I was in the LUSH cosmetics store in Kingston-upon-Thames today buying a few things for a friend going through a tough time. As I reached the counter, the little girl in front of me was chattering excitedly to the cashier but was then crestfallen to discover she was 15p short. I offered to settle the 15p, and after some to-ing and fro-ing, the little girl agreed, with thanks and scampered away with her products. As the cashier rang up my items, she held up two to me and said "These two are on the house for the kindness you showed our last customer. We believe in random acts of kindness here". Not only was I personally delighted at this cycle of kindness begetting kindness, I was also impressed that LUSH empowers and encourages their team members to do this kind of thing. There was no end to the number of people who felt good in this chain of the purchase of, what are essentially, frivolous items. And most importantly of all, what impact would this have had on the happiness and engagement of the people working in that LUSH store? Their kindness to me gave them a sense of well-being that no cash incentive could ever replicate. It was her choice, at her discretion and she exercised it with such grace. Co-incidentally, I had been watching Shawn Achor's brilliant and funny TED talk earlier (The Happy Secret to Better Work) and he cites random acts of kindness as one of the habits to develop to train the brain to become more positive. Such habits release dopamine and awaken the learning centres of the brain (Lyubomirsky, 2005). If repeated for 21 consecutive days, these habits can literally rewire the brain to think more positively, enabling us to work harder, more effectively and more intelligently. And what right thinking business would not want that? Lush!