The Power of Small Deeds Done

Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.
– Peter Marshal – TV Gameshow Host


Have you ever thought of something that you could say or do that you believed would have a big impact on someone or something… but then you didn’t follow through?

Maybe you thought about planning a big birthday party for someone special. Or maybe you wanted to make your wedding anniversary extra special this year? Or you may have thought about organizing a fundraiser to help a favorite charity. Or considered a big plan to fund a local project.

The truth is, we all have big dreams… things we think about that can have an impact on the people we love, our communities or even the world. The trouble is these big dreams can seem too big with everything else we have going on in our lives. We often don’t get past the thinking or planning stages, so our grand ideas never come to life.

But what if we didn’t have to think so big to make an impact on the world? Yes, big ideas are amazing. But smaller deeds, done more often, can actually have an even bigger impact.

Think about it. What if you did one small thing every day for the rest of your life? How many people could you help? How much love could you give to your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, business associates, partners, charities, the world at large?

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • Buy coffee for a stranger
  • Add some cash to the charity display at a restaurant or store
  • Buy flowers for someone you love
  • Leave a favorite treat on a co-worker’s desk
  • Help someone reach a high shelf at the grocery store
  • Let someone in front of you in traffic
  • Take care of a household chore that is usually done by your spouse or roommate
  • Buy food for a homeless person
  • Give someone a handwritten Awesome card
  • Leave a big tip for your waitress
  • Thank someone for a job well done
  • Take someone out for dinner
  • Give someone a call just to catch up
  • Volunteer at a favorite charitable organization once a week
  • Pick up the trash you find when you go for a walk
  • Read to a child
  • Walk a neighbor’s dog
  • Share some vegetables from your garden with your neighbors
  • Start a conversation with someone while waiting in line
  • Give your kids a special treat just because

I’m sure you can think of hundreds more…

If you really want to be creative, start writing down the good deeds you do each day. Not because you want to brag, but to reinforce the impact you make over the course of a week, a month or a year. You might even start writing down ideas, big and small, that you think of while you’re waiting for your next appointment or for a casserole to come out of the oven.

The fact is everyone can have an impact on the lives of others. It doesn’t have to take much time or much money. We just have to commit to doing something on a consistent basis. When you master small deeds more often, you might even find yourself ready to tackle some of the big ones!