Morning, Friends. Who Can I Help Today?

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Morning, Friends. Who Can I Help Today?

I’ve started my day on twitter with this same tweet nearly every day for more than a year.

Morning, Friends. Who Can I Help Today?

That single line has gotten a lot of reaction.

Some people have tried to correct it, grammatically and contextually, arguing that it’s confusing and the proper question should be “how can I help you?”

And, where’s the “good” before morning?

How can I call myself a writer?

But, far more often, people have asked me some variations of the following four questions:

  • Do people really ever reply?
  • What do they ask for?
  • What have you done for them?
  • What’s in it for you?

So, I figured I share some answers…

1. Do people really every reply?

Yes, people respond with requests for my help all the time, pretty much every day.

2. What do they ask for?

They ask for everything from a latte to money to business advice to content promotion to relationships, marketing, creativity advice, interviews, introductions and beyond.

Some of the requests are downright fast and easy, some are for favors that’d require serious work and some are just plain hysterical…especially if they come from Naomi Dunford.

3. What have I done for people?

Answer, all the above. As long as:

  • I have the ability to help,
  • The ask resonates strongly with my beliefs and preferences and I can honor it in a way that adds value to all who would be impacted, and
  • I have the time/resources.

I love lending a hand. But, even if I have the ability to help, I won’t do things like promoting a business, website or content that I either don’t agree with or wouldn’t add value to the experience of the people I have the capacity to share it with.

Want specifics of things I HAVE done?

Nope.

Why not?

Two reasons.

  • One – Many of the asks come as DMs or emails and I’d never compromise the integrity or privacy those modes of communication imply.
  • Two – The most powerful gives come with the least connection to credit or acknowledgment. I’m not doing it because I wan’t people to know what I’ve done.

Then why DO I do it? Or, put another way…

4. What’s in it for me?

Everything. I do it because I can’t really think of a better way for me to set up my mindset and my karma for the day than by offering to help someone, often someone I don’t even know, in some random way. So, while I do it to help people, truth is I think the bump to my karma and my head-space benefits me more than anyone I help.

My Challenge – What about YOU?

Since I started asking this morning question, I’ve noticed something cool happening. Some of the people who follow me have begun asking their own variations of the question to start each day.

My friend, Adam King (@AdamKingStudio) asks…

Another friend, Mark Silver (@MarkHeartofBiz) regularly asks…

And, it’s all got me thinking…

I wonder what might happen if this became a movement?

How cool would it be if a growing army of kindness-marauders poured onto twitter and Facebook every morning to ask their own special-sauce variation of “What can I do for you today?”

Then committed to helping at least a single person.

So, that’s my ask of you today.

Try it on for size. Commit to starting each day this way for just the next week and see what unfolds.

Feel free to link back to or share this post to rally others to explore the impact of this single daily offering of kindness.

And, as always, share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below…

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92 responses

92 Responses to “Morning, Friends. Who Can I Help Today?”

  1. Hi Jonathan,

    Your daily question is like karmic breakfast.

    You can’t help but to do good for all by genuinely asking for help, not seeking anything in return.

    A wonderful concept and one that I will adopt going forward.

    Thank You!

    Ryan

  2. Marlee says:

    I love this Jonathan. Thank you for encouraging all of us to give a little more of ourselves. I’m very inspired and off to the races. :)

  3. Tim Brownson says:

    I want to say something and if this is embarrassing to you JF please delete it.

    I would walk throw walls for Mr Fields because he gave me an hour of his time about 2 years ago and refused to charge me. We talked as he drove in his car about my book launch and he was an absolute diamond.

    I know he didn’t do it as some cunning scheme that would guarantee payback down the road, but because he’s a good and genuine guy.

    How many clients do you suppose I have insisted on pain of death that they buy Career Renegade? I have no idea, but I suspect it’s close to 3 figures. And I have also advised every one of them to read his blog.

    If you help people because you want to it will usually return to you. Not always for sure, but more often than not, and you can’t get much more win/win than that in my book.

    In fact it’s win/win/win because you also get the great buzz of helping another human being.

    • Great points! I have got to read Career Renegade ASAP!

    • At the heart of what we do is a desire to serve and make a difference and many of us love the work we get to do with others because it IS the work we feel a need to be a part of as a way to contribute and be USEFUL. There is a great freedom in sharing and expecting nothing in return and knowing we will receive everything we need and more as we open ourselves to sharing. It’s heartwarming to hear others share the generosity Jonathan has offered- behind the scenes, when no one was looking.

      There is a wonderful story about heaven and hell that some of you may be familiar with. In hell there is a big banquet table with an abundance of good food and people sitting around the table who have been given spoons with handles so long that as they try to feed themselves they are throwing the food all over and getting nothing. Heaven is the same setting with the same long handled spoons. The difference is that in heaven the people have discovered that if they reach across the table with the long handled spoons they can feed someone else, and everyone is fed.

  4. I’ve been waiting on this post for some time now. This is an awesome idea.

    I’ve definitely asked a similar question randomly throughout the year, and typically I get some response and actually end up helping someone out.

    This challenge sounds great and it should definitely become a movement…I am going for it :)

    Thanks!

    Bret

  5. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jonathan Fields, remarkablogger, Tim Brownson, Andrea Cannavina, Kat Tansey and others. Kat Tansey said: RT @brandon101: RT @jonathanfields: The true story behind "Morning, friends. Who can I help today?" – http://ow.ly/37rcT ^very cool -… [...]

  6. Giovanna says:

    I´m in! Let´s start a movement!!!

  7. Brett says:

    Jonathan,
    Great post. Inspiring as usual. What is the point of having relationships if we aren’t committed to actually acting unselfishly and putting others before ourselves? Something to live by, for sure.

  8. I’m joining the movement . . . whose dream needs an advocate today?

  9. Thanks for providing the answers to my burning questions, Jonathan!

    I took up this challenge of yours in a different way about a month ago. I decided to end my free ecourse autoresponder with an email dedicated to: what can I do to help you?

    Now everyday, I get emails back from people telling me their stories, letting me know their hang ups, and asking for help on the barriers that stand before them. I can’t answer everyone – and I’m up front about that – but those I can answer bring me such satisfaction it should be criminal.

    Thanks again for this reminder that service is a great biz to be in!

    • You’re right, it IS a burning question, and so beautiful in its simplicity.
      Yes, a pursuit well worth the ask and inspired effort that ensues from there!

      Peter

  10. Maria says:

    I’ve seen this tweet every morning and it always puts a smile on my face. It would be a great movement that could take on viral proportions….in a wonderful way!

    Thanks Jonathan, for the daily tweet and for giving us all food for thought.

  11. Hugh says:

    What a great perspective. I’ve always wondered if people respond to that ;-). I’m going to try it out and see how I go. The trick, like you mention, is to not be motivated by the expectation of reciprocity. However, I am a big believer in the karma thing – whatever you put out there you will receive back ten-fold, whether it’s something from someone else or just your own self-satisfaction in having helped someone in some small way.

    • Right, Hugh, it calls for a nice balance of putting yourself out there for people, while at the same time not focusing on your own gain. It’s tricky but like most behaviors it’s all about habits. Once we get into the habit of just offering ourselves and letting go, it becomes an organic part of our mental attitude and life. Let’s do this!

  12. Will says:

    Love it. Count me in :-)

  13. Karen Graves says:

    Cool movement. I’m in! With this you are allowing people to share their gifts and talents in an unobstrusive manner specifically with the exact people who are looking for them. Sometimes asking for help is hard and even knowing who to ask can be an obstacle to getting wanted and often needed answers. Imagine someone’s delight (and I have taken you up on your offer before-you’re birlliant) when the ability to have a question answered serendipitously appears! This is a great way to serve others in a powerful way while living your purpose. Thank you for being so generously you!

  14. Greg Hopkins says:

    I really like it. Far better than refering to a list of things to be done (usually not fun). Being open to helping someone allows for new experiences, creativity, and higher purpose. Much more powerful than guessing what people need and trying to provide something that may, or may not, fit.

    A great way to start the day – The Breakfast of Champions!

    This should be a movement. I’m in.

  15. Good things come to those who give, but – more importantly – giving makes you feel good. So give, people, give – with joy, generosity, and no expectations.
    Love it!

  16. Barb McMahon says:

    I look for that tweet every morning!

    I tried something similar once, but I felt weird for stealing your idea. Thanks for the permission to join the movement! The internet will never be the same!

  17. Craig Deakin says:

    I love this idea.

    I believe that it’s a great way to get your own day off to a good start, even though your helping others.

    I also believe that everyone needs help in some way or another but sometimes feel that they can’t just ask for help as it might get a bad response or prevent that person from getting their own stuff done.

    I’m considering trying this myself, just to see if it helps me to get in a better frame of mind before I start my day.

  18. Adrienne says:

    Jonathan,

    I’ve definitely been intrigued and inspired by your question. I appreciate your explanation as well as what you’re doing. I haven’t responded by asking people how I can be of service on twitter or facebook, but your question has inspired me to be conscious of how I can serve others throughout my day. It’s become more of an internal question, asking myself, “who can I help today?” Perhaps I’ll put the actual question out there and see what happens. :) (That could be especially interesting at work…I might end up with more work than I could handle!)

  19. Nancie says:

    Wonderful idea. This is what the world needs a “Movement of Kindness” :)

  20. Hey Jonathan,

    I don’t know that grammar should be top of people’s minds on twitter!

    Totally love the way you start your day. I did it for a while but have dropped off on the frequency – I am going to go away now and reinstitute it straightaway!

    Cathy

  21. I always enjoy seeing the karmic morning tweet-out!

    I love being of service. The post was a call-to-action for me; gotta formalize the request! I’ll spread the word and pay it forward. What an awesome movement this could become!

  22. Jane says:

    Morning, Jonathan…I love logging into twitter and seeing your smiling face there, with your kind offer. I’ve often wanted to copy it…but didn’t want to be a copycat…thank you for permission!
    Keep up the awesome work!
    Jane

  23. patrick says:

    Funny that you posted this today, Jonathan.

    I started out today on Twitter with “Good Morning!” because that is what feels right. It’s the first thing we say to everyone else we interact with day to day.

    It’s just as natural for me to ask “What can I do to help you?”, but I didn’t want to be a copy-twit.

    However. Now that you’ve offered up the opportunity…..

    “What can I do to help you?”

  24. Just to vouch for this post. I sent a cold DM in Twitter and got a reply almost immediately. And some very nice feedback on my blog.

    Thanks Jonathan!

  25. Michelle says:

    This is awesome! I think it is awesome to help out other people, especially when they are in their time of need and have no where to turn to. Not only does it make you feel good, it gives you hope that people will do the same for you. Just today I flipped open my planner (I am a high school student) and read one of the quotes at the bottom of the page, which I rarely pay attention to. The quote read ” you have not lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” The quote is Anonymous, but I just love it and feel as though it is very fitting.

  26. Mike Ziarko says:

    I can personally attest to having gotten help via your daily morning question, and it was extremely kind of you to help out! It’s completely selfless and you make it easy for people to open up to authority figures.. well done.

  27. Sandra says:

    Hey, I think I may have mentioned this to you on Twitter, but I tend to see your question as I’m settling in for a little recreational evening browsing. It always brings a smile. You popped up once while I was stuck playing real-life Scrabble (like with a real board and tiles) and helped make a word out of the pile of vowels I had! My friends knew I was “asking Twitter” but they thought it was so funny that they didn’t mind. Thanks for creating and sharing in a fun moment, along with all the more serious stuff you do!

  28. Anne Wayman says:

    Sometimes I wonder about me… I’ve watched you do this for quite awhile and until this post it didn’t occur to me to join you and try it… I’m in, and thanks!

  29. Sandi Amorim says:

    Holy mother of all inspiration!
    Your daily question, your updates on Facebook, this post…you continually inspire me and raise the bar. The integrity with which you live your life and share your gifts calls me out (in a good way!) each and every time I engage with something you’ve put out there.

    Thank YOU!

  30. Jonathan, your daily tweet is SUCH a delightful reminder of why any of us are in business – to help other people solve problems.

    Find myself joyfully hitting the mental refresh & refocus button every time I see you write that question – thanks for… being YOU :)

  31. Brandon says:

    What a great idea! Many times I struggle to find ways to tweet items that actually add value to the conversation rather than the usual info that floats around twitter.

    I have followed you for a couple years now and am continually impressed with what I read and the impact it has. Thanks for all you do and your words of wisdom!

    Brandon

  32. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Scott Kasun, Craig Deakin. Craig Deakin said: Morning, Friends. Who Can I Help Today? http://goo.gl/2T2F8 by @jonathanfields [...]

  33. Ravi Butalia says:

    Jonathan, there are some amazing comments here and most of them reciprocate how I feel about your post every morning. It never ceases to put a smile on my face. To me, it is the single most positive, inspiring and uplifting tweet in the world. It makes me feel good. It makes me happy. It humbles me in a very profound way to read your greeting / offer of service. Why, I ask myself, haven’t I come up with something as original and meaningful?

    I feel your greeting or offer to help out is essentially about love. Only a person with a generous heart would make such an offer! Its a seemingly small gesture, but is it really? Only a truly sincere and caring person would make it every single day. I am sure it must be transformational for you. Judging by all the comments here, it is transformational for others as well. Even if no one took up your offer, just think how many people you make happy every day!

    There is a wonderful Anthony Robbins quote where he says,”Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.”

    Thanks you Jonathan!

  34. Eileen Kane says:

    I really love this idea. Isn’t this really what life is all about – using our talents, strengths and resources to help each other.

    Jonathan, you must have awesome karma every day! If more people thought this way, we’d have less therapists in the world!

    Now how can I do something similar without looking like a total copy-cat??????? Love this!

  35. Phil says:

    I started adding “who can I help today?’ to my Facebook status. What a great way to put my day in perspective. No matter what mood I am in or what’s going on in my world,I always feel empowered after posting that simple question. Here are some of the responses I’ve received. To echo you, this is not a tribute to me but to the power of being others focused with a servant heart.

    “I LOVE that you ask that every day. Do you get a lot of opportunities??”

    “I love how you always write something so uplifting,makes me want to be a better person just by reading that,guess I too get caught in the wake.. many blessings.”

    Thank you for leading the charge!
    Phil

  36. RJ Weiss says:

    Will do. I have followed you for quite some time on Twitter, but for whatever reason never implemented this strategy on my own.

  37. I love your idea Jonathan! Giving from the heart is the source of true joy. I can’t imagine a greater honor than of being of service to fellow passenger on planet earth. My version is “Who can I inspire or encourage today?”

  38. [...] love the people I got to know over the next hour, so I was delighted to read Jonathan Field’s experiment with the same helfpful spirit. Inspired by this post, I’ll be offering my help at least once [...]

  39. If I can have an ounce of the humility and generosity that you have Jonathan, then I will be a good man.

    I love this movement. The intention is pure and heartfelt, and we need more of that in this world.

  40. i love seeing that tweet each morning, jonathan. i’m glad you posted about this today, too, as i have wondered often how people respond and if they ask you for things when they see it.
    my version of this is “let two birds fly with one hand” – a reminder to create language that feels good and to explore ways to do things that benefit more than one entity at a time. we’re all in this together!
    and thanks for helping me again today with your good words and great ideas.
    ~ julie

  41. Mark Silver says:

    So sweet, Jonathan- I love how you frame it. And yes, your question has been inspiring and I’m glad you moved me in this way on Twitter.

    You rock. You totally rock.

    • Adam King says:

      Let me reiterate what Mark just said. Without your influence, Jonathan, there would be no beginnings of a selfless morning for us each day.

      Thanks to you my friend.

  42. susan says:

    Thank you for this post, and I applaud you for positioning yourself to be of service.
    My struggle is to remember the value of living from this place on a daily/hourly basis. I so easily get wrapped up in MY wants and MY needs, thinking “I will be generous when I can afford to be generous.” I literally ask the universe every morning to “free me from the bondage of self” and show me how to help someone else. I’ve found I have to take action and look for ways to serve rather than wait for a request that may not come.
    Peace and Love,
    Susan

  43. Justin says:

    Done. I love it.

  44. Okay, this has sparked a post for me – a giver you are Mr. Fields, a giver! Thanks darling.

  45. [...] day Jonathan Fields says to his Twitter followers, “Morning Friends. Who can I help today.” Now, I don’t have 25,788 followers [...]

  46. All I can say is, “Move over FREE HUGS YouTube Sensation” guy!
    Hello “Who can I help?” crew!

    Thanks, J!

    Peter

  47. Raven says:

    Great idea. What can I do for you today?

  48. Jonathan, My tweet will be…Morning make sure you smile to a total stranger today. You never know who you will touch?
    Nancy

  49. Jen Young says:

    I’m in. This has major movement power for sure.

  50. Brilliant and inspiring.

    As a participant in this month’s Customer Love challenge, I have to say that the simple act of consciously focusing on how I can help, how I can love my clients/customers/the world, has had a profound impact on me.

    Imagine if this did spark a movement. If the whole world really did start thinking this way.

    [Moment of silence to let the hugeness of it all sink in.]

    Thanks for a great post. I’m going to think about what I can ask, and make it my morning Twitter ritual too. :)

  51. Scott says:

    Jonathan, Whoa – I’ve been wondering about this greeting since I started reading your blog. I’ve been thinking of an encouraging greeting for a health and wellness blog I’m launching soon. I’ll all in.

    Scott

  52. Jonathan Fields says:

    Wow, been a super busy day and I just checked back into the comments…wooowwww!!!

    I’m always bragging to people how amazingly smart, compassion and engaged my tribe is, this is just another example.

    Blown away and humbled by your willingness to lead with kindness.

    Rock on. : )

  53. I’ve been wondering for months what the story was behind your now-infamous daily statement. I love the whole meaning behind & I’ll be joining in on the fun :)

  54. Peter Ahrens says:

    I have started this today too.

    I do have one question, though.

    Do you ever start getting too many requests, which ends up with you not being able to help people who ask for help?

  55. Mick Morris says:

    I love seeing your morning question in my twitter stream… even though it is WAY after morning for me when it arrives.

    I think this post is a really good explanation of the intent and action surrounding the question… LOVE IT!

  56. We’re in as well. GREAT IDEA – thanks Jonathan.

    Vive la revolution.

  57. Another great post, Jonathan. Thanks for sharing.

  58. Every time I see your morning tweet I smile and think, “damn, is he STILL doing that? Really?”

    Two word-bits that really stuck out at me while reading this: first of all, I loved the phrase “kindness-marauders!” Ha!

    Second, and more serious, was what you just said in your comment above: leading with kindness. If asked about leadership qualities, I doubt most people would think of kindness as a top quality. But when you think about people like H.H. the Dalai Lama or Ghandi, you realize just how powerful kindness really is.

    This is such a great example of the whole “servant as master” paradox. Love it. :) And not that things are so black and white as “servant and master,” either. That’s just a convenient simplification, a shortcut to understand the concept.

    • Jonathan Fields says:

      Hey Michael,

      That probably explains why I’m such a huge fan of James Autry’s book, The Servant Leader, and other similar approaches.

      What better way is there to grow an organization or a movement than by looking at all the people who’ve risen to your call to build something bigger than themselves and asking how you can best serve them in their quest to serve others.

      A true leader does not coerce and debilitate, she empowers and facilitates.

      And in doing so, everyone and everything expands…

      That’s the heart and soul of leadership.

  59. Vee Sweeney says:

    Hi Jonathan,
    You bring up one of the biggest key points in how to be effective on social networking/media sites. The key is engaging the reader or followers! Every single morning when you ask that simple question, you engage people and make them think, even just for a split second. That split second of thinking makes them remember you, makes them remember your post, which also translates into readers remembering other things that you ask or say. Something so simple can go so far and it’s nice to see someone be simple in their engagement instead of being so overcomplicated or analytical.

  60. ‘Do as you would be done by’ in action! No wonder you have so many loyal followers ;o)

  61. Helping and loving people, especially people I don’t know, is my besetting sin in this life and I do not wish to repent from it.

    Sadly, I often do get kicked in the ass by the very same people that I try to help and love, but I’m not bothered really. I’ll keep on doing it because that is what I was born to do!

  62. Thanks Jonathan for the continuing inspiration and now for the challenge / permission to do the same.

    I love the thought of a “movement of kindness” and I want to play wiht my own “special sauce variations’ of the invitation on-line and off.

    But I will start with something today!

  63. [...] need to motivate themselves every day. Others such as Jonathan Fields like to start their day by helping others. Still others, such as Dave Navarro, force themselves to prioritize their work tasks. Each [...]

  64. Well now that I have permission to rip off your morning routine I won’t feel so bad.

    In all seriousness, it’s tough to get off to a bad start to any day when you begin with the mindset that you’re in it for others. It strangely does become selfish as the helper’s high kicks in.

    I’m all for a movement. Let’s go.

  65. eKathy says:

    Wow. You have an enlightened following and I am stunned to see how much resistance I have to this. What if I don’t have time to help? What if they are too demanding? What if …

    I think it’s time for a karmic tune up. Thanks for the nudge.

  66. Juanita says:

    Jonathan I love this post! Thank you for sharing – I wish more people would offer their help, it really does seem to be something that we have lost or we do with so much reluctance!

    I will be taking on your challenge and authentically asking ‘How can I help you today’…

  67. Leisa LaDell says:

    Love this challenge, Jonathan. I’m doing it!

  68. robert says:

    What a cool idea! This reminds me of an incident that happened to me a couple years ago. I had pulled off the road to take an important call,just as i finished an elderly couple pulled up in front of my truck with a puncture. I put on the spare wheel for the guy without really even thinking about it (i’d changed a lot of wheels in my time as a trucker).But this dear old couples reaction just buzzed me for the rest of the day. I think its a great idea JF. When you help someone in a completely selfless way, it just seems so empowering. I am not sure I completely believe in karama, but I do believe in the power of your sub conscious and the affects of thoughts and feelings upon it, so i guess the more you can help others,the more positive you feel .Surely thats gotta be good!

  69. [...] My twitter pal Steve Lawson calls it “Becoming an awesomeness node” (I LOVE that one!). Jonathan Fields calls people who do this [...]

  70. [...] Fields posted a great post on starting your interactions daily with the phrase ‘Morning, Friends. Who can I help [...]

  71. [...] First up was Ben with a blog post from Jonathan Fields: “Morning Friends. Who can I help today? [...]

  72. [...] Jonathan Fields of his self titled hit jonathanfiels.com. Jonathan is an exceptional individual that is a recovering lawyer (don’t hold it against him) that has defined an awesome path. From following Jonathan on Twitter and this post, you can tell he’s passionate about helping to build a caring community. [...]

  73. Sherri says:

    Hey Jonathan,

    I’ve taken your challenge and for the past week I’ve started each day with “Morning morning! Who needs a hand with something today?” The response was slow at first but now it’s pretty steady.

    People interact with me a lot more and their requests are rather interesting as well — RT a post, get their root canal for them and another wanted to know where she could find free stories to help her learn Mandarin.

    Very interesting and worth while experiment. I’m hooked. Thank you Jonathan!

  74. [...] you know what made them the most money? Being good to their customers. They killed it in the “tip department”; other wise known as the true measurement of a satisfied [...]

  75. [...] what got them there today? Particularly when their children don’t succeed as they did… Morning Friends. Who can I help today? I’m tempted to give it a try, though most of my facebook friends are either cynics or jokers [...]

  76. [...] Some of you may know that most days I start my twitter feed with something like Who can I help today? I accepted Jonathan Fields challenge. [...]

  77. Nadya says:

    Love that I found your site. Thanks so much for being inspirational!

  78. [...] The first day back from any vacation is always a challenge,  especially given that most of our wee ones only come three days a week. It’s been eons since we’ve all been together, so I intended  to take it slowly today. Nonetheless, the energy was building. Everyone, big and small, had needs today. Urgent needs. Serious needs. Not-so-serious needs. Heart-felt, excited needs.  I felt like Jonathan Fields’ when he tweeted “Morning Friends. Who can I Help Today?” [...]

  79. [...] Jonathan Fields’ mini-movement, “Who can I help today?” [...]