If you read my last post, you know that I recently downsized my life to a partially filled 4x3x4 foot locker and am now living in a 5×9 foot RV. You know that the way there was not easy, and that I’m fortunate to have had the help of amazing loved ones.

But I also drew a lot of support from you- my readers here. As I’m sure you understand, getting affirmation when you make steps toward your dreams is a huge boost on the best of days, and on the worst, may be just what you need to keep making those steps.

One unique bit of affirmation came on the first day of selling my things, when my friend Natalie and I brought my vintage clothing to Mercy Vintage. I was nervous to make this step- it made everything I’d talked about doing REAL. I was actually going through with this idea of mine, and BLOGGING about it. I found a parking space right in front of the store, but the parking meter wasn’t working. I took a chance and parked there anyway. I felt really relieved when the first pile of clothing was gone and I was leaving the store with a nice chunk of change. Walking back to the Chinook, Natalie said “Oh, there’s something on your windshield!” To which I replied “Crap! I got a ticket!” but she countered, “No, it looks like a note!” I grabbed the note and read it aloud-

the note is unaltered, but i digitally removed a bank logo from the envelope

We looked at each other with eyes wide and jaws dropped, and then excitedly talked over each other in a flurry of “Oh my God!” “Holy Cow!” “That’s so awesome!” “Are you freakin’ kidding me?!” “He recognized the Chinook from my blog post photos?!” “Okay, which one of my friends is fucking with me?!” “No Lorna, they wouldn’t do that, it’s real!” “I wish he left an email or something to thank him!”

It was the most amazing feeling, and such a perfectly timed and played gesture, unbeknownst to the person giving it. I was overwhelmed by the project at hand (getting rid of EVERYTHING), by the thought of the anniversary I wouldn’t be celebrating coinciding with my yard sale just two days away, by self-doubt over what I was choosing to do with my life (the self-doubt being a reflection of some recent criticism by others, not of my instincts), and I was feeling the weight of months of stress and enormous change.

In what certainly took less than a minute of Dave’s life, he was able to give me affirmation that would brighten my day and echo through the days since. Think about that- less than a minute’s effort resulting in minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, of encouragement.

Thank you Dave- whoever you are- for taking the time. I’m paying this forward. In the days since this note, I’ve made a more concerted effort to regularly, sincerely offer support to others. And now, dear readers, I’d like to encourage you to pass it on as well, and I’ve come up with some suggestions for how we can do so in less than a minute. What I’m calling The 1 Minute Project:

Facebook-

  • Write a couple of lines on a friend’s wall to “publicly” acknowledge something great they’re doing or recently did.
  • Share a link to a creative project someone’s working on, on your wall with a short endorsement.
  • Go through your Like suggestions, like someone’s page and tell them on their page wall what you like about the project.

Email-

  • Send a short email to someone- just a couple of lines- about how you’re grateful for something specific they’ve done for you, or how something they’ve created makes you feel.

Phone-

  • Pick up the telephone and call or text to leave a short thoughtful message to let someone know you’re thinking of them.

Blogs or Websites-

  • Write a brief comment to let the writer know what you liked about their post, or the site in general.
  • Use their contact form to send them an email.

Twitter-

  • Write a personal endorsement of someone for #FollowFriday
  • Tweet at or about someone to remark on something you appreciate in them or their work. Feel free to use the hashtag #1minuteproject so we can all follow the goodness!

Whatever you choose to do, any of the above, or something entirely different, just be sincere. Put into brief action- less than a minute- the things you think but don’t normally take the time to say. Thoughtfulness is contagious- let’s pass it on!

How will you use your minute? Has someone made your day, or more, in less than a minute? Tell me about it! Have your own blog or site? Feel free to write your own 1 Minute Project post to inspire others. :)

80 Responses to “The 1 Minute Project”

Comments (79) Pingbacks (1)
  1. You must have been shocked. What are the odds?!

    Anyhow, I love the 1 Minute Project idea big time. We’re sitting here scrambling to get all caught up so we can go enjoy the wilderness. What perfect timing for a reminder that it only takes a short amount of time to make a big difference in another’s life. That’s the stuff that really matters.

    We’ll carry the sprit of this awesome initiative with us as we head into the woods. Maybe we’ll even surprise a few strangers we meet along the way with some encouragement.

    Thanks for this idea, Lorna.

    • thanks gents! i know, right? but i guess it’s clear i was in the bay area, and chinooks of that vintage aren’t a dime a dozen so i guess he just took a chance it was me! so glad he did! have SUCH an amazing time in the woods! and i know you’ll have anyone you encounter beaming :)

  2. Lorna, I love your one minute project! Support, encouragement and caring is so important as we embark On new life experiences. I’m glad you’re feeling that as you embark on this new journey. I’m happy for you.

    • thanks lisa! it IS SOOOOO important, right? i want everyone to feel encouraged to make the step from dream to dare, and if i can be a tiny part in that, i’ll gladly do it! appreciate the kind words :)

  3. Dave sounds like an absolulte sweetie! I hope he does email you.
    I’m glad you got the inspiration and endorsement you needed, just when you needed it. And I think your one minute project is wonderful. I’ll take part for sure.

    • thanks barbara! doesn’t he?? hope he leaves a comment here so we can all bombard him with gratitude :) SO glad you’re going to take part in the project! sure you’ll make somebody(s) very happy!

  4. That’s so fantastic, seriously, that’s all it takes to completely make someone’s day or even week (month, year, you choose!). I’m so glad that Dave took the time, you totally deserve a boost like that and I’m glad you got it when you really needed it.

    I remember coming home from work or something one day to find a very special #FollowFriday tweet from @kylehepp, it still makes my day when I think about that fact that she took the time to think just about me in that moment!

    I want to participate, so it’s time to take a minute to stop and think about someone, thanks for the awesome post Lorna, and for sharing this with us so that we could all be inspired.

    • thanks so much annie! isn’t it amazing how it’s the seemingly little things that make such huge differences? so glad you had an example to share! can’t wait to see what you come up with! really appreciate your kind words :)

  5. Babe, you are FAMOUS!!! How very very nice of Dave. Truely an example to follow and I’ll join your 1 minute project.

    • LOL thanks inka! wasn’t that awesome? i’m so glad you’re going to participate! just think about what a better place the world will be to travel within if it were made up of daves! :)

  6. Wow, that’s pretty awesome about Dave! Let’s hope he isn’t stalking you and following the Chinook around though! :)

    Great idea about encouraging others and what a great way for you to find inspiration to do this!

    • thanks jeremy! and yes- let’s think good thoughts about dave and not the creepy ones :) hope you’ll participate and let me know how you do! :)

  7. Wow, how cool!!! You are famous, lady!! Haha. I can only imagine how great it must have felt to find that note on your windshield.

    YOU are inspiring to me, and I love the idea of the 1 Minute Project!

    • thank you SO MUCH amanda! it felt soooo good. it left me spinning in a good way for hours! and this comment from you is pretty darn fabulous as well :)

  8. This is so gorgeous.

    In the final stages of getting my book out there, some days I just feel like I’ve spent a bazillion hours on a pursuit that’ll amount to little more than a satisfying-but-pointless craft project, like taking years off work to decoupage or knit. Then, out of the blue a random stranger leaves a positive comment, “I can’t wait to read your book,” or something equally touching and once again, I’m fueled with the energy to persevere. You’ve been that person for me several times, Lorna, so thank you.

    • wow torre! thank you! so glad i’ve provided fuel (all completely sincerely), as you’ve often done for me as well. and i hear you on the wondering if what you can work so hard for (or sacrifice so much for) is futile or all in vain- it’s so tough sometimes to continue on without clear signposts that our efforts are fruitful. cheers to those who give generously of their minutes at just the right time! :)

  9. Isn’t it amazing how powerful one small act of kindness can be? I wholeheartedly embrace the one minute project – what a great idea to help the world become a better place for us all!

    • thanks liv! YES soooo powerful!!! that’s what i’ve been struck by as the weeks passed since dave’s note. it’s still working it’s magic, alongside all the great comments i get here, support from loved ones, etc. :) appreciate your kind words!

  10. That’s so lovely for someone to have left a note on your RV! And then, for some reason, I was even more excited when I read your list and realized that I do most of the 1-minute projects already. I think so many people are struggling, sometimes with battles they hide from the world, that they need a little encouragement. It reminds me of a really good poem. (You have to watch out for me. I’m always pushing poetry on people.)

    http://rinabeana.com/poemoftheday/index.php/2006/03/25/for-the-sake-of-strangers-by-dorianne-laux/

    • thanks melanie! love the poem! and don’t worry- push the poetry on me- i love it! I’M really excited to hear that you do the things on this list! and i’m sure your loved ones are too :) hope you get it back as well. i agree- we don’t all make transparent our challenges- or maybe we show some, but not all, every day. and it’s so great to have such a great gift as this come at times when we need it, and maybe not even fully realize that we did need it until it arrives. :)

  11. Good stuff! Great idea, and good post.
    The 1 minute project seems to have kicked off quite well.
    I too shall join in!
    Keep up the good work, I enjoy your blog!
    Cheers,
    John D. Wilson

    • thanks john! i think your comment and others here, count toward your minutes! :) really kind words and i appreciate them very much!

  12. Aww… that was such a nice gesture! This 1-minute project is actually a nice idea! It’s always nice to be able to do something nice for someone else, whether you know him/her or not, and it doesn’t matter how small the gesture is. I’m gonna join in too! :)

    • thanks cherszy! awesome that you’re joining in! cheers to more peeps getting affirmation for their dreams! :)

  13. This is so sweet, both the message you got and the project :) I’ll certainly make my move :)

  14. no way! you have celebrity blogger status! thats so cool.
    one minute project time sounds great too.

    • LOL jamie- thanks! ha ha. dunno if that’s true, but it’s giving me a giggle! glad you like the project idea- hope you’ll join in :)

  15. Omigosh. That note is awesome. I think I’m going to start a Facebook fanpage for Dave. He seems like a real rockstar.
    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been wallowing in self-doubt (and, most likely, ice cream and beer… as those things always seem to go together) when I’ve gotten an awesome email or comment from a reader and it’s made me realize that, yes, what I’m doing is right for me right now. You wouldn’t think a few kind words make such a difference — but they do. Thank you for reminding us all of that fact!

    • thanks sally! i know, right?? a dave’s a rockstar fan page! wish he would step forward here so we could all be his cyber groupies! YESSSS on the icecream and beer- although for me beer is replaced by chips or hard cider ;) and i think the comments i get here and dave’s comment keep me daring to step up and put myself, my opinions, thoughts out there on display more regularly than i’d otherwise feel comfortable. so crazy. i’m such a daredevil when it comes to taking travel/other life risks. creative risks? not so much! :P

  16. Love this idea! It’s amazing how much impact a short note can have and it takes virtually no time! Thanks for the post!

  17. Wow! How exciting!! I’m so happy for you I’m grinning ear to ear!!! Make sure you always keep that note – it’s like the first dollar that a business would hang up but it’s WAY better! :)

    • thanks so much beth! that’s exactly what i was doing for the whole day after and into the next week! i will absolutely keep the note- totally agree about the dollar! hadn’t thought of that but so true! :)

  18. That note is truly awesome! What a shock it must have been to find it on your windshield.

    I love the idea of the 1 minute project and will be thinking of ways to participate. I like the idea of using social media in a positive way instead of all the negativity that is out there now.

    • thanks debbie! it was a totally shock! i think i did the look-around three times to see if a friend was going to jump out from somewhere- ha ha. great that you want to participate! please feel free to share what you do here or on the roamantics facebook page! :)

  19. Dave’s note is the best! Wonderful idea for a project. It is usually the small gestures of appreciation that mean so much in a person’s life.

  20. HI, Lorna! Just stumbled across your blog after reading Hecktic Travels and have to admit that I’m totally smitten! lol! The 1 Minute Project – what a beautiful idea! Thanks for the inspiration! Now I’m off to spread some cheer… :)

  21. That is so cool! I love how things like this come exactly when you need them.

    • thanks christy! me too! i think they do often- we just have to pay attention and look out for them. so incredibly grateful to dave, and for all the other “daves” in my life. thanks for being one of them! :)

  22. Okay, why? Why did it take me forever to catch up on your blog? If we are timing this at 1 minute: meeting you In Vancouver & becoming fast friends was the highlight of my summer. Does that qualify?

    You know when you meet someone and just have the feeling you’ll see them again? Not because we work the same circles, but because somehow, we have more unfinished conversations and unfurled laughs to share… Not to mention comparing our hawt, freshly inked tattoos. :)

    Your posts constantly have me thinking in a 100 new ways, and that hashtag rocks. Couldn’t agree more on certain forces that can prop you up when you most feel overwhelmed!

    My ex’s name is Dave. Thus, I forgive the old Dave to make way for the fab Dave of your travel dreams!

    • omg jeannie!!! thank you certainly does not suffice here! how about a big ME TOO lady??? you are certainly a crucial part of the “how lorna got her groove back” circle ;) and for that i am eternally grateful! we absolutely have more 80s dancin’, hottie watchin’, deep talkin’, bangladesh travelin’, tattoo comparin’, mutual inspirin’ in our future. :D and YES! cheers to forgiving daves of yesteryear and making way for these daveS PLURAL!!! :)

  23. Unreal!! But such a great idea of yours to pass it on!! It’s so true that it takes so little effort to make someone’s day – thanx for the reminder!!

  24. That is too, too awesome! So cool. And you’re using the momentum for further good, which makes the awesome exponentially greater. Good on ya — and good on Dave! :D

  25. Hi,

    I know how happy you felt when you received the note. I have had a few (but sadly too few) moments like that in my life. They have always meant more to me than effort involved on the part of the person doing them and it is my personal philosophy to encourage rather than discourage. It’s so easy to be negative. Anyway I just wanted to say that I featured this post on my blog http://jackiechan-inspires.blogspot.com/p/give-back.html because of the easy ways you suggest to give back, lift up and encourage.

    I wish you the very best in your exciting adventure.

    • WOW! thanks so much for the kind words and the link superchan :) here’s hoping for more moments like this in everyones life- thanks for doing your part to try to make that a reality! may it come back to you in spades! thanks for the well-wishes too. really appreciate that so much :)

      • Its a pleasure :) It would be really interesting if Dave (who must be a regular reader to recognise the car) pops up and identifies himself.

        If he does -

        Hey Dave see what a simple kind gesture can do? You started an entire kindness movement! Way to Go!

  26. You’re a star!!!

    • lol thanks abby! dunno about that, but that note sure felt good and i want to spreaaaaad the goodness :)

  27. Wow, that’s awesome – you have a groupie :D

    Love the idea of the 1 minute project. I’m doing it! When I have a spare minute :)

  28. That is so awesome! And I LOVE the idea of the 1 minute project. Little things can make such a big difference.

  29. This put a smile on my face =) I will choose to do something a little more offline for the 1 minute project. Last night I was up looking my old paper journal and thought to myself: Wow we rarely ever write anymore or for that matter call on someone or write people letters. Today I will do both. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Oh as for the Chinook you are making me think of getting one in the future. I went camping recently and I thought it would be awesome to just stuff everything in one car and go.

    • thanks grace! and YES! cheers to going it the old fashioned way and encouraging someone in writing- that’s beautiful!!! as for the chinook- i LOVE it. it is really perfect for me- can’t recommend it enough! stay tuned for more on how i’m living in it and i think you’ll be a buyer for sure :)

  30. That is so very cool! I love random gestures like that, and they seem to come at the moments when we most need them. It’s a note, but it’s also a sign…you are on the right path! :)

  31. Wow, so many comments on this post. I totally agree with the sentiments expressed and so obvously do many others. I just hope it leads to more folks taking the time to make endorsements on Twitter instead of just putting a list of usernames together with Happy Day!

    • thanks so much john! that would be great, right? i love to connect with new people after reading genuine endorsements by other folks i like! i also hope it spans outside the blogging community and reaches families and friends there too :)

  32. Wow, how cool, you must have been so shocked! Great idea about the 1minuteproject. Pay it forward. Way to go! You made my day with this post, Lorna!

  33. thanks for this. i’m going to tell my buddy in the middle of getting his PhD that i’m rooting for him, and that he’s been a good “life coach” to me over the past few years. he’s the one who convinced me to get my mba. i ahave a few other things in mind for my girlfriend and other friends.

    • thanks so much mack! and for sharing your plans for your minutes :) your plan sounds wonderful. i’m sure your buddy will appreciate that SO MUCH. i do just hearing about it. thanks for being awesome! :)

  34. LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea, Lorna. Also- how cool that someone found you!!

    • thanks so much jade! i know- isn’t it amazing?? just wish he’d post a comment and let us all thank him for being awesome! :)

  35. That’s awesome!!! You’re a total celeb now…haha. And love the 1 Minute Project – such a great way to brighten someone’s day :-D

  36. These are the little things I try to do EVERY day and while it’s hard because I am so all over the place all the time, I sleep better at night when I’ve spent a minute or more improving someone else’s life. It got real for me after seeing the movie “Pay it Forward”.

    LOVE YOU. Thank you for sharing this post. Dave was right on, what you’re doing is great Lorna :)

    • thanks SO MUCH kirsten!!! and i absolutely KNOW you do this, because you have for me, in spite of how in demand you rightfully are, many, many times! :) LOVE YOU too and can’t wait til our paths cross again. i completely identify with sleeping better at night for having done this. i think our first job in life- the one we don’t manufacture- is to be a good human. i try to do my “job” every day even if it’s in small ways. thanks for being so good at yours :)

  37. Such an encouraging note! We need more Daves :)

    • thanks audrey! i absolutely agree that we need more daves! my strategy is to become a dave and hopefully it’ll catch on! :)

  38. It’s amazing how simple things can make such an impact… I accept your challenge.

  39. What are the odds!

    Love your idea of the 1-minute project. I’m consciously trying to pay it forward each and everyday. Continually inspired by you :)

    • thanks SO much shirline!!! i know, right? (odds) i love those moments, and i think that getting such a shock really drove home how i needed to do as you are and pay it forward. can’t tell you how grateful i am for your last line. thank you thank you thank you :D

  40. Great post.
    I love to share.It’s a way of learning it makes me feel good and close to other humans.
    I am here to support you,brave girl
    Have a great day ;)
    Serena from Tuscany-Italy

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