The word thoughtfulness isn’t one commonly used in our everyday discussions these days. I think in my entire life, the amount of times I have heard the word being used by others is quite a few. The word thoughtfulness is from the word thoughtful, which is from the word thought. I’m sure that was easy to figure out. Lol
I think this word is not commonly used not because there aren’t thoughtful people in the world, but because being thoughtful is viewed in other ways. It is easier to recognize the resulting actions of thoughtfulness rather than the process to it.
Most people view thoughtfulness more as kindness, goodness, patience, perseverance, support. These listed virtues can be seen as being thoughtful which is right because thoughtfulness always has an end result.
I’m sure that you are a thoughtful person, you aren’t one of those selfish people who think only of themselves. There have been various times that kind thoughts run through your mind about someone who you feel you should do some good to. It could be a family member, friend, colleague or just a random person on the street.
On your own, you are just looking out for the common good of another person and how you can be of help to them without them asking.
The dictionary defines thoughtfulness as a ‘consideration for the needs of other people.’
I love this definition because it clarifies what the message behind the word is. It’s more about considering the needs of other people, putting yourself in their shoes and walking a mile in it.
Now, you just don’t stop at thinking about their needs in your mind, you actually need to implement whatever thoughts you have concerning them and make it happen!
True thoughtfulness when practiced is a pleasant surprise to the person it is directed towards. This happens because no one ever thinks others can see the issues they’re facing or bear it with them. Being able to find one person looking in their direction and implementing a solution to their problems without being asked means a lot.
You also cannot be truly thoughtful, if you aren’t willing to take initiative. The easy truth is that we all like to be given permission before we take action, we like to be directed and commanded if possible.
It’s easier to live with rules and regulations than to live on your own terms where you set the limits yourself. This is how many of us were brought up and it’s understandable if till now our upbringing still features in our lives. Anyone looking to make the most of life must seek to defy some of these boundaries.
Taking initiative means no one gave you permission, you saw an opportunity to do good and seized it immediately.
Let’s say you were about to close for the day and you had your plans already set for the evening. You looked over your shoulder at your colleague who the boss just dropped a heavy task for a new client on.
She’ll probably spend the next 3 hours trying to figure it out on her own. You know that with your level of expertise and knowledge, you’ll both be done in an hour or less if you joined her.
Let’s note that if you packed your bags and went home, there’ll be no hard feelings. This is work and she’s paid to work and you helping her is not going to increase your salary or make her give you some of hers when the time comes. That’s what real life looks like.
She is there lost in thought and not aware that anyone is considering her needs or walking a mile in her shoes. She thinks no one could possibly imagine that she’ll have to cancel her evening plans because of this task.
Taking initiative after analyzing this situation will mean your willingness to give up the next hour to help her out without her asking you for it.
You’ll walk up to her and offer yourself to be of help and stick through it with a great attitude. You aren’t doing it because you want her to owe you in the future, or that you want it to be a talking point tomorrow, but just because you’ve decided that being thoughtful was the right thing to do.
This simple example transcends into various parts of your life. You may see someone who is sitting on his own in an environment with no friends. He is probably the laughing stock because he can’t afford the best clothes. You can clearly see the struggle and you know it’s not right to just leave him alone.
This lonely person will not suddenly stand up and shout “I am battling with low self-esteem and a lot of self-doubt because of how you all treat me. This how I have been treated all my life even by those I care about. I hereby give anyone who’s interested in being a good friend to me permission to come and say hi”.
That scenario right there would most likely never play out. In fact, if the world had more people being that expressive, it’ll be marvelous because we’ll easily get to know what the other person is going through. It’ll be easy to know what good to do at every point in time.
What you must learn to do instead is to give yourself the permission and the go-ahead to do good to another person.
I know you stand the risk of probably being snubbed, given a funny label, or being told your help isn’t needed, but if you think it to be helpful, it is worth doing in the first place whether or not the person appreciates it or only sees the short-term relevance as unhelpful.
Right there in your heart lies life’s beauty and the power of thoughtfulness. You can change a life, a situation, circumstance by being thoughtful enough to take initiative. Share something with someone, nothing should be seen as too small.
This mindset is closely related to the popular concept of volunteering. Though these days being a volunteer is no longer about serving from the heart but seeking what you can get from networking or leveraging on the platforms you volunteer on.
With thoughtfulness, we are looking at something more natural and less calculated, where you choose the receiver and willingly make yourself or your resources available. No questions asked!
It could sometimes take you asking yourself a couple of questions like, “How can I be of help to this person right now?” “Which of my skills, resources, abilities or energies can I put together to make the workload lighter?” “How do I make myself a source of strength to this person, so that my presence makes them feel relevant and not alone?”
This is what thoughtfulness is about, and the people you act this way towards are grateful for it forever. Sometimes you the giver may tend to forget how much good you have done, there may be a higher possibility that you have no idea of how great the impact you just made is, but the receiver generally never tends to forget.
It is okay to sometimes ask what you can do for someone if you aren’t sure. For some, you may have to insist on them letting you know your willingness to help, then contribute in any way you know you can. Other times, you could just follow how the Holy Spirit leads you to be of help.
Even if you can’t go 100% all the time, you’ve shown the true state of your heart through your willingness and that’s what matters the most.
Learn to be on the lookout and keep your mind busy considering the needs of others. It’ll change your life, your relationships and would make you always available to be a change agent, bringing smiles to the faces of others.
Be thoughtful to someone around you today!
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