vulnerable to let them know you haven’t judged them.

11. Give your full attention to the person in front of you when you’re tempted to let your thoughts wander just to show them their words are valuable.

12. Assume the best when you’re tempted to suspect someone for no valid reason—even if they haven’t always given you the benefit of the doubt.

13. Accompany someone to an appointment or drive them to an interview when they need support just to help them feel strong.

14. Change your plans for someone you love if yours weren’t too important without questioning whether they’d do the same for you.

15. Teach someone how to do something without taking a superior position because they’ve likely taught you many things, whether they were obvious or not.

16. Leave a thoughtful comment on someone’s blog, not to build your readership but rather to show them how they affected you.

17. Tell someone you believe in their potential, even if they haven’t always shown you the same support.

18. Say no when it would make you feel good to say yes, because sometimes being kind means pushing someone to step up and try harder.

19. Tell someone you know they meant well instead of using their mistake as an opportunity to manipulate their guilt.

20. I’ve left this one open for you to write. How do you give just to show you care?

Let’s face it: none of us is always kind. Human nature dictates we’ll act with one eye on what’s in it for us, at least occasionally. And I think that’s okay, as long as we make an effort whenever possible to do good for the sake of it.

Releasing expectations doesn’t mean you give other people permission to treat you thoughtlessly. It just means you check in with your motivations and give because you want to; and then ask for things directly when you want them. People who care about you will be there for you in return.

This post was originally published in 2009. Photo by Pink Sherbert Photography

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About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She is the author of the Tiny Wisdom eBook series (which includes one free eBook) and Tiny Buddha's Guide to Loving Yourself. She's also the co-founder of the eCourse Recreate Your Life Story: Change the Script and Be the HeroFollow @tinybuddha for inspiring posts and wisdom quotes.

Announcement: Wish you could change your past? Learn to let go and create a life you love with the Tiny Buddha course!
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  • Linda

    “16. Leave a thoughtful comment on someone’s blog, not to build your readership but rather to show them how they affected you.”

    There is one blog I love to read where I cannot read the comments because they all feel life self-advertising to me. It makes me unhappy to see people using others like that. Especially on a blog whose author is trying to help others. Thank you for understanding that.

  • http://twitter.com/meridian M. Avila

    13. Accompany someone to an appointment or interview

    Doctor's appointments, attorney's appointments, driving tests, okay, but don't accompany someone to a job interview. It comes across as immature and unprofessional to potential employers. The only exception is if you are interviewing in someone's home for a domestic position or something like that, in which case you may want to bring someone along for security reasons.

  • http://twitter.com/GoodMoodBlogger Lori

    LOL agreed! I didn't necessarily mean job interviews; I will clarify in the post. Thank you for the note.

  • http://twitter.com/GoodMoodBlogger Lori

    I've noticed this trend, as well. When I had my first online writing job, my employer instructed me to leave comments on related blogs with links to posts I'd written. At the time it seemed perfectly fine since my boss told me to do it.

    One blogger wrote us a strongly worded letter, and I realized the full impact of what I was doing. Now that I blog independently, I make sure to only comment when I have something to say. It's great to get exposure, but there are other ways to do that.

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  • http://twitter.com/TempoHan Tempo Han

    Thanks for your post.
    Let me know how to embody His words – “Give Without Expectation.”

  • Natassia

    Thank you for this..

  • Thimoney

    Currently reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” and this quote seemed appropriate:

    If we are so contemptibly selfish that we can’t radiate a little happiness and pass on a bit of honest appreciation without trying to get something out of the other person in return–if our souls are no bigger than sour crab apples, we shall meet with the failure we so richly deserve. -Dale Carnegie

    A parent dying for their child is a truly selfless act.

    Our veterans, regardless of their intentions or the motives of the government, risk their lives in difficult service to our country. There are expectations and compensation but all of this is secondary to the fact they could die and reap no rewards.

  • LoveYa

    I pray for someone UNTIL i see the blessing in that person's life

  • clinton

    i usually give on the spur of the moment,i might later think,”oh wow,i shouldnt have done that”,or “i couldnt afford that”,but i usually end up laughing it off.

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  • http://twitter.com/BeMeaningful Lori Deschene

    You're most welcome =)

  • http://twitter.com/BeMeaningful Lori Deschene

    Those are certainly selfless acts. Most of us don't have reasons to make such weighty decision in our everyday lives; but I think it's still possible to give selflessly, in small ways throughout the day. What does that look like for you?

  • http://twitter.com/BeMeaningful Lori Deschene

    I know what you mean. I often give more than I probably should. But then I wonder what that should's all about. As long as I have my needs met, is that should really an issue?

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  • http://akalranch.com/ Simrat

    I found your blog though http://www.enlightenedhorsemanship.net/2009/12/

    And I'm glad that I did. Your list is an excellent one with the subtle details made clear. Selfless service or Sewa is a central part of my faith and one that people sometimes misinterpret, on both the giving and receiving ends. Thanks.

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  • http://twitter.com/BeMeaningful Lori Deschene

    I'm glad you've found the site, and hope you'll find some other posts you'll enjoy. I love the readers and contributors here–all mindful, giving people =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I'm glad you've found the site, and hope you'll find some other posts you'll enjoy. I love the readers and contributors here–all mindful, giving people =)

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  • Juubie

    I had to subscribe just because of this article – great advice!!

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  • http://twitter.com/dannydikker DannyDikker

    Great article,keep up the good work,you are one of the few sites i _always_ check when i go online!

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  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I'm so glad you enjoy it! =)

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  • C. H. Drew

    I am a 15 year old Christian girl and I check this website every day. Especially your articles, Lori. Whether it’s the topics you write about that are totally applicable to my life, or you are just an amazing writer, your articles always really touch me and I know they have changed me. I made paintings and posters with content from your articles in them and I hung them around my room and I am constantly reminded to slow down and appreciate everything. Thank you Lori.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m so glad this site helps you C. H. I also need reminders to slow down and appreciate everything, but I think it’s easier when we remember we are not alone. We all deal with the same things, and we can all grow together. =)

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  • Medha

    I absolutely loved this post! The listed 19 things are very powerful to arouse a feeling of compassion and humanity in one’s mind which is otherwise overshadowed by competition and ambitions. :)

  • Maisie

    I loved this! It made me realise that you don’t always need something in return and has made me happy in myself for giving up my time to help other people and just feel good that I have made someone’s day that little bit better. Thanks for posting such a great article!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. Thank you for reading! =)

  • Laura

    Thank you for this post..I stumbled on your site through another site..happinessproject.com.

    These tips are very helpful–especially the idea about not acting superior because that person has probably affected or taught you something without you realizing it. That is so true..we are always learning and acting superior affects how the person you are trying to teach learns..;)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I’m glad you found this post helpful! Welcome to Tiny Buddha. =)

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  • pensilled

    accept who you are. if you cannot come with terms with your own inside world, your flaws, your traits,your morals,how much your home has affected you, your past, your big mistakes,your body and all of these things that make you YOU..you’ll always find it hard to give wholeheartidly to other people..without waiting for something in return.

  • nina

    This is a great reminder. I find myself doing kind acts for my friends and acquaintances and then getting upset when they don’t do the same. I need to focus more on the act of giving than dwelling on the times these acts are not reciprocated. What a way to take the stress out of doing the right thing.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I know what you mean Nina. It’s helped me tremendously to push myself to ask for what I need more regularly instead of doing for someone else and expecting (hoping) my needs will be met. I haven’t always done this, but I am happier when I do!

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  • Emilyd

    I discovered your site tonight and have avidly read through numerous posts and found them really calming and inspirational. Thanks for the open-ended number 20 in this post - great to provoke thought. How about giving a book or other item that means something to you but has served its purpose in your life to another person you think will appreciate it and get something of value from it – without expecting them to tell you how it’s affected them?

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I love that one! I remember when I was trying to let go of a relationship a few years ago, I had a friend who always asked me how I was doing and if there were any updates from him. Every time, I sucked myself back into the story of what went wrong and what I should have done differently. I know she meant well–and I’m glad that she cared–but it made me understand that sometimes the best thing we can do for a friend is allow them space to internalize a life event and lesson. Sometimes not expecting a conversation is just as powerful as initiating one.

    I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the posts you’ve read so far. I love running the site, and I’m always thrilled to “meet” a new reader. Welcome =)

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.stefany Lisa Stefany

    picking up a piece of trash; there is no instant tangible reward, only the good feeling you get that you’re painting your part right here&now for a much bigger picture.

  • Anonymous

    picking up a stray piece of trash — not because the universe is going to bow down & thank you or because some environmentalist is going to send you a letter of gratitude (because these things will not happy, most likely), but because you know you’re painting your small part, here&now, in a picture that extends into eternity. deep, but kinda cool.

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  • saloni patel

    20.Smile at strangers (without expecting it in return) , you might just end up making their day . Somehow. Maybe, it’s The moment when they need it the MOST ! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mo-Schofield/574107881 Mo Schofield

    Let’s not forget our animal friends. If we cant give an old, abandoned dog a home for example, we can take Shelter dogs for walks. Loving animals is always unconditional & it can bring a little ray of sunshine into a life of sorrow…… The staff don’t have time

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZCFCNXF22ICOVUH3Q3WMTV7TAQ Anonymous

    I made a similar list which you can see at http://www.noomii.com/blog/3458-50-ways-to-give-a-list-worth-putting-on-your-fridge

    Thank you for sharing your inspiring list.

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  • Pazpaz25

    tanx for telling me I am a normal person:)

  • Kittysafe

    Great info, expectation has been a problem for me lately, in the face of work unappreciated, in the face of bills to pay, feeling like what’s do isn’t going anywhere, it can be tough to member the expectation is not helping, in fact it’s hurting.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m glad my post was helpful to you. It sounds like you’re dealing with a lot right now. I’m sending good thoughts your way!

  • phoebezzz

    ur awesome :)

  • Lv2terp

    Fantastic list! Thank you!! :)

  • Oksana

    This is wonderful and I am glad you re-posted. A favourite quote of mine has been,
    “Give without remembering and receive without forgetting” I have no idea who said it originally or if this articulation is the correct one, but it lives as my motto. So much of giving is just respecting people directly – your list is a good reminder.

  • Sashabla

    THanks Lori for always inspiring me to be a better person!

  • JamesSimon

    These are some great things, many I try to practice often.

    My number 20 is that I try to teach Karma… give to people and ask them to pass on similarly to others.

  • http://www.bikeyoga.com/ Uma

    20. Before speaking (or posting, or commenting) ask yourself three things:
    1) Is it true?
    2) Is it necessary?
    3) Is it kind?
    If the answer is not “yes” to all three, just don’t say it. In holding enough space to even contemplate our speech before uttering a word, we may find what we were about to say, reflexively to someone is nothing more than an ancient pattern playing out. Also, what is true  is not necessarily going to seem kind always, and so much of what we say is utterly unnecessary. I would know. I’m an expert in unmindful speech, but I am working on it :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/deborah.s.boettcher Deborah Sue DeShong Boettcher

    20. When interacting with people who provide a service to you (i.e. waiters, baristas, cashiers etc….) take the time to connect with them, ask them how they are while looking in their eyes (and really listen), if they have a name tag/badge address them using their name…I believe that everyone needs little reminders that they matter. :-D

  • http://giver365.com/ Lori

    This is a great post, especially helpful since I’m currently on a mission to focus on giving selflessly for one year then writing about one experience per day on my blog (I’m currently on day 51). I’m going to share this on my blog’s social media accounts because I think it would really help other people who like me want to give without expectation of return. Thank you for writing this! :)

  • http://www.mostlyeating.com/ Sophie

    “16. Leave a thoughtful comment on someone’s blog, not to build your readership but rather to show them how they affected you. ”

    - such a good reminder, and it makes me wistful for the old days when people commented on stuff because they liked it, or because it made them think.  I will remember this next time I spend time in the blogosphere.

    We have our own chickens and one of my favourite expectation free gifts is to drop off a surprise box of eggs for somebody

  • Erin

    #9. Forgive someone who wronged you really resonated with me. It’s often hard to find that true forgiveness, especially when you’re trying to forgive someone who has left a lasting scar of hurt. It’s the one on the list that challenges me often. Every time I think I’ve forgiven and forgotten, that scar hurts all over again with a reminder of past hurt. I love this list, especially number nine, because it challenges each of us to be better and more honest with ourselves. Thank you for this post, it was very insightful.

  • Mallory Aye

    Great post! Thank you for sharing. These are all things I have been working on in my life. Giving compassion, not because it is the ‘good thing to do’, but because we are all human and therefore connected. My number 20 is saying yes more- helping others without questioning what I am getting in return.

  • AngelaAtSpokesHolistic

    Before “giving” anything recently, I try to pause and consider, “Will I feel good about giving this, even if I get nothing in return?” It influences my attitude.

    Recently a theme that has re-surfaced for me is, “Self-care VS. Compassion for others.” So I’m trying to find that balance, and considering my motivations helps a lot. Thanks, Lori!

  • Rubysongbird

    This is an excellent post! Can always use reminders to give all our attention and be mindful of others.

  • Anthony

    I totally understand your comment here as I to am trying this approach. Finding the balance is important for self care. Sometimes not giving or saying no is the right way and we should learn to be happy with this choice and not beat ourselves up.

  • Nadine

    This really hits home for me.  I grew up with my Buddhist parents always reminding us to give.  I remember my parents leaving some money for a homeless person and my siblings and I commenting that they are just going to take it and use it for alcohol or drugs.  My mom responded by saying its not our money and we have no say in what they do with it and giving with judgement or expectation is not giving.  My mom reminded us that giving is fully letting go and that if we can believe that they need it more than us, than  that is what its about.  My parents were very very poor and they said that they always gave as there was always someone else who needed something a little more than us.  

  • Kris

    Great article Lori, I’m going to share this with my clients and friends/family. I also like Uma’s suggestion. All of this…great reminders. Thank you~ xoKris

  • http://optimalternative.com/ Mark B Hoover

    “Putting yourself first does not mean being what you term “selfish” – it means being self aware.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch There are eight levels of giving (tzedakah) according to Maimonides in the Talmud. From highest form to lowest:

    1. Giving an interest-free loan to a person in need; forming a partnership with a person in need; giving a grant to a person in need; finding a job for a person in need; so long as that loan, grant, partnership, or job results in the person no longer living by relying upon others.
    2. Giving tzedakah anonymously to an unknown recipient via a person (or public fund) which is trustworthy, wise, and can perform acts of tzedakah with your money in a most impeccable fashion.
    3. Giving tzedakah anonymously to a known recipient.
    4. Giving tzedakah publicly to an unknown recipient.
    5. Giving tzedakah before being asked.
    6. Giving adequately after being asked.
    7. Giving willingly, but inadequately.
    8. Giving “in sadness” (giving out of pity): It is thought that Maimonides was referring to giving because of the sad feelings one might have in seeing people in need (as opposed to giving because it is a religious obligation). Other translations say “Giving unwillingly.”

    My response to #20 is that the more I share, the more grateful I am that I can do so. That, in turn, is my highest high. Call it selfish or call it self-aware, I am in this world to be happy and sharing is a large part of that.

    ~ Mark

  • http://www.zencaffeine.com/ Kaylee

    One of my favorite ways to give without expectation is to help my guy around his apartment.

    I kinda-mostly live there, so it’s tempting to get super annoyed when him and his roommate let the place turn into a disaster (and I’ll admit, I sometimes do!) But lately, I’ve been helping clean up the mess – even if it’s not mine. Sometimes, a thought will creep up – “that’s not even my mess, why should I clean it? Even if I do, it’ll get messy again anyway..” But I’m learning to let those go. I clean up just because I know it’ll alleviate some of their stress, and let go of any expectation that they’ll keep it clean, or any irritation that it’s not my mess to clean.

    This doesn’t mean I’m gonna turn into a doormat.. ;)  But really, why not help?

    When I clean in this way, out of love and kindness instead of irritation, it actually feels really good. And to know that I’ve helped lighten their load? Priceless. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1346654978 Carin Kiphart

    My #20 is to always address someone by name when they are wearing a name tag.  So it’s usually someone you don’t know.  It simply makes them feel like a “real” person in the service that they are doing.  Often, people are startled to hear you actually care enough to call them by name and it usually makes them smile.

    This is a fantastic post Lori.  It seems that in today’s world there is always an ulterior motive when people are kind and it does make us suspicious unfortunately.  Thanks for bringing up this topic

  • sandy

     ”Leave a thoughtful comment on someone’s blog.” O.K., this message certainly lended some insights to an already cheerful and warm day. I especially liked suggestions #5 and #10. Be blessed!

  • ari d

    Hi Lori! We are big fans of your page and your positive words so we nominated you for the Illuminating Blogger Award. Please go here for more information: http://foodstoriesblog.com/illuminating-blogger-award/

    Good luck and thank you for your positivity! :]

  • Divya

    My no. 20 is-

    “Be good. Do good.” 
    What we do is within our control. What others do is nothing but their own Karma.
    Always be thankful to God Almighty for what you have, rather than missing out on what you don’t.
    That way you will always end up being happy and feel light from within. :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Great addition Mo! I visited a shelter not too long ago, and I wanted to take every last dog home. My boyfriend and I aren’t allowed to have pets where we live right now, but I’m anxious to adopt a dog as soon as we can!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thank you, and you’re most welcome!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I’m so thrilled to know I do that for you!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    That’s a beautiful suggestion. Thank you for sharing it!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    What a wonderful mission fellow Lori!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    What a wonderful gift to give someone Sophie. I always wanted to live on a farm when I was a little girl. I bet it’s a lot of fun having your own chickens!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Mallory. That’s a great one–thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    This is wonderful Uma! I’m working on this one as well because I’m the queen of saying unnecessary things/filling space with words.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. What a beautiful quote–I love that!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Carin. My dad does that as well! My mom teases him about it, but I always admired that he addresses people by name and makes an effort to connect with them.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Erin. I know what you mean about forgiveness when there’s a lasting scar, as I’ve been there as well. I’m glad you found this post helpful!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    That’s a great way to give James. =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    So true Saloni!

  • Sarah A Williams

    I like to smile.  So most people I meet, whether or not I know them, I look at them and smile, and usually say “Good Morning” or “Hello” or “Hi”.  Whether or not I receive a smile in return, doesn’t matter.  But usually I do!

    Also, most times when I see someone trying to get out in traffic and no one will stop and let him in, if I can easily stop, I will.  I like to think that the person I helped will feel better and pay it forward.

  • Steven Lee

    No 20. I usually say thank you to everyone who actually did something for me even though its their jobs to do so. I just want them to feel that I respect them even though their position is lower.

    Well anyway, your post this time really urge me to reply and say thank you. I did message one of my friends directly before replying to this post and tell her some comforting things cause I know she just broke up with her guy. I’ve been avoiding her since it’s not comfortable for me to get involved in her problem.

  • Kade

    I will definitely work on #2. I have such a bad habit of cutting people off when they soeak. Thank you for this article. It’s a good reminder to give “selflessly” :)

  • Monetscgb

    That is a list of how to actually remain human in this world today !
    Loved it ! Love you !

    Try smiling while working out — such a great extra jolt of aliveness!

  • Lo

    20. If you have a skill with which you can bless someone, do so without thought or questioning.  Not everything requires a reciprocal act and if you put goodness into the universe, it will come back to you threefold.

  • http://halinagoldstein.com/blog halinagold

    20. Be present (when you can :-)).
    I notice that when I am present – with myself, the people I interact with, the situation – expectations are not present! :-)  and unconditional giving just happens spontaneously as part of our natural flow.

  • http://twitter.com/HighAndDeep Shonali Datta

    Every time I see an ambulance van rushing with a patient inside, I say a silent prayer for his/her well being…and yeah..I believe…’When In Love…Love Unconditionally’. Lori you are just one of those amazing human beings who remind us of the beauty of life!

  • nlachance47

    What a beautiful list. Thank you so much for sharing this, it is a fantastic gift to us all. Peace and love.

    n

  • Guest

    Donate your unwanted/excess stuff. I’m travelling and like nothing more than to leave a book that I’ve finished reading in a coffee shop or at a bus station, so someone else can have the pleasure of finding it (and thinking it’s been accidentally left behind), and in reading it too.

  • Liz

    I so enjoy Tiny Buddha and all your efforts to make us all feel welcome… thank you Lori!

  • plentyjoy!

    My 20 is to have an open mind to every1.
    Thanks 4 d reminder,,i love d article.
    God bless u!

  • http://twitter.com/Livvyxo &xo;

    That’s wonderful! I’ve found some real gems of books that I’ve found!!

  • Lys Calla

    7. Apologize when you’ve  acted selfishly, even if you don’t like feeling wrong, because it will remind the other person they deserve to be treated with respect.

    This one really hits home.  I did apologize for my wrongdoing and the outcome is less than pleasant.  I was hoping everyone involved would forgive me, instead, it blew out of proportion.  So I would add to this : “apologize and don’t expect the other to forgive you.  Just do it because you know it’s the right thing to do.”

  • Simona

    My #20 is to stop using “but” after saying something nice, because I now understand that it anuls everything before it and creates frustration.

  • EZ

    I always come across this beautiful website when I search for my favourite quotes.  #16  ”Leave a thoughtful comment on someone’s blog…” ~I always enjoy reading the knowledge & wisdom that is shared on (this)/(“our”) blog :).  One of my favourite quotes that I live by every day is from the film Gladiator.  ”What we do in life echoes in eternity.” -Maximus 

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I’m so glad you enjoy Tiny Buddha EZ! Thanks for sharing that beautiful quote. =)

  • CAGirl

    I don’t know, I had a job like that and when people did that, it creeped me out. The worst was when you forgot your own nametag n wore any you could find. People thinking they are addressing you by name while you blindly stare in their direction.

  • Sweetree80

    Good morning. I am seeking help and not sure where to go. So I thought I wuld share with you. Please read my story and share it. I am not a scam. Thank you for your time.
    http://www.indiegogo.com/lessofawomen?c=home&a=905466 

  • Ryk_ish

    wow! thanks for this.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome!

  • deejae

    thank you…that makes me feel better…i was really disappointed on somebody so close to me..and for all the things that i did there was never even an appreciation for all the years i served for him..and then i asked myself..when i did all these things? am i expecting something good in return/ and my conscience told me NO…u are just a super nice person with a big heart and broad understanding…and while browsing the net i came upon this blog…

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. I’m glad this was helpful to you deejae!

  • http://ThrillerHood.com/ Andrew ThrillGood

    Thank you for this beautiful piece. My heart dropped when I was reading the “listening” to peoples problems. I often times follow up with advice too much and shouldn’t be doing that. This is something i look forward to mastering and making my loved ones feel better.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I somehow missed this comment when you first posted it. You are most welcome! :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome! That’s something I work on as well.

  • Hannah

    That’s a really good one

  • Shawn Burress

    well my dad always expects something in return, & he cant do something for the fun of it tho, what do i do?

  • Tom

    Love your website and this list, one quote i love is “give without remembering and receive without forgetting”
    Thanks Lori

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Tom. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed Tiny Buddha! =)

  • Teagan Dalton

    I really value insight! ugh.. Hardest thing to swallow is self. Sometimes I feel like I use to be so strong, what happen?! When have I ever depended on the source of love to come from another individual? I think I just wanted it. Im prideful and independent and as soon as I start feeling soft I feel vulnerable and open for pain and hurt. When I dont see the willingness of the person I am loving causes me pain because you cant make a person want. Does that mean I deserve better or more love? Or, does that mean that I need to do more to invoke this willingness from this particular person? Confusion sets in, I want to be the best I can be.

  • Krystal

    I do all this and I think that’s my problem, is it selfish to want someone to do the same for me? Why do I only become the one trying and helping, why do I keep doing it? When will someone say “hey would you like some help, helping me?” or is that too high of an expectation? I’m really stuck…

  • Mandi

    I love you Lori, I don’t have much to give but i would share my last 2 cents with those who are less unfortunate and when i do this i feel happy, i know god will reward me for my kindness i want to keep doing good and teach my kids to be kind and caring as well.x

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    What a beautiful comment, Mandi. And thank you. =)

  • Asiyah

    Wonderful article! For number 20 one thing I usually do is share something that makes me happy. For example, if I am eating a delicious meal I like to share my favorite foods with others so they can experience it too.

  • gavrev

    A lovely list Lori.. Thank you :))) *^^*

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. :)