Have you ever wondered why certain products, shows, phrases, or ideas seemingly become overnight successes? Something EVERYONE is talking about, buying, or has got to have?
What sets these things apart from all the rest?
Let’s take Beanie Babies for example. Remember those? I bet you do. You probably even have a few lying around your house somewhere, probably stuffed in a closet. Go ahead and admit it, we won’t laugh.
How did a simple series of plush toys all of the sudden become such a fad that collectors of all ages where standing in line for hours on end, awaiting the release of special editions? How did these $2 stuffed animals become in such demand that they were selling via auction, on websites all over the globe, for hundreds of dollars per item? What made people so compulsively in love with these colorful figures that they would fill their homes with collection after collection?
Did the maker of Beanie Babies brainwash us with subliminal messages hidden in a multimillion dollar advertising campaign? The answer, of course, is no.
Beanie Babies, like so many other products and ideas that went from unknown to mass popularity, experienced what best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell refers to as their Tipping Point. In his book, aptly titled The Tipping Point, Malcolm explores the phenomenon of just such occurrences. How certain products and ideas spread like wildfire with others fizzle and burn out or never ignite at all.
Similar to a virus, one infected person who contaminates another can start an epidemic. It doesn’t just spread from person to person but rather one infected man can almost immediately infect thousands in a single sneeze. At some point in the spread, the virus reaches critical mass and becomes an epidemic. Countless individuals contaminate countless more as the cycle plays itself out.
Popular products and ideas spread in much the same way. Sure, some are helped through clever marketing and expansive advertising budgets but the true phenomenons are the ones which basically soar in popularity strictly by the initial word of mouth. While it may not be the sneeze that spreads the infection, it most certainly is the passion and enthusiasm from one infected person to another. Best-sellers become best-sellers because people read a book, become inspired by its content and go around telling others about it. Restaurant becomes “the hot spot” because someone eats there, loves the food and tells everyone they know. I’m sure even in the early days of Beanie Babies that a handful of people started the uprising of collection and trade.
So what do Beanie Babies and stories of the flu have to do with kindness? Simple. If we become infected with kindness in our own lives, it will spread to others. One man may contaminate thousands with one single shift in his behavior. A simple act of compassion, love, or patience towards someone else may setoff a landslide effect that never was thought possible. If you and I, and everyone reading this message were to make a pact to live a life of Contagious Kindness, we’d create our own Tipping Point that would set peoples hearts and souls on fire.
It starts with you, pass it on.:: Sign Up for the Free Gift of Kindness Email Newsletter Here ::