Paying it Forward

One of the interesting results of writing approximately 40 books and having seven of them thus far turned into movies is the fact that every few months when one of the new offerings is released, I get to do a lot of TV, print, and radio interviews.

Recently, I did my second interview with Rick Young who hosts a live program in New York City called What’s in Your Hand on 90.3 FM. If you’re in the New York area, I highly recommend you check it out. Rick’s show focuses on success, possibilities, and making our lives everything they should be. I was scheduled to do only a 20-minute interview to discuss my new book being released, but it went so well, and Rick kept asking me to stay on, so we ended up doing an hour-and-a-half.

At the end of the program on live radio broadcast throughout New York City, Rick asked if I would do him a favor. I took a deep breath and a leap of faith as I simply replied that I would, not knowing what he might ask me to do. Rick told me that sometime during that very day, he wanted me to do a random act of kindness for someone who didn’t expect it and for which I would receive nothing in return. After the program, I thought about it, and it wasn’t long before someone visited my office, and I gave them an autographed copy of one of my novels. My guest thanked me, and I told them that if there was any thanks due, it wasn’t to me, but it instead, was to a radio host in New York. My guest thought that was really amazing, and as they left my office with the book I had given them, they promised to do their own random act of kindness for someone else.

I realized that we’re all planting seeds every day. Not only in our own lives, but in the lives of people around us. These seeds don’t add. They multiply. So if you do something for someone else and they pass it on, by the end of the day, the random act of kindness that you have paid forward could touch the lives of thousands of people. When we do things for others not expecting to benefit, we inevitably receive a mental and spiritual benefit, but often we also receive an unexpected benefit.

I am very grateful that I have become among the highest paid convention speakers in the country. As my own way of maintaining balance and giving back to society, I try to do one speech for free for each speech where I am paid. Last year, I had the privilege of speaking at a wonderful corporate event in Maui, Hawaii, for which I was exceedingly well paid. After the event, I asked the president of that organization how they had learned about me and why they had hired me. The president let me know that he had never heard of me and was unaware of my work, but his 10-year-old granddaughter told him about when I came to her fifth-grade class to talk to the kids. So while I was trying to give some of my time and energy to some kids in a classroom, I was planting the seed that would result in thousands of dollars and a wonderful professional opportunity.

Success comes when we plant seeds and don’t worry about how or when we will get paid.

As you go through your day today, pay it forward, and you will make a difference for others as well as yourself.

Today’s the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift. He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached by email at; on Facebook at; or follow Jim on Twitter @StovallAuthor.

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