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Passionate Self Care XII – Give Back

You may be wondering why “give back” is a step in the quest for Passionate Self Care; it seems contradictory.  But you see, I am not asking you to give back as a selfless act but because it can do so much for you.

The #1 factor for happiness is service to others. In his groundbreaking book Stumbling on Happiness, Harvard Professor Dan Gilbert writes that human beings are abysmal at predicting what will make them happy or unhappy.

Undisputed, however, in all the research on happiness is that service to others is guaranteed to make one happy. When we give back our efforts are rewarded in ways we cannot even begin to imagine. Therefore, acts of service are the greatest gifts you can give to yourself.

In spite of this, most of us come to this “giving back” approach kicking and screaming because we cannot imagine that it could be that simple. Or we think we have to go out of our way to give back—volunteer at a soup kitchen or give money we don’t have to charity. While both those things would certainly qualify, I’m a big believer that charity begins at home. If each of us were to adopt “giving back” as our modus of operandi, think of what could change.

What if:

  • The many things you do for your family were regarded as gifts of service instead of chores?
  • You went about your day looking for ways to be kind to others?
  • You brought this philosophy to work and expanded customer service to include co-workers and even (gasp!) your boss?

Best-selling author Dr. Wayne Dyer points out that kindness toward someone is its own reward and has a ripple effect beyond compare. The person for whom you do a kind deed feels good. You feel good. And anyone who sees your thoughtful act feels good as well! Think of how much joy you could feel and spread in just one day through kindness

This is the twelfth installment in my series on Passionate Self Care.  Go to http://silverspeaks.com/blogs/ for related articles.

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