Serving others means more satisfaction, more contribution and a better life.
Learning to serve others is difficult for most of us, perhaps especially men. We are often taught to be independent, to go out and get what we want for ourselves.
But serving others seems to be a law of nature that confers huge benefits on the person doing the serving!
Consider our modern free enterprise system. The individuals and companies that serve the most people with goods and services which have the best mix of affordability, quality and delivery are the most successful. You can apply this principle to any free-enterprise organization on earth.
What do these successful companies have in common?
They are among the best at providing affordability and quality and delivering it to their customers.
Why is it that nurses and fire-fighters are the most respected occupations? Because they serve others.
It is so easy to get caught up in our busy and sometimes selfish bubble and we forget to serve others. Paradoxically this is actually much less likely to get us where we really want to be i.e. in balance, in peace, experiencing joy and fulfillment.
There are studied and verified benefits of volunteering. The US government organization Americorps found that volunteers live longer, have lower rates of depression and lower incidence of heart disease.
Research also shows that young people who are volunteers are more likely to go on to have higher paying and higher status jobs.
Tip #1 Go With Your Strengths
I volunteer with three organizations for many hours a week, but I volunteer in my areas of strength. For example, I dont volunteer to do flower arrangements. Id be terrible. Besides it is more fun to volunteer to do things you are good at.
Tip #2 Start Small
Dont wade in and volunteer 25 hours a week with an organization you know nothing about. Start with an organization you already know and start with a few hours a month.
Tip #3 Include Your Employer
Most employers are enthusiastic about employees who volunteer. They know there are benefits for everyone concerned. It is also good publicity for the employer. Most employers will allow staff to volunteer a few hours a month during work hours. Just ask!