In Life Coaching

volunteer

Today’s Thought: The Secret to Happiness is Serving Others

Who benefits more from volunteering?*

a. The person receiving the services

b. The volunteer

*Hint: It’s NOT a.

Turns out being altruistic leads to a big boost in happiness.

The wisdom about the benefits of being altruistic have been passed down to us from generation to generation. Nearly every wisdom and religious tradition has some version of the golden rule:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Given the basic knowledge why do only 1 in 4 people actually volunteer?**

Common answers:

– I don’t know where to volunteer.
– I don’t have time.
– I don’t care enough.
– I don’t want to.
– I don’t think I can make a difference.
– It’s hard.

What I do know for sure: driving back from Parkrose High School, when I work with those students for a few hours each week, I feel so alive and full of hope for the future.

It’s a priceless feeling bought with only two hours a week.

What’s stopping you?

* Source: http://www.pbs.org/thisemotionallife/topic/altruism/altruism-happiness and Sonja Lyumbomirsky http://thehowofhappiness.com/

** Source: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/volun.nr0.htm

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Showing 3 comments
  • Natalie Baker
    Reply

    I feel as though I face these problems quite often. And when it really comes down to it for me, I just never seem to have the time for it.

  • Kyle Abraham
    Reply

    Only 1 in 4 people volunteer? No way!

    I’ve volunteered ever since I was a kid because of my parents. I feel that when I put my day towards helping others there is no better way I could have spent my time. I love being involved in youth programs where I can have an impact on a child’s life. I know that if I am working to help someone else I am in turn bettering myself.

    I don’t know if I would agree that the volunteer is always benefiting the most though. Although I do feel quite proud with myself, I think that helping to give a child the ability to read or some important skills could be the most critical part of the experience.

    I don’t want to portray myself as a narcissist or anything but I have played a large role in some children’s lives, some of which I don’t even know. I don’t know if it would be fair to compare my happiness to that impact.

  • Ryan
    Reply

    I admit, I feel I would fall under the not enough time category. Which I also know is totally bogus and frankly a limiting belief. Being of service to others is one of my greatest passions. When I first read the post, I thought to my self about the system or process you would have to follow to volunteer. The first step, identify a volunteer opportunity you would be interested in. The second, establish a time in your schedule you would be able to show up. The third and maybe the most important, make a commitment. So I asked myself, “whats stopping you from implementing this system, at least once?”

    My answer, taking the time to sit down with my wife and taking action to this simple system.

    My well designed action: the first weekend of May, take 1 hour and sit down with my wife and work this system.

    I’ll let you know how it goes! I am very optimistic

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