(Tip) Keep a small text file or note somewhere called something like kindness.txt. When someone gives you a meaningful compliment or recognition for an achievement or personality trait you have, add it to the list.

A helpful format can be:

  • Comment
  • Person who said it
  • When

For example:

“You always make me laugh”
- Person Name, Dec 4 2017 11:05PM

“You’re my low key hero”
- Person Name, Nov 12 2017 11:14PM

As you add new items to your list you will begin generating a self concept from external data sources. If you are very hard on yourself, like me, keeping a kindness.txt has a few benefits:

  1. A reminder / nostalgic keep-sake to look at from time to time. Humans need oxytocin (social bonding, intimacy hormone) and serotonin (confidence, comfort, stable self image) to thrive in social systems. Reviewing these statements reinforces the intimate relationships you have created, and positive external influence you have on the world.
  2. A log of external data about your positive traits. The ego and "I" is a subjective experience that evolved pessimistically (surviving > thriving from the evolutionary neurobiology perspective). Now that we live in a time of weaponized addiction for profit, control, and influence –  we are more vulnerable than ever to self-sabotage and the inner tyrant of psychic masochism. Having object facts / data can allow you to short circuit self-defeating and self-chastising behaviour.
  3. A place to capture comments you don't want to forget, a way to revisit past moments and an origination point to express gratitude to meaningful people in your life. There isn't really a great place to capture fleeting moments of human experience or kindness besides our brains. Unfortunately, today our brain is more of a hard disk drive than solid state drive so as we age (in lieu of anti-aging medicine) we will lose these moments. These moments are the thread that stitches together a life experience, and you probably want to hold onto them if you can.