Imagine your positive words and positive actions toward others as poker chips. Having a big stack of chips in your account can make you feel like a winner. 

Each of us has the power to give chips to others. A chip can be a compliment, a note, a favor and even a smile. Chips can help build friendships and alliances and make our world more positive. We can easily distribute chips to friends, family, colleagues and strangers. 

Chips can take many forms and are sorely needed as we re-connect with one another after the COVID quarantine. Many clients and friends have disclosed that they are filled with self-doubt. They are uncomfortable re-engaging after 18 months of isolation and fear. Many report they are overly sensitive and emotional, lack self-confidence and often feel like impostors in their jobs. The idea of reengaging with others is daunting for some. Our social skills can get rusty. Many of us have been alone in our “nest” and have been communicating with few humans in person. Our main physical contact may have been with the family pet. 

This is a perfect time for us to become Chip Masters and reach out to others who may feel insecure or depressed. It is impossible to know the true impact you can make on those around you. You may never know how much someone needed that smile, kind act or tight squeeze. One sincere compliment can raise the self-esteem of the recipient. Plus, it can make the compliment giver feel good too. 

We each have an unlimited supply of chips that we can bestow on others. Once you visualize the concept of chips, you can make chip deposits in the accounts of everyone you encounter. A well-placed chip can make someone feel cared about and significant. What if everyone felt loved and appreciated? Can you imagine a world without defensiveness, anger and hatred? Chips are a powerful tool. 

Chips that are easy to deposit:

  • Call people by name. Using someone’s name makes them feel recognized. In a restaurant, try using the name of your server. The positive impact can be immediate. 
  • Give a genuine compliment like “Your new haircut looks great!” or “It is such a pleasure to see you today” or “You always light up a room when you enter.” 
  • Add an extra dollar to your tip.
  • Smile. Mother Teresa said, “Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”
  • Apologize if you have hurt someone.
  • Do a random act of kindness. Hold the door open. Let someone else have that parking place. Give your seat to someone in need. 
  • Call a lonely person.
  • Give a positive yelp review.
  • Say a sincere “Thank you!”
  • Nominate someone for an award.
  • Listen when someone needs to talk.
  • Tip extra for “table rent” if you have overstayed at the restaurant.
  • Pay the toll for the car behind you.
  • Give a word of encouragement. “You can do this! I believe in you!”

As you become an accomplished Chip Master, here are some rules of the road: 

  1. Only give chips that are genuine. Never lavish false praise; your true feelings are bound to leak out verbally or non-verbally and people hate being manipulated. Proper chip management is neither calculating nor insincere.
  2. A good chip donation adds to the chip account of both the giver and the receiver. Some people act like giving a compliment to others is like a withdrawal directly from their 401K account. Chips do not detract from the giver. 
  3. Build a surplus chip account with everyone in your life. Your life will not only be filled with abundance and joy, but when there is a bump in the road, you will give each other the benefit of the doubt and forgive more easily. 
  4. Beware of chip deficit. From whom in your life have you taken chips and not replaced with more than you have taken? Have you not repaid a debt? Have you been unkind? Have you ignored them? People make it equal in the end. 
  5. Be intentional with your chips. My friend, Liz, begins everyday with 10 dimes in her left pocket. Whenever she gives a chip throughout the day, she transfers a dime to her right pocket. She deposits 10 chips per day into the accounts of people she encounters.
  6. A well-placed chip can make the world seem kinder and gentler. Giving chips is contagious. Don’t be surprised if the person whom you have gifted donates to someone else’s chip pile.

Chip Masters actively seek opportunities to bestow chips on others. They don’t wait for someone else to make the first move or for circumstances to change. 

Today is the perfect day to become a Chip Master. Where can you deposit a chip right now? As Clint Eastwood said, “Go ahead. Make my day!” 

Dr. Murphy of Rancho Mirage is a best-selling author, business consultant and speaker specializing in relationships, conflict, leadership, and goal-achievement. She can be reached at [email protected]. She is co-author of LifeQ and wrote about Chip Theory with Dr. Pat Heim in In The Company of Women.

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Comments (9)

  • Diana Wentworth

    I love this timely article!
    The author is a friend and the greatest “chip master” of all!
    She reached out to me in a time of deep grief and always reminds me that I matter to her.
    Planning to hand out an abundance of chips as I move through my reinvented life.

    • Marcia K McKinney

      Thank you Susan. It is a grest message. Thank you so much for remembering me. I still miss your parents. I was blessed just by knowing them. Thank you my Dear. Continuing enjoying God,s blessings

      • Lauren Del Sarto

        Thank you for your kind words and for reading Desert Health!

        Lauren Del Sarto

      • Dr. Susan Murphy

        Dear Marcia,

        Thank you for your kind words about the article and about my parents. What a terrific “chip” for you to make a comment on Desert Health News! I am grateful and send my best always.

    • Lauren Del Sarto

      Just love this, Diana! Thank you for reading – and for being you!


    • Dr. Susan Murphy

      Dear Diana,

      Thank you so much for your generous response to my article about Kindness.

      You bestow chips on others every day. Just last week, I watched as you gave your “Chicken Soup for the Soul Cookbook” to a delighted restaurateur!

      I appreciate your kind words very much. May you have great success as you reinvent yourself!

  • Diana Wentworth

    You are igniting a lava flow of chips❣️

  • Dear Susan,

    Those of us that can call you a good friend are very lucky. You are such a POSITIVE person and reading what you write has helped me see the rainbow instead of being critical of certain situations. Luckily, I was BORN a positive person, but you have helped me – through your last book, in a situations that wasn’t so POSITIVE. Hope to see you very soon………Jodie Miller

    • Dr. Susan Murphy

      Dear Jodie,
      What a meaningful message from you! Thank you. It means a great deal to me that you feel helped by my books and articles. Like you, I’m grateful for our friendship and appreciate that you took the time to send this response. Your positive approach to life is refreshing and inspiring!


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