The idiom “to turn on a dime” is used to convey how quickly something can change: with such sudden impact, precision and accuracy that something would alter its course as if upon the face of a tiny coin.

And although merely figure of speech, recently I wondered, “What could we each do to help people’s negative and pessimistic moods, attitudes, and behaviors “turn on a dime” and become positive?”

In essence, by first making the choice and secondly remaining patient and determined, we can each become a “dime-thrower” — as if to literally spread “mood-changing” dimes on the sidewalk — and be a catalyst for helping to instantly improve the days and lives of those around us.

To Turn on a Dime

One day last week, I was in a bad, bad mood. I’m not sure what the cause was — probably a simple combination of factors like general frustrations, work, mounting impatience, and so on. And even though I strive to maintain inner balance by practicing a steady range of emotion, some days it feels like little can be done to overcome such waves of negativity.

Hours later, a friend I had not spoken to in several weeks reached out with a message of kind words and a jovial spirit. In an instant, my bad mood had been erased. Positivity swept over me, and carried me onward throughout the rest of the day. My mood had changed on a dime.

Diary of a Dime-Thrower

Envision the meaning of the phrase “to turn on a dime” in a literal sense. Imagine if people were to literally change — change their unwanted moods, their pessimistic attitudes, their negative behaviors — just from stepping upon a coin on the ground. If people were to literally feel better, act better, and live better “on a dime,” wouldn’t you throw them? To be a dime-thrower is to take small actions and efforts in hopes that they can reap big, truly positive repercussions in those around us. This is the essence of being a quiet leader: investing hardly-noticeable but intentional energy and moments to help others

By making someone smile who is having a bad day, you can literally cause him or her to turn on a dime and radiate positivity and happiness throughout the duration of his or her day.

By encouraging a friend who is losing faith in herself, you can help bolster her spirit — like a little push for child on a swing — and help her build her own momentum that can carry her to success.

The small stuff can make a big difference. Quiet actions can reap radical benefits in the lives of those around us. A simple smile radiate throughout the world. And tossing dimes upon the sidewalk can instantly change the mood of someone in need of a boost, a push, a helping hand.

If You Were to Throw Dimes…

Where would you throw them? In what places are catalysts needed to influence goodness and spread positivity? When would you throw them? At what times? Only at certain hours on the clock (like rush hour)? Or during specific scenarios and situations, like times of loss or grievance, or setback and failure? How would you throw them?

You can create instant mood-changers for those around us — including ourselves — by being a dime-thrower. Simply begin by making the choice to influence positivity, happiness and goodness in the lives of those around us. Be patient, remain determined, and scatter your dimes liberally.

Flickr photo credit: Mr Smashy