Most people want to live happy, productive lives. One way to create a life worth living is to share your joy and passion with others, through service.
Studies have shown that giving back contributes to better health. Volunteering your time, talent and treasure to a cause that touches your heart builds purpose and synergy in your life, and provides a reason for getting up each morning.
We are hardwired to serve others, and there are many ways to get involved. But how do you authentically sync your talent and dreams with your service choices? Aligning your purpose with your humanitarian efforts will help you feel powerful and successful.
If you’ve been wondering how to realize the ideal fit so you can feel more fulfilled in your community work, think about building a heartfelt ministry that spawns a positive and everlasting pulse in the world.
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.— Rabindranath Tagore
As you ponder how you want to be of service, the following four ideas may help you gain clarity on ways to pair your charities with your abilities.
Know that through your service choices, you have an opportunity to impact people’s lives. Sometimes people don’t believe they can make a difference. I want you to know that you are powerful beyond words, and you have a skill set from which others can benefit.
Are you retired or approaching retirement? What skills did you cultivate over the years? Were you a homemaker? Did you raise a family or care for others? What gifts did you develop and bring to the table? What lessons did you learn that you can now impart to others?
If you’re having difficulty honoring your natural talents, I encourage you to make a list of your strengths. Begin with jobs, responsibilities and hobbies you enjoy, and those positions for which you received praise.
Spend some quiet time reflecting on how you felt while completing particular tasks or while you were actively involved in these roles. What skills flow easily for you? Are you still inspired by the memories of certain accomplishments? Focusing your attention here will provide the mindset needed to move forward.
Over the years, I’ve worked with many women who don’t consider themselves gifted. But once we begin reviewing their life experiences, challenges they’ve overcome and various positions they’ve held, inside and outside the home, they start to open up to their genius and design a new life.
Your friends and relatives may be actively involved in their favorite community projects and have asked you to participate. You want to help, but before you say “yes,” consider your goals and priorities. Will getting involved in their projects support your higher calling? Meditate on the “why.” Will this opportunity support your vision for a better world?
It’s wise to educate yourself on what’s already out there. However, if you don’t find what you’re looking for, consider starting something of your own. Organize a new group that will benefit women. Or launch a seasonal project in your town that addresses a particular need.
This charge may seem overwhelming at first but allow your creative juices to marinate. Then tell others what you’re up to by posting on social media and interacting with their comments. You may attract a supportive group of followers and kindle some enthusiasm around your idea.
True service means more than volunteering through an organization – it also affects how you live your daily life. For example, if you’re already leading a life of service through your career, decide that you will continue to live your life in service every time you step outside your home.
No matter how you’re feeling on a particular day, greet strangers with a smile and intentionally project a joyful demeanor. Inspire others wherever you go. Can you imagine the positive impressions you will make on a given day? And just think how your actions will elevate you spiritually and support your way of being.
Grow your talents by committing to lifelong learning. Self-development is critical to feeding your purpose and promoting your dream. Take classes or pursue an advanced certificate in your area of interest. Also, participating in a variety of community activities is a great way to demonstrate your skills, while exploring your niche.
Further, accepting a part-time position can help you grow your gift and position you for exciting opportunities that will further fuel your passions. These suggestions encourage you to take calculated risks, until you discover what’s yours to keep and nurture. Clarity in your purpose speeds clarity in your service.
You have two hands: One to help yourself, the second to help others.— Audrey Hepburn
How do you want to continue to show up in the world? You are responsible for illuminating your own light. Add meaning and purpose to your life through your service ministry. Whatever you chose, know that your good deeds, kindness and generosity are causing a ripple effect.
Spiritually, I believe we’re here to live, love, learn, grow and be a blessing to others. When you link your gifts and talents with your service and purpose, you will reap immeasurable rewards. And your legacy will leave an indelible imprint on the hearts of others.
What type of community service activities are you involved in? How do they support your life purpose? Is there a way to align your purpose and passions with your volunteer work so you can experience more balance and joy in your life?