A friend of mine is going through a really rough patch. However, what he tells me, and what we have talked a great deal about is how much helping other people is what makes his day brighter. He also said that helping someone else makes him forget about what he is worrying about, and adds a sense of joy to his day.
For some, helping others comes naturally. However, too many people are so self-focused they forget about the importance of carving out time to help others. Helping others should be at the top of everyone’s agenda, and it does not have to mean monetarily helping them. Actually, donating your time or attention to someone or something is better.
The ones who are always helping other people generally do not broadcast what they are doing. In fact, most of the time, the people who are routinely assisting others do so with little to no credit. They know who they are, and realistically they are not looking for praise. No, they help others because they want to make a difference in people’s lives, and put their effort and time towards doing this.
Fortunately, there are companies who allow, and even encourage their employees to donate their time to worthy causes. This is absolutely a win/win for everyone involved. Most of the time, these activities which make a difference in others’ lives, go completely unnoticed. It’s perfectly fine that they do, as not every good deed needs to be recognized. Both the giver and receiver derive satisfaction. This can be enough.
So, are you doing your part to make a difference? I’m talking about making a difference in other people’s lives, your family, your community, your school, your country. Fill in the blank, as there are numerous ways you can make a positive difference, and impact the lives of others.
Have you considered helping others? I’m not buying your excuse about being too busy. I was listening to Elizabeth Gilbert recently at the Boston Women’s Conference. She talked about how everyone can always find time to apply it to what either they want to, or should be doing. It’s a matter of prioritizing your time.
There is a saying that “if you want to get something done, ask a busy person to help you”. Why? Because they are exceptional at prioritizing their time and getting things done. Does this sound like you, or someone you know? If not, then look harder, as there are plenty of people out there who fall into this category.
Still wondering about what you can do to make a difference? Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Start by looking for opportunities in your town or city to donate your time. This time of year, many organizations are looking for extra help.
- If you have a special talent or skill, consider how you can share this with someone who might not be able to afford or have access to learning about the talent or skill you have (e.g., writing, singing, carpentry, just about anything you are good at doing). Let others know you are interested in donating your time and talents, and before you know it, you will likely be matched up with someone who can benefit from this. You could even put a sign up in your office letting your colleagues know you are willing to volunteer your time and talent to people they know.
- Lots of pet shelters need volunteers. If you like animals, but perhaps cannot have one of your own, this is a great way to enjoy the benefits of providing care for a pet.
- Most cities have homeless shelters. They are always looking for volunteers. You can simply donate items if for some reason, you cannot carve out time to help them, but try harder.
- Boys and Girls Clubs across the country, as well as other types of similar organizations are also frequently looking for volunteers. Think back to the time when you were younger and the positive impact adults in your life had on you. This could be you having a positive impact on a young person.
- Donate your time to clean up a neighbor’s property. Perhaps one who is either elderly or needs physical assistance. You can volunteer to help them in their yard, picking up their groceries or any number of tasks they have difficulty with.
Helping other people and the amazing feeling you get from doing this is something everyone should regularly experience. If you are not doing this, commit to doing this soon, and on a regular basis. Imagine if everyone volunteered their time and talent? Wow, what an amazing world we would be living in.
Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe Too. She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer who has a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.
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