The rules are simple. Pick just one chessed that you want to focus on each day. By the end of each day write down just one kindness that you did. Either the one you selected or another that day. That’s it. Now watch the power unfold.
What is defined as a “chessed” (kindness)?
Any act that is done intentionally for the benefit of another without personal gain. A favor for someone else.
Some examples of chessed:
- Holding the door for the person behind you.
- Learning Torah with Binyamin in mind.
- Paying a toll for the driver behind you.
- Pray/Tehilim/Psalms with strong kavana/intention for (soldiers, sick, families, Israel) take on a name www.shmiraproject.com
- Checking in on somebody who might be lonely, sick, special needs or elderly.
- Starting an organization to help people in need.
- Participating or volunteering in an organization that helps people in need.
- Organizing a class on Lashon Harah or Torah
- Giving tzedaka (charity) to somebody.
- Helping pay for a senior citizen to have corrective eye surgery. (Watch One Girl Miracle)
- Volunteering to read at a school.
Let’s do a quick exercise. Look around the room quickly. Good. Now look around the room and look for something blue. Why didn’t you notice all of the blue things before? Because you didn’t train yourself to look for them. Imagine if you trained yourself to look for diamonds and collect diamonds that were lying around all of the time. You would be the richest person on the planet. That’s what this program does. It retrains you to seek out and embrace acts of kindness a little bit each day.
Since the program is done daily for 40 days, it builds a habit.
Big changes come from consistent small actions. This proven concept is deeply rooted in Torah and psychology. It’s fun, quick, and easy. By writing down a chessed each day, it trains your eyes to look for opportunities and act on them. This rewires your brain and creates a new habit. Subconsciously, you’ll start seeking and doing favors for others and receiving goodness in return.
There are different ways to learn, i.e., listening, speaking, reading, and writing. When you actually write it down each day, it creates new connections in your heart, mind, and body that can genuinely change you and the world.
Consistency is powerful. By doing it each day, as opposed to only when you feel like it, you become a better person and make a greater impact. You’ll begin to notice something amazing: you’ll feel happier, more energized, and your well-being will improve. This may require courage and being a “gibor” (strong); you may need to work at it. Binyamin was a gibor and found inner strength, believed in Hashem, himself, and had faith he could succeed. If you apply yourself little by little, you will succeed in this challenge.
This single act will improve your life and the world around you. Doing it consistently for 40 days will create a new habit of doing favors for others and receiving all the good that comes from it. There is a world-famous rabbi who hasn’t missed a day in over 35 years! He attributes this single idea to his Success.
I used to think I was really nice until I realized I was fooling myself
“When I know that I have to write something down at the end of the day it changes my life. As the day wears on I start asking myself, ‘What did I actually do for someone today? How can I do a favor for someone?’ I always thought I was a really nice person until I started looking more closely.”
It used to be a hassle, now I embrace Chessed
“Chessed used to be a hassle, but now I have more energy and I’m excited to do it. The Kindness A Day Journal has retrained me to gladly welcome the chance of doing a mitzva. Now when my friend asks me for a ride I say ‘Thank you so much for asking me. He just looks at me and smiles.’ I used to think I was too busy, but now I embrace the opportunities because I don’t want to end up at the end of the day with nothing to write down. It’s amazing. I feel better about my life and feel it’s worth living.”
Rolling ball of light
“I can’t believe the things I have accomplished once I started the Kindness A Day Journal. Before I started I never focused on one thing every single day. I jumped from one idea to the next but never made any profound changes. But now, I have literally transformed into a rolling ball of light. I have built things I’ve never done before because Chessed is a priority for me”
I was fooling myself…now on way to being “World’s best Dad”
“Before I started the Kindness A Day Journal I thought I was a big ‘tzadik’ (righteous person) doing really nice things for my family. But now that I have clarity of what a Chessed is – doing someone else a favor I’m not the same Dad. Not only am I helping my community more, I have really upped my game with my own family and they are loving it. Maybe I’ll earn the award The World’s Best Dad (at least for my kids since nobody can win that award).
Putting it in writing
“There is something profound about having to put it in writing. Doing Chessed is great, talking about is nice. But having to put it in writing. Wow. Now that’s what separates the men from the boys.”
What’s your goal? If it’s just to make yourself look good, you may need to tweak your approach. The purpose of the Chessed challenge is to retrain yourself to become a person who embraces kindness, Jewish values, and enthusiastically does favors for others. By writing it down, it changes who you are, making you prioritize Chessed each and every day.
Well, it depends. The goal of the Chessed Challenge is to Stretch yourself and raise your consciousness, grow and build a world full acts of kindness. There are two ways of approaching this:
- Count only the chessed that you do outside of the home. Some feel that your family is simply an extension of yourself and it should “be a given” that you will do kindness for your family everyday! With this opinion, the Chessed Challenge should be focused on doing a notable kindness for those outside of your immediate family.
- Include your family. You see, your family is the most important relationship you have. If you are not already doing Chessed with your family then you are missing the boat. Doing kindness for others and not giving to our families will shortchange those for whom we are most responsible. If this sounds familiar, consider including your family Chessed in the Challenge then growing outwards.
Warning: Make sure that you do not use your family as “an easy out”. The goal of the Challenge is to transform yourself into a person who does acts of kindness in the world. When you look at your life you’ll know what to call a Chessed.
No. The idea is simplicity. Don’t start problems. Some days you’ll have done a dozen kindnesses, and then the next day only two—elation and then frustration. You may grow tired of writing and keeping track. The power of this program is its ease and consistency. If it gets hard, you’ll convince yourself it’s too difficult, and you’ll be more likely to give up.
If you truly didn’t do the Chessed you chose or a memorable Chessed for someone, then start counting again until you reach 40 days in a row.
You can write it the following day. For example, Shabbat should be filled in on Saturday night after sundown
Celebrate! Look back at what you have accomplished and realize how you have touched so many people. Consider how you have raised your awareness of looking for chessed opportunities. You should be an improved person and have reached a new level of being a giver.
Now you are ready for the next level of the Chessed Challenge: join the 6-month Chessed Challenge Club. Choose a new chessed each 40 day period and commit to keeping your Kindness A Day Journal going for the 6 months. You’ll be more likely to develop the lifelong trait of seeking chessed opportunities, thereby bringing more light into the world.
Sign up for the challenge and receive a PDF version.
Become a Chessed Ambassador, email [email protected]