"Kindness is an inner desire that makes us want to do good things even if we do not get anything in return. It is the joy of our life to do them. When we do good things from this inner desire, there is kindness in everything we think, say, want and do." - Emmanuel Swedenborg

Every time we watch an inspirational video, or read an inspirational book or article, one thing that shows up is that we need to have kindness. While kindness is something we need to be a good person (think about it: how many unkind people are considered “good”?), the question arises about how kindness impacts being successful or reaching goals. After all, being kind is helping someone else, not me; at least, that is how it seems to many people.

To properly respond, we need to define kindness. The quote above defines kindness as “an inner desire that makes us want to do good things even if we do not get anything in return.” Kindness is not trading; it is not helping someone in expectation that they will help us. Kindness is doing something for someone else which is not repaid; sometimes kindness does not cost us anything, but sometimes it does. Regardless of the cost, a kind act is a good act with no return.

But is that really the case? Do we actually get nothing in return? I would argue that we do get a return on our kind acts. First, we have the obvious return of feeling good about ourselves. Our society is swamped with negative messages to the point of drowning. Anything, anything at all which makes us feel good about ourselves, particularly when nobody else is damaged, is something rare and wonderful. And, as we feel better about ourselves, we gain in self-esteem, which leads to an increase in confidence, which makes us more likely to take a chance on something new.

However, that is a long, indirect benefit. How about something more immediate and concrete? To get a concrete, direct benefit from kindness, we need to understand two laws of success: the Law of Attraction and the Law of Probability.

The Law of Attraction is one of the most powerful laws of success there is. Briefly, it states that what you put out, in terms of thoughts, emotions, and actions, is returned to you. In this case, the kindness you give out to others will be returned to you. And, by another law (the Law of Abundance), it will be returned to you in larger quantity than what you gave. However, the return usually does not come from the same direction as we sent it out, so the kindness will come from others, not the target of our good act.

However, the Law of Probability says that there is a probability, not a certainty, that the Universe will respond to our acts. The more we act a given way, the higher the probability becomes. So when we do acts of kindness, we can expect kindness back, but not in a one to one ratio. We should not sit around, waiting for a kindness to come back to us; instead, we do an act of kindness and then move on with our actions, confident in the knowledge that the Universe will probably respond to us.

Notice I have not talked at all about the impact of kindness on other people, including how our acts of kindness can change how others act towards us. While this factor is critical, I have been focused on the direct interaction of our acts of kindness with the Universe. Interacting with others is a whole other issue. The bottom line is that acts of kindness have two paths of benefits: one is how our self-image is improved, and the other is how the Universe will repay us. When you take these into account, acts of kindness make valuable additions to our efforts to be successful.

Author's Bio: 

John Steely is a certified life coach concentrating on personal and professional development. His site Steely Services provides information on personal development topics. John shares his love of classics in his Monthly Classic program of free books.