Doing good for others should be come an integral part of your life’s repertoire! Along with finding positivity in everything, no matter how bad it seems; speaking words of life into your life; making the time to meditate and focus on your dreams; making plans to fulfill your dreams and taking positive decisive actions to attain the life you desire, reaching into someone else’s life and giving them hope or donating funds and time, is more than just a suggestion. It is a mandatory life skill that every person who desires success should master!
Whether it’s becoming a mentor to share your knowledge, volunteering at your local church or charity, donating items or money to an organization, directly helping those you know in need or simply taking the time to pray for someone else, the benefits of giving far outweigh any negatives that might pop into your mind.
All too often, we come up with a myriad of excuses that keep us focused on ourselves and not on others:
1. I just don’t have the time. Yes. You do have the time! If you can’t go and volunteer at the local soup kitchen, offer to go into your child’s classroom and give a presentation on what you do for a living or a pep talk on what it takes to be successful. School’s are happy when parent’s take an interest in them and the kids who attend. Chances are, you have to be there at some point, so multi-task! You can to do the same with youth and teen groups at your local church.
2. I don’t have any experience. If you are still alive you have experience in something and someone, somewhere is waiting to hear your knowledge and expertise. Women who stay home and are full time mothers and housekeepers have plenty to share! How you juggle your tasks, stay on top of your day and manage to raise healthy, successful kids is something every mother wants to know. And even if your children aren’t perfect angels, how you negotiated the difficult times is important too!
3. I don’t have the financial resources. You don’t need money. Take a trip through your home and I bet you can find tons of perfectly usable items that you no longer use. I’m a pack rat. It’s hard for me to get rid of anything. But once a month, I donate clothing, shoes and household items to a nearby battered women’s shelter. These are women and children who have fled from their homes with little more than the clothing on their backs. Even my son’s gently used toys are a welcome sight for a child who’s lost everything except fear.
4. I can’t commit to anything right now. If you are committed to your success than you must be committed to the success of others. It’s just how this thing shakes out. For every moment you give, you will get it back seven-fold and the feeling you will get when you know that what you do is actually helping a REAL person in need, is one that cannot be matched.
Doing good for someone else helps you too! If you are in the midst of a challenging and difficult time, doing one small thing to help someone else will refocus your mind. One of the hardest things to do when we are in the midst of a storm, is to focus our thoughts outward. When we focus too much on the problems that surround us, it’s sometimes hard to see the solutions. It’s that “Too-many-trees-to-see-the-forest” Syndrome! But, when you refocus on others, it gives your brain a break and you’d be amazed at the solutions a relaxed mind can think of when given the chance.
Helping someone with their problems helps to put your problems into perspective. No matter what is going on with you, trust me, someone else is experiencing the same or worse. And although, no one wants to take away the seriousness of what you are dealing with, perspective is a mind altering thing. If you find yourself anxious about money, go volunteer at a homeless shelter and see what having nothing looks like. If you think your kids are simply terrible, take your them with you for a day of volunteering at a runaway shelter for teens. I guarantee you that talking with kids who’ve come close to ruining their lives will be an enlightening experience for them when they see the effects of rebellion in living color!
Volunteering to help someone who is experiencing something that you went through in the past, or even are going through right now, is just another way of defeating your own demons and helping you move forward. Being able to give your past a voice and guide others, or walk with them, through treacherous waters puts you in a position of strength. Whatever was or is holding you down eases up it’s grip on your life when you use your experiences through someone else’s life.
Mentoring or coaching someone in your field or industry is a sublime way of passing your knowledge and helping another move up the ladder in business and in life. I find that when I am coaching someone else, my mind comes up with the best ideas not only for them but for me as well! Your words can actually be a turning point in their lives and their is nothing like having someone tell you that YOU are the reason why they are where they’re at today!
So, what’s in it for you, you ask? Helping others is just another way of helping yourself. You’ll look good to bosses and clients by showing them that you actually have useful knowledge that can and should be passed on. You will feel better about yourself because helping others simply feels good. And you will impress your peers, neighbors, friends and family; all totally selfish reasons but that is okay for now.
Eventually, you will learn to love helping others and self-interest will pass away. The great feelings that you get from doing good will make you feel good and soon you will be doing good simply because it is the right thing to do. So, just get started! Use any reason you need to move you in that direction — just do it today! Someone out there really needs YOU!