Be kinder than necessary

“Be kinder than necessary”, I read … “than necessary” were the keywords for me as I finished the book “Wonder” with my son (a brilliant book by the way and I cannot wait for the movie.)

Those words “be kinder than necessary” resonated with me and my self-leadership.

So often we are told be kind, be good, be true. Hashtags pop up and they become the should’s in our lives. However what happens is that we lose the intention behind these hashtags and so lose the internal motivation that actually propels us to be good, to be kind, and to be true. Instead we do them to join a movement, be cool or out of obligation and that robs us, and the world, of the true reciprocal, ripple benefits of these actions. The results are short lived and once the 15 seconds of fame are over, the actions stop and the movement is over. This is not self-leadership.

Being kinder “than necessary” pushes you to really think about what you are doing and not simply do it in a robotic fashion out of obligation. “Than necessary” pushes you to connect with something deep inside yourself so that you are mindful about what you're doing and more importantly, why you are doing it - your intentions and your values. For example, you don’t just chuck money into a cup for the homeless person on the street but you stop and smile; you find out their name and treat them as a human being; or you go beyond the “How are you? I’m fine.” scenario and really stop and listen to the answer from your colleague, friend or loved one.

Being kinder than necessary requires compassion and compassion requires connection. Being mindful without compassion for others ends up in isolation and selfishness - not self-leadership. It starts with you. When you have more self compassion, according to Dr Kristin Neff PhD, you are more resilient, more motivated, and more courageous in the face of risk.

Highly self-compassionate people also report being more fulfilled in the following areas:

• Achieving their goals

• Being more creative

• Feeling more satisfied at work and in their personal relationships

Compassion for yourself ripples out to others and being kinder “than necessary” is important for connection and achievement to enlighten us as human beings. It requires more of us in terms of self-leadership. It requires us to go further than the superficial acts and instead to be mindful and live wholeheartedly in line with our values.

So I am going further that just #bekind and instead focusing on “being kinder than necessary”.

Be kinder than necessary to yourself

Be kinder than necessary to those you know

Be kinder than necessary to those you don't.

​​Shannon Young is an Executive Wellbeing Coach for working mothers to enable them to show up as more of their authentic self so that they can up level their performance at work and then switch off at the end of the day to be truly present with their family, happy in the knowledge that they are being the best version of themselves at work and at home. She coaches from a place of expertise, experience and empathy in her 1-1 programs and on her transformational weekend retreats. Learn more about how you can be balanced and deliver excellent results here on

5 views0 comments