Tomorrow night, just before midnight, an extra second will be added to your life. Many people around the world will not even realise this event is taking place or will even care. I expect the additional second will not be noticeable and your lives will carry on as normal – what can be done in a second, anyway?
For those wondering, this adjustment to time happens every four years and is known as a leap second. I won’t get bogged down in the science but essentially time needs a slight adjustment every now and again, to keep it on track. For those interested in reading more about this I encourage you to carry out a search with Ask Jeeves (does Ask Jeeves even exist any more?). I wrote that last sentence more for my own amusement, something to throw you, as I expect you were already thinking about another ubiquitous search engine? That reminds me, I must update Myspace..
Anyhoo, the leap second got me thinking.
If you had an extra second, given to you for free, what positive impact could you have to someone else’s life?
Yes, I know the leap second is going to be at midnight, but indulge me hear – let’s say you could bank that second and use it at any time this week, what would you do?
I can now hear many of you groaning ‘What can I do in a second? Nothing can be done in a second and certainly nothing that could have a positive impact on someone’s life.’
OK, I hear you. I thought something similar when I started to wonder if I had something I could write about.
I could hear the objections loud and clear and I then challenged myself – there had to be at least one thing I could do.
Very quickly I had a list of things that could be done in a second.
I invite you to do the same. Don’t read on, go grab your phone or a pen and some paper and write some ideas down. Then come back and compare them with my list. I’m guessing you have thought of some different things?
Oh, you just carried on reading?
OK, here is my list and I believe they would all take a second.
- Saying thank you and meaning it.
- Smiling more at work.
- Smile at a stranger (someone could be having a terrible day and your action could make a difference).
- Saying I love you one more time (preferrable not to a stranger).
- High five your Son or Daughter (great if they are under 10, not so great if they are in their twenties).
- Kissing your Son or Daughter on the head (same rules apply – especially if in front of their friends).
- Truly listening to someone (not the act itself, but the decision to stop everything and focus).
- Make eye contact with the person you are speaking/listening to.
- Spotting someone struggling and saying ‘How can I help?’
- Putting money in a vending machine and walk away (I wonder what someone will choose?’
- Turning your phone off and truly being in the moment (whatever that might be).
- Compliment someone.
- Give someone a hug.
I’m sure there are lots more and whilst some of the above may take 1.2 or 1.3 seconds, you can see how little time it takes to make a positive impact on someone’s life.
All it takes is a second.
Believe more and take action.