The Kindness Challenge – The Finale

Kindness wk6

So this is it! The last post of the kindness challenge 2017! This has been a challenge that has brought some interesting insights into who I am and where my thinking and feeling is these days. I remeber where I was when I agreed to take this challenge on,Niki is always amazing and has run this challenge really well. She’s made it a joy to take part.


This week is the Kindness Challenge the Finale and  while this weeks’ reflection seems simple, but like so many things when you scratch under the surface there’s more to it:

This week, I’d love to hear what you thought of the challenge as a whole. In your reflection post, share how the challenge impacted you, what you learned about yourself and others, and if it’s something you’d consider doing again next year.

Well first things first – I would like to take part again next year, glutton for punishment and all that… Now for my reflection:


This challenge has taken us from one extreme to the other, focusing on self kindness and self healing all the way through to reflecting on everyday kindness to others in situations where we want to just yell out!

For me I’ve realised more about looking after myself and dealing with those things which have laid buried and almost forgotten for years, people long gone that meant a lot to me and I never got to tell them the impact they had on my life.

The big thing that I’m taking from this challenge is very simple, on this day the blog challenge ends, but as far as dealing with with these loose ends in my life my challenge is far from over – in fact it’s only just begun. As a thought to Niki – maybe it would be interesting to prompt the participants in a few months to see where this challenge took them, or what happened next?

Apart from this – next year isn’t so far away now!

Simon 🙂




Kindness Challenge Week 7 – Grateful for Kindness



This is the 7th and the penultimate week of the kindness challenge. The challenge is being run by Niki of the richness of a simple life This week the focus of the challenge is being grateful for kindness. This is something I don’t often think about and I’m sure others are the same on this so when I started thinking about this at the beginning of the week I was wondering where I would go with it.




The previous Kindness challenges:



Grateful for Kindness Exercise:

As you begin your challenge for the week, write down the number of kind things you normally notice. Each day keep a tally of the kindness you notice. Do you notice more kindness when you’re looking for it? Find a way to express your gratitude for the kindness you witness and experience. It might be by saying thank you or maybe by keeping the ripple of kindness going.

Another thing you could do this week is to think of all of the kindness you experienced right before you go to bed. Replay the kindness in your mind and let those be the thoughts on your mind as you go to sleep. You could even say a prayer or send good vibes to the people you witnessed being so kind.


My thoughts on being Grateful for Kindness:

When you think about it, it’s like anything else we take for granted, food, water, the air we breathe (reader of the Martian will appreciate this). Kindness is something we take for granted and it’s often easy to loose sight of how important it is to us.

Only the other day while sorting out the spam in my comments folder I came a across an unkind comment, it was total spam and rubbish but even so it annoyed me. But surely I can do better than that?


Last week I used the analogy of kindness while driving, if I was to go back to that scenario I think of the time that people are unkind on the road, the time where you’ve been given those special hand signs, of had someone express their displeasure with their horn. Not nice is it? I know some don’t care but you know what – I do.

But let’s go even further to where we need kindness and support most, at work and at home? I’ve normally worked with bosses that are good, kind and honest and you can talk to them without fear. The occasional one has been awkward or something, but being tolerant in the spirit of getting along you let it slide. But what about the boss that for whatever reason (known only best to them) is nasty and seeks to put you down or is just plain abusive?

You soon miss kindness then. It’s in times that we don’t have something we take for granted that we miss it, just like in this case. You trust and rely on a level of kindness when you go about your work, when you don’t get it – man it screws you. So the way I thought about this to think about the last time someone was unkind to you, if that was a while ago then people have been kind.

This is where I’m at right now, sure there are daily bumps and grind in all kind of subtle ways but generally people are being kind to me and if the world is being kind to me, then the best thing I can do to thank it is be kind back to the world!

Simon 🙂

#kindnesschallenge2017 #kindness #planetsimon

Kindness Challenge Week 6 – Kindness without Expectation

Kindness wk6

It’s week 6 of the kindness challenge and this week is focusing on kindness without expectation. That is to be kind without expecting anything in return. The kindness challenge is being run by Niki Meadows of Richness of a Simple life and the challenge prompt for the week is here:

This week’s challenge focuses on not only choosing kindness but being kind without expectation. Kindness is something that should be given freely without restriction or expectation. How others respond is on them, but how we give kindness is on us. This is might be a big step to take on our journey of making kindness a bigger part of our lifestyle. You might find that you already do some things without expectation and others without realizing expectation was there. While it’s liberating to be kind without expectation, I do encourage you to remember to uphold your healthy boundaries. Remember the kindness we focused on during the first three weeks of the challenge. Being kind starts with yourself.  Don’t deplete yourself or do things that aren’t in alignment with yourself. I can’t wait to hear about how this week goes for you!


Week 1’s Challenge is here:

Week 2’s Challenge is here:

Week 3’s Challenge is here:

Week 4’s Challenge is here:

Week 5’s Challenge is here:



So how can someone be kind without expectation? I found it’s actually quite hard if I’m quite honest with myself, but then maybe I’m being too harsh and ignoring my self kindness boundaries.

The first thing I considered was kindness while driving, this is difficult at the best of times. On my daily commute to and from home I navigate narrow country roads and busy dual carriageways. Making way to be kind to your fellow driver is something I try and do all the time, it’s not often that one get’s thanks for this but on the other hand you don’t normally see the person and certainly don’t speak to them.

So what else?

Holding the door open for someone? Being friendly to a stranger or clearing up after dinner and clearing up the kitchen. All these simple things I do all the time and I don’t think about getting thanks – does that mean yay? Well done me? What a good boy I am – it kind of seems a bit trite to think like that but maybe that’s the point.

Maybe the greatest thing I can do for someone is to give a prayer or thought to a stranger I see randomly. Try and give a fellow human happiness or good wishes on their journey as they pass close.

No thanks would be given, because maybe they wouldn’t even know who to thank if anyone needed to be.

Simon 🙂

Kindness Challenge – Week 5 – Choosing Kindness

On this 5th week of the kindness challenge, we’re looking at choosing kindness. This is about being mindful about our everyday interactions and choosing to be kind, even in the smallest or simplest of ways.


The prompt and challenge for the week is here:

Week 5 Kindness Challenge – Choosing Kindness

Nikki included this quote in her post and I think it sums up how we should all be living everyday:

It’s not our job to play judge and jury, to determine who is worthy of our kindness and who is not. We just need to be kind, unconditionally and without ulterior motive, even – or rather, especially – when we’d prefer not to be.

-Josh Radnor


Week 1’s Challenge is here:

Week 2’s Challenge is here:

Week 3’s Challenge is here:

Week 4’s Challenge is here:



This week the challenge is to think of times where we struggle to be kind, either at home of work, in times of stress or whatever. We need to focus on these times and work out how we can show kindness in these circumstances.

So for me, being a guy I can get moody – especially when things don’t go right or go downright wrong. I get stressed and annoyed with the closest living organism to me. Taking a deep breath and remembering that this is just the ebb and flow of life can help me to show more kindness here.

So this kind of thing has happened a few times this week, I won’t lie – I’ve shouted a few times but quickly realised this and calmed down. Talking calmly even when inside you feel like exploding has helped me to get a better head to the situation and not take it out on those around me.

Along with this too, even thought I’m working somewhere that is now strange, I’m making sure I smile and say hello and I’ve even done the extra step of sticking post it notes in random places with smiley faces. I hope people see these and smile with them!

Have a great week all my bloggies!

Simon 🙂


Kindness Challenge – Week 4 – Kindness Role Model


We’re onto week 4 of the kindness challenge and this is the first week to focus away from self kindness onto kindness to others. This wee we’re thinking about kindness role models in our life and how they’ve influenced us.

The kindness challenge is being run by Niki of Richness of a Simple Life make sure you pop by her amazing blog!

Kindness Role Model Exercise

Make a list of up to five people who inspire you to be the change you want to see in the world. Why do they inspire you? What traits of kindness do they practice? How can you incorporate those elements of kindness into your life?

Another option for this week is to write a letter to your kindness role model. Tell them how much they mean to you, how they’ve impacted your life, and why you consider them a kindness role model. I’ll leave it up to you to decide what to do with the letter.

As soon as I read this I became a little emotional about it (I don’t often admit that) as at least one person came to mind who somehow touched my life int his way and his name was Michael Baggott. When I was in my young teens was a lay preacher at our church. He ran the teen social group with a a friend and his wife. What was incredible about this man was his life story, he came from the workhouse as a child, went into the military during the war and after giving his life to God he dedicated his life to helping others. I will never forget Michael to my dying day and he’s an inspiration to me on kindness and giving to others.

Other inspirations come in strange shapes and forms, teachers for example can show someone how to be kind by their example or lack of it, the same is also true of any authority figure, many can show the right kindness towards others and many can’t.

I can’t really work out who else has so greatly inspired me to kindness as much as Michael, there have been more examples from others, some I expected and some I didn’t. Like the person who stops to give the homeless persona a cuppa, or to help someone up who’s been hurt. For me these acts help guide us to the kind of person who either does or does not seek to be kind to their fellow space travellers.

Simon 🙂

Kindness Challenge Week 3 – Self Acceptance


Week 3 Theme | Self-Acceptance

By embracing who you are, you’re able to make choices that are in alignment with yourself and are the key to living an authentic and fulfilling life. It might be by learning to be comfortable in your own skin, stop making choices to please others, or allowing yourself to freely express who you are. Including self-acceptance in the kindness you show yourself is fundamental. We are only able to give and receive love and kindness in the degree to which we extend it to ourselves. Therefore, this final step of self-kindness is incredibly important as we move on with the challenge.

Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be and embrace who you are.

This perfectly sums up the theme for Week 3’s Kindness Challenge which is about self acceptance. The Kindness Challenge is being run by Niki from Richness of a Simple Life. The challenge is being run in order to help people explore the kindness they show to themselves and others in their daily lives.

Week 1’s Challenge is here:

Week 2’s Challenge is here:

Self Acceptance Exercise

I find in life we’re exposed to a great many experiences, some good and some not so good. The not so good experiences are often the ones we remember the most as these have a negative impact on us and for some reason we struggle to let go of them, at least that’s what I find. The exercise on self acceptance is to take a look at those things that we find an uphill struggle, where we’re trying to be accepted in ways which are not natural to being ourselves and find ways and methods that can change this

So for me I put a lot of effort and passion into the things that I do, I’m a creative person, an engineer and thinker. I try and take pride in what I do and taking short cuts or not doing things well or with care is not in my nature. Having this slap dash approach has often been pushed onto me over the years, I need to find the best way to push back and be myself. Working in a way that isn’t me will give bad results.

I’ve also had things that have happened in my life or even not happened and coming to terms with this is not something that I’ve focused on, so I’ve decided I’m going to keep a personal book where I write letters to all the people alive or dead that need to know the things I need to tell them. Doing this I hope will help me to see the thing in my life that I feel aren’t good and help me to deal with them.

The last thing is the part I focus on least, my physical self. I’m not ashamed of how I am physically, but at the same time looking after myself better will not be a bad thing. I’m not seeking to become fit and hunky guy, but maybe being able to talk a brisk walk or to walk up the stairs without being out of breath would be nice. While I know this pulls me slightly away from acceptance, I think acceptance is good, but also accepting that I need to change.

So that’s me for this week, the fourth week should be at the end of this week, let see what that brings!

Simon  🙂


Kindness Challenge Week 2 – Self Compassion


Week 2 Theme | Self-Compassion

Having compassion for others entails sympathy or empathy for their discomfort and suffering. This week we’re going to work on showing ourselves compassion. For some of us that might mean not being so hard on ourselves, not holding ourselves up to standards of perfection, or easing up on the negative self-talk. Many struggle with being their own worst critic, this week we are going to strive to be warm, understanding, and encouraging with ourselves.


This is the theme of Week 2 of the kindness challenge, taken from the post above the Kindness Challenge is being run by Niki from Richness of a Simple Life. The challenge is being run in order to help people explore the kindness they show to themselves and others in their daily lives.

Week 1’s Challenge is here:

Self Compassion Exercise

So this week I’ve been keeping a note on what it is I’ve been saying about myself in a negative way and making a conscious note of it. The idea is that I can apply the lessons of loving myself from last week to be able to counter this negativity.

These are some of the things that I’ve been saying about myself this week:

  • I’m crap about showing myself self compassion.
  • I almost always soldier on no matter how I feel.
  • I don’t rest when I can.
  • I’m quite self deprecating.

So, there are some stories behind this all is that when baking some cookies, I burned myself in a stupid way (don’t ask). Being the bold kind chap I am I carried on as I said I would in a bit of pain. Even making more as I said I would. As it got late, it was pointed out that I could have just left the second lot. This is when the penny dropped, I realised that I should have left it rather than carry on – to sort out the burn and just to rest.

As for being self deprecating, it’s kind of a mask, a humour mask. I often joke about my age or losing my hair or something and while it’s meant in a jovial way it’s still self harm. This also slides into the fact that I cannot take a compliment – I can’t. I don’t know what to do about it. BUT I also get offended with criticism.

Basically… I need to do some work on my thinking and how my brain works. How I do this – I’m really not sure. It’s going to take a while and I need to be aware that I’m like this and come up with strategies for dealing with these everyday situations, like a script of words and or actions that I MUST do to make myself comfortable in these situations.

For example:

  • If I’m criticized then not beat myself up over it.
  • I’m I’m complimented, thank the person rather than shy away, show appreciation and smile with a big beaming smile, maybe even be slightly silly about it.
  • Leave the self depreciation for when my hair really falls out 😛
  • Rest, chill and leave things whenever I can.

This I have to try and keep up for the rest of my life… It could be difficult!

Simon 🙂


Kindness Challenge – Week 1 – Self Love

So this was the first week of the kindness challenge and I was hoping to have been able to have more time to be able to reflect in this as I was hoping to create a sketch around this week’s theme.

This week’s challenge can be found here:

The richness of a simple life kindness challenge – Week 1 Self Love

Instead I’ve done some thinking.

It spoke a lot about improving our own self image to believe we’re worthy of loving ourselves. We have to do this so that we can then be ready to love and be kind to others. My thinking around this focused on what I beat myself up about and what kind of mantra I can have that can help me be kinder to myself.



I came up with this:

  1. Don’t worry (be happy)
  2. Don’t dwell on the past
  3. Always be myself
  4. Every cloud has a silver lining – find it.
  5. Screw what anyone else thinks

This list could have been shorter, but I wanted it to apply to me and maybe give a little inspiration to anyone else reading it. This thing about lists is they need to be short and sweet, or at my age I’ll never remember it 😛

So that’s this week done – I’m looking forward to week 2!

Simon 🙂

Be kind to yourselves!

Kindness Challenge Intentions

Niki of Richness of a Simple Life is running the kindness challenge and early on convinced me that this is something that I should do. This basically means that as a challenge I need to challenge myself to be kind in the way set for that week and then write a blog post about it. I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for until a few days ago when I saw this post:

and saw the topics:

  • Week 1 | Self-love
  • Week 2 | Self-compassion
  • Week 3 | Self-acceptance
  • Week 4 | Kindness role model
  • Week 5 | Choosing kindness
  • Week 6 | Kindness without expectation
  • Week 7 | Grateful for kindness



So – the big question… what ARE my intentions?

The thing is I’m not sure now – I had envisioned this mainly being about kindness to those around me as well myself so the self love and acceptance is a slight curveball. I guess I’ll just roll with it and see what happens.

But finding a bit of inner peace would be a good thing right now as I don’t have much of that – I also think that it’s easier to be kinder to others if you can be kind to yourself right?

I guess this is going to be a learning curve.

Simon 🙂

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