Your coworker has just worked through his (her) lunch hour trying to meet a tough deadline. A friend’s car breaks down the morning he needs to drive to the airport. Your boss is frazzled with 18 things on his plate. What do you do? If you’re like most people, you’ll offer your sympathies. If you genuinely care, you’ll ask if you can help. If you really want to make a difference, however, you’ll just step up and do something.

Despite the fact that most people will decline an offer for assistance, they will nevertheless be very appreciative of that assistance when it arrives. It doesn’t have to be anything big or grandiose – it’s the gesture that people will remember: the muffin you set on your hungry coworker’s desk; the car that pulls up to your stranded friend’s door; the task that unexpectedly gets done. It is little things like this that form the building blocks of strong relationships.

Don’t wait to be asked. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to make a positive difference in the lives of the people around you. The payoff will be tremendous.

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