Things You Don’t Have Time Not To Do: 14) Help Others
There’s a popular myth in our society today that says, “I can’t meet other people’s needs until my needs are met.” First, I have to have all my financial needs, and then I’ll give from the excess. First, I need others to meet my emotional needs, and then I can be there emotionally for others. First, I need to get my stuff done, and then I’ll help others with their stuff.
It’s dead wrong.
It sounds like a paradox, but the more we focus on meeting our own needs, the less fulfilled we become. The opposite is true too: it is through giving that we receive.
Early this week Author Tim Sanders declared April 20th to be “High on Helping Day.” In the announcement he wrote:
Looking for a buzz? Volunteer. Women participating in a study by the Institute For The Advancement Of Health reported that after volunteering time to help others, they had a physical experience similar to meditation or a vigorous workout. In a compilation of fifty studies recently published by Case Western University’s Stephen Post, the exact phenom becomes clear: When we perceive that we’ve helped someone, we trigger the reward center in our brain, which produces Dopamines, Endorphins and Serotonins. These powerful chemicals give us feelings of profound joy, calmness and spiritual connection. We get as high as a kite, or gain the internal/chemical feeling of true Richness.
Helping others is one of the key elements to finding meaning and purpose in life. If you struggle with whether your life really matters or not, it’s probably because you’re not doing anything for anyone else. Volunteer to tutor a student, serve at a homeless shelter, or check in spend a half hour with an elderly neighbor once a week. You will know for sure that you matter.
I know personally it’s when I’m helping others that I feel most alive.
How about you? Can you point to a time in your life or someone else’s where helping others resulted in increased energy, meaning, and fulfillment?