My mom had given me the task of transporting some things she sold on OfferUp to the person she sold it to.
To my surprise, when the buyer opened their door, she was in a wheelchair.
She explained how she had a freak accident in her home tripping over her table and fracturing her leg in two places.
The thing she bought from us, fittingly, was a wheelchair.
We made small talk together while we figured out payment and she tested it out.
Then we said our goodbyes and thanked her.
“Oh! Could you do one thing for me?” she asked.
Curious, I told her it was no problem and asked what she needed.
“I know it’s a bit strange, but could you possibly take my trash and recycle bags down stairs? I haven’t been able to for a week and don’t want to burden my neighbors again.”
I told her I would of course take it down and that it’s no trouble.
Because what costs her much (30 minutes of strain, struggle, and possible injury) costs me practically nothing.
This got me thinking about a simple principle to doing favors for others...
If it costs you less to do something for someone else, do it; if it costs you more to do something for someone else, you’re not obligated to do it.
When you someone asks you to do them a favor, you usually just think about what it costs you — time, convenience, money, etc.
But do you also think about what it costs them?
Next time you can do something for someone that doesn’t cost you much and saves them a lot, do it.
In fact, do it every time. Anticipate it.