As the cliché goes, you can kill someone with kindness. If you expect kindness from this article, stop reading now.

You’re a mess. And you’re a mess because you can’t stop thinking about what a mess you are, when you’re thinking at all. Now cut the navel-gazing and self-indulgence crap. People depend on you, and if they don’t you’re in worse shape than I thought.

Life isn’t just about you. If you’re financially in the hole, if you’re killing yourself with prescription drugs, bad food, television and cigarettes or if you can’t hold on to a job or relationship, chances are you’re not just hurting yourself. You’re hurting your family, friends and community, and you’re certainly not making the world a better place.

Start by doing one good thing on a regular basis. Give blood once a month. Put in an afternoon a week at a soup kitchen. Shovel your elderly neighbor’s walk when it snows. Call your Mom. None of these things will change your life. They will change you. Not much, just enough to realize that there is a world outside of you, that when you give to it, it gives back. Immediately. If helping others, doing good, doesn’t make you feel good, you don’t get it. Again, stop reading now.

Your one regular good deed won’t get you the career, the girl, the dance moves or the early retirement you want but you’d be surprised at how far it takes you in the right direction. Doing good means feeling good, and feeling good is half the battle. In more direct terms, it helps you meet people and maintain relationships, and it’s good for your reputation. As much as we think we don’t need others, it’s important to see ourselves in their eyes, and to like what we see.

Once you’re comfortable with your slight change in habits, try another. Then another. Take it slow, and make sure you’re settled into one good habit before changing another.

Not every good thing has to be an act of charity or benevolence. Once you start to like yourself a little more you’ll “get” that doing good for yourself is the same thing as doing good for others. At that point, you’ll have initiated the change you originally sought, and you’ll be glad you decided to read to the end of this article.

Author's Bio: 

David Brooke, aka “The Brooker” has been a coach, speaker, and motivator for over 25 years, specializing in coaching people to be more productive and overcome tragedies in their lives. To access his “How to be Great in 2008” strategies for getting your life back on track, visit: www.thebrooker.com