It’s good to steal. Well, let me rephrase that. It’s good to steal when you’re not breaking any laws. OK, I admit that ‘legal stealing’ is as much of an oxymoron as ‘pretty disgusting’ but as you’ll soon see, it’s possible. In fact, not only is it possible, it can actually help you in your life at home and at work. Let’s call this a legal stealing 101, or perhaps the opposite of the seven deadly sins.
1. Steal Time
Time is precious. So I like to figure out ways to steal time away from some projects and apply them to other things. How can you steal five minutes away from the laundry and bank that time for a more fun project? How can you do your filing in half the time? You’re in effect stealing time and using it for a greater good. Maybe it’s spending extra time with your family, or on a project that makes you feel good. Whenever you can, find ways to steal time from the chores and use that time for something a whole lot more enjoyable.
2. Steal someone from the clutches of death
There are many ways you can help save someone’s life. When my wife and I found out we were expecting our first child, we took classes in CPR and first aid. We wanted to be prepared. But you don’t have to be a movie-style hero to save a life. It can be as simple as giving blood, becoming an organ donor or even learning the good ol’ Heimlich maneuver. You could also steal yourself from death’s clutches by getting fit and eating healthy. However you go about it, I guarantee you’ll feel genuinely good about the sacrifice, big or small, that you have made.
3. Steal ideas
Let me make one thing clear. I’m not advocating patent theft or copyright abuse. I’m talking about much bigger ideas than products you’d find in your local J C Penney. In recent years, I have embraced (stolen) some wonderful ideas that I think needed to be stolen and passed around. One such notion was the “pass on a used book” idea. I heard about someone who found a book in a public place. Inside was a note, which read “please read this book and leave it for someone else when you’re done.” What a great idea. So, I passed that idea on to friends and neighbors, who did the same. You’re stealing great ideas, but only in a way that makes sure those great ideas grow. It’s where peace and happiness can come from.
4. Steal the spotlight
Also known as “steal the show” and “steal the thunder”, it was something I used to be terrified of doing. I’d quite happily prepare work, have ideas and be the ideas man, but would say nothing when someone else came along and stole the spotlight from me. So, in recent times I have decided to steal it back. And I suggest you do the same. At work, it’s making yourself noticed in meetings, having a voice, being seen AND heard. Of course, make sure you have something valuable to say, but if you’re reading this blog you’re already someone with serious savvy. In love, you can steal the spotlight to get the attention of someone you’d like to know a little better. He or she won’t notice a wallflower. You don’t need to be an ass, just be yourself. But be yourself a little bit louder than normal. I spent far too many nights waiting at the side of the dance floor hoping one girl in the room would know I wanted her to speak to me…what was she, telepathic?
5. Steal a kiss
This follows on directly from the last subject. There’s absolutely nothing wrong, be you a guy or a girl, with taking the initiative and giving that first kiss to someone you’ve been making puppy-dog eyes at all night. Not only will you feel great, you’ll get past that whole “I wonder when we’ll kiss” moment that can hang around like a huge pink elephant in the room. Go on, be a devil.
6. Steal someone’s heart
Now, don’t go all “Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom” on me and rip someone’s beating heart out of their chest. That would be rude. And messy. If you haven’t fallen in love yet, well, that’s a shame. I found my true love at 26 and became a walking cliché. I left everything I owned and everyone I cared for behind and moved from Britain to America to marry this girl, who is now my wonderful wife of almost 7 years. They say people who have found love live longer. They also say they have more sex, which is never a bad thing. And those feelings of longing, of missing something, well they all go away when you find the right person. I can’t think of anything more wonderful to steal than someone’s heart.
7. Steal a way out
Whether it’s a boring party or a dull meeting, you owe it to yourself not to hang around. We’re lucky if we get 80 years on this planet. About a third of that is spent sleeping, and when you factor in eating, chores, bathroom breaks and all the other stuff of life, that’s not a lot of time left to do the fun stuff. So the idea of hanging around at a party that’s about as fun as getting a root-canal just irks me no-end. Make an excuse and get away. Do something worthwhile. In fact, I’d rather go home and catch up on some sleep than spend an hour embroiled in small-talk with a guy who finds the weather just so fascinating. Hey, it’s WEATHER!
So, I know what some of you are thinking. “Hey, where’s steal home?” Well, as much as I love baseball (which isn’t very much actually…sorry) I thought that one was a little ‘on the nose’ and not actually very helpful. But I do hope these other legal steals encourage you to think a little differently and maybe make some positive changes in your life. They certainly helped me.
Written for Dumb Little Man by Paul Michael, a Sr. Writer for the budget living and life tips blog Wisebread.com.