Milestone birthdays give us all an opportunity to reflect and reassess our life’s path.
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Bryan Tsiliacos of San Francisco, California turned 29 years old in February 2022. As he thought about the year ahead, Bryan encountered a moment of “crisis and self-reflection.” He was struck by a desire to give back to the community that has always supported him in his life, so he challenged himself to perform 30 acts of kindness before he turns 30.
“I was anxious about turning 30 and all the expectations that come with it,” Bryan told InspireMore. “So, to calm myself, I wrote down everything I was grateful for – my job, education, friends, etc. I concluded that every good thing that happened to me was thanks to the support and generosity of others.”
“From the get-go, I wanted the focus of my acts to be on essential workers,” Bryan said. “Throughout the pandemic, they treated patients, put out fires, cared for animals, stocked grocery store shelves, and more to keep society going despite all the risks.”
For his second act, Bryan reached out to principals in Oakland school districts and asked about the best way to support their teachers. Then, he raised $12,000 in donations from 18 sponsor companies to send supplies like paper, disinfecting wipes, and pencils to middle schools all across the city.
In fact, Bryan says his favorite moment of this journey, so far, was figuring out how to get 1,000 pounds of disinfecting wipes delivered to him.
“The problem was they could only deliver to a location with a loading dock and pallet jack,” said Bryan. “So I drove to a nearby grocery store and asked the store manager if I could have the shipment delivered there … To my amazement, they said yes! This experience taught me that when you want to do good in the world, there’s no obstacle you can’t overcome. People will always be willing to help!”
Bryan hopes that people will hear about his 30 acts by 30 challenge and be inspired to perform good deeds in their own communities.
“The secret to happiness is giving back,” said Bryan. “There’s a famous Chinese proverb that goes, ‘If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.’ The wisdom in this proverb is spot on. Everything else is just momentary pleasures that do not bring sustained happiness.”
Bryan also stressed that any individual can make a difference; you don’t have to be affiliated with a big non-profit or other charitable organization.
“I’ve permanently shifted from a getting to a giving mindset,” Bryan said. “I am always searching for opportunities to serve and give to others, whether holding the door for someone, donating blood, or providing supplies to teachers. Through extensive and small acts of kindness, I have experienced the most happiness, peace, and purpose in my life.”
Fabulous reminder, Bryan! Instead of having a crisis when you turn 30, 40, 50, or beyond, why not use these milestones as a reminder to be grateful? Generosity like this has a way of coming back to us!
Share this story to tell others about Bryan’s 30 acts by 30 challenge.
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