I have a few friends who spent time living in Europe while their husbands were stationed in the military. They recently informed me in Europe it’s customary to give gifts and pay for dinner when it’s your birthday.

As in, “It’s my birthday, so today I will pay!”

I think my friends are saying this because they’re hoping to get a free meal out of me. Little do they know, my husband is taking me out to lunch today and he’s American, so he’s buying.

I do love to give gifts though, so I took their words to heart and started thinking about what I could give away on my birthday.

I’ve finally come up with it. I have the perfect gift to give you, but I need you to know, it comes with strings. You have to actually follow through by accepting this gift and the directions for unwrapping it, or else it will flop.

I want to give you the most magnificent feeling in the world. I want to remind you life is not passionless or pointless or mundane. I want the clouds to part today and for you to feel like you own this place.

What do you think? Is that something you’d like?

Okay, here we go.

Today, on this very day, go out and do something amazing for someone else. Be wild, be creative, get out of your comfort zone. Do something for someone outside your normal circle of family and friends.

You don’t need to plan it or make it perfect, just do something.

When you’re at the grocery store, go buy a $10 bouquet of flowers and give them to someone in the parking lot.

When you’re at work, look a stranger in the eye, smile and tell them how amazing they look in that color.

Throw your favorite book in your bag and randomly give it to someone who crosses your path.

If you feel terribly uncomfortable, feel free to use me as an excuse. It’s my friend’s birthday and she wants me to do an act of kindness on her behalf today, so please accept this little token of love.

It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are doing something INTENTIONALLY.

That’s a key word. Be in the moment. Look around all day for ways you can spoil another human being with your words, attention or thoughtfulness.

Here’s what will happen: you’re going to want to do it again tomorrow.

And the day after that.

And the day after that.

Eventually it’ll be a habit. You’ll look forward to seeing which opportunities present themselves that day. It’ll be like a little game you play with the universe.

And I promise you, life will not be passionless or pointless or mundane. The clouds will part and you will feel like you own this place.