THE BLOG
06/01/2014 11:15 am ET Updated Aug 01, 2014

10 Little Ways Everyone Can Change the World

Sam Edwards via Getty Images

1. Buy someone's coffee.
It's just coffee -- no one needs coffee, so this doesn't really matter, right? But what if you knew that a $2 cup of caffeine could change someone's day, week or their whole perspective? Boom: That cup of coffee just changed the world. Welcome to the Random Acts of Kindness movement, where nice things happen just because nice people do them. You don't have to, you don't necessarily need to, but you can -- and it restores people's faith in humanity. The best part? They pass it on.

2. Smile.
... with eye contact. In a world where smart phones rule and it's not just possible, but normal, to have entire conversations without ever looking someone in the eye, it can be heart-stopping, wonderful and double-take-worthy to lock eyes with someone grinning. Happiness is contagious, and it only takes a couple facial muscles to spread it.

3. Give what you can.
You clean out your closets, right? Perfect. You don't need a half a million dollar check written out to your charity of choice to help someone (kudos to you if you do, though!). Maybe you have a few shirts you don't wear anymore or a few children's books you can bear to part with. The thing about giving a little is that when everyone gives a little, suddenly it turns into a lot. Be a part of that lot.

4. Get in touch. Then listen.
Maybe a grandparent is chomping at the bit to hear about your adventures, or maybe an old friend had a really bad day, maybe your mom wishes you'd ring her up more often. Get on the line. You remember that your iPhone can make calls, right? Get in touch with those people that are dying to hear from you (because someone definitely is). Then, ask: How are you doing? What's new? These questions have such few syllables, but their depth is endless.

5. Sort your problems.
Let's face it: There's a lot of bad stuff in the world. It can be a scary place, and we've all got problems we would be a whole lot happier without. But experiment with putting your problems into perspective -- or boxes: That breakup? Missing a really important deadline at work? Hurt feelings? Losing someone close to you? Probably worth some self-pity. That stain on your shirt? Not so much. Let go of what you can. The less negative, the more room there is to be happy.

6. Give when you get.
This is the best kind of multitasking! Whenever you get a little, give a little. There's a couple ways to pull this off: You can implement it yourself (donating an older shirt when you splurge for a new shirt, etc), or support companies that are passionate, good-hearted (really fun) do-gooders. Be on the lookout for companies that give back based on your purchase -- the awesome This Bar Saves Lives donates a packet life-saving food to a child suffering from malnutrition for every bar purchased. You have a scrumptious, healthy snack, and you just saved a life. Doesn't get much better than that, does it?

7. Stop comparing yourself to people you see on the Internet.
We all creep people's Instagram and Twitter feeds... and there's nothing wrong with wanting to be the best version of you. But you're you for a reason, and there's no one better at being you than you are! A little self-acceptance goes a long way. Your confidence will melt into other people and make them feel comfortable in their own skin too.

8. Use please and thank you.
Not to sound like your grandmother (go ahead and put your elbows on the table!), but the smallest ways to show your gratitude are these little words. They take zero effort to say, but the impact is huge. Aren't you thankful someone held the door for you when your hands were full? Tell them!

9. Support someone else.
You know that friend who is trying to promote their new album, or start that business? You don't always have to chip in financially to be a backer -- you just have to believe in something! Lend your support when and where you can. Whether it's as simple as a retweet on Twitter or tossing a few extra bucks toward a worthy cause, show someone you believe in what they're doing. Not only will they be super-motivated, but they'll pass it on.

10. Chase what gets you up in the morning.
What's the thing that lingers on your heart -- that you just can't stop daydreaming about? Do the thing you would do if you could do anything. It's called your passion. And it's what you should be doing.

Sometimes, we treat chasing dreams like a fantasy -- it's easy to do, when things like money and rent and groceries and day jobs come into play. But you don't have to jump off the cliff solo: Start building your wings. Inch toward your dream. One foot in front of the other. Take the step. After all, it's your calling.

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