You may be familiar with the movie based on the book Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde. The premise of the story is that people who are on the receiving end of a good deed, in turn, pay that forward by doing good deeds for three other people, thereby creating a chain of good deeds that eventually spread around the world.

Change that begins with one person can have a huge impact. I love the idea of paying it forward, especially teaching our children this principle to live by. In fact, there is a Pay It Forward Foundation that does just that. They show children, parents and teachers what it's all about. What a wonderful way to inspire our next generation!

I've often been on the receiving end of someone who has cared enough to do something really nice for me without being asked or even knowing who I am. And I return the favor many times over. In this day and age, people want more personal connection, as technology and our fast-paced world typically drive us apart. Don't you find there's nothing worse than trying to have meaningful shared experiences while on the run? It's like catching glimpses of what's really important in life - the time we spend with each other and the ways we love and support each other.

As women, we have an innate sense of giving, so in many ways, we are programmed to naturally pay it forward. Here are some thoughts on how you can make a conscious effort in your everyday life to make a difference to those around you by paying it forward:

1. Mentor a young woman. The world can seem a little scary to our female teenagers and young women. Their families may be a good source of support but as they grow and start to become who they are, they can use all the guidance they can get to understand life and make choices that will serve them well today and in the future. Do you have a younger sister in high school, a niece in college that you can give your time and advice to? Is there a younger colleague at work you could take under your wing? As well, there are a lot of community organizations like Big Sisters that are ideal for helping our younger counterparts.

2. Perform a random act of kindness. This concept can sometimes make us think we need to get on board with a majorly important cause like helping the homeless. But little acts can still go a long way. Your neighborhood and your community are all great places to start. Do you know of an elderly neighbor who struggles with getting to the grocery store? Maybe you can organize someone to take them (if you don't have time). Next time you're on the bus and someone doesn't have enough change to make the fare, pay it for them. Even just helping someone reach the top shelf of the pasta aisle in the grocery store fits the bill!

3. Become a Volunteer. Volunteering is one of the most recognized ways to pay it forward. Oftentimes volunteering in an area of personal interest can be very rewarding and satisfying. Do you have a hobby you can share with someone? If you're a rower, offer to help the local rowing club to publicize their events or be the one in charge of the inventory. Love to dance, garden, or read history books? Whatever your interest, there is bound to be a group that could use your help. But again, you don't have to go the group route. You can find connections with like-minded people in so many places; at work, at the night school course you're taking, at the gym, etc. Just offering to help one person get ahead with what they want to accomplish has plenty of pay it forward style!

Paying it forward in whatever way you choose is a great way to help others and win friends and influence people at the same time. As the oft-described female Dale Carnegie, I highly recommend it!

Author's Bio: 

Influence and persuasion expert, Karen Keller, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist and Master Certified Coach with over 25 years of experience. She focuses on women's leadership and empowerment as well as executive, personal, relationship and life coaching. She is also a successful entrepreneur and author. Her other areas of specialization include mentoring, sales techniques, success skills, intuition, body language, management development training, motivational speaking, and corporate training. Discover Influence It! Real POWER for Women now! For your free subscription visit