“If you want to be happy, make someone else happy” How do we do that? By contributing to our families, our society, our world.
Could be something huge like Elon Musk trying to make us an interplanetary species or something lower-scale like raising outstanding children. Whatever it is, it is something that gets you out of bed in the morning; your calling; your passion; something that you’d do even if you don’t get monetary rewards for doing it.
How can we instill this message in our children? Well, instead of asking “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Try asking something along the lines of… “What positive mark do you want to leave on the world in your lifetime?” - Vishen Lakhiani “The Code of the Extraordinary Mind” For example, you may work a regular job to provide for your family, but in your spare time, you volunteer at a homeless shelter.
Practice acts of kindness and giving with them. Have them put money in a collection jar. Help them donate their gently used toys. Have them bring a neighbor or friend a home cooked meal when they are sick or going through a rough time. Have them help clean up trash at a park. Most importantly, have them see YOU doing these kinds of things as modeling desired behavior is loads better than just telling them to do them.
Studies have shown that people given money with instructions to give it to someone else or spend it on a gift for someone else were significantly happier than those who were just given the money to keep for themselves. Think about how you feel when you give someone a gift for a special occasion. Feels good, right? Their happiness rises when they receive the gift, but your happiness rises during the whole process of selecting, buying, wrapping, giving… Now imagine how much your happiness level would rise if you were doing this on a continual basis, not just for special occasions.
If you want more on this topic, I highly recommend watching this video. Especially recommend for high school kids. It is about 20 minutes long, but it helps guide you through The 3 Most Important Questions to Ask Yourself, Contribution being one of them. It is what helped guide me towards creating this blog and webpage; which is a great source of joy for me when I’m able to contribute and share my knowledge of health and wellness with others.
So what does all this have to do with health? Well, studies have also shown that happier people are generally healthier people; they eat better, exercise more and tend to put a greater importance on sleep. When you have a mission to do things in life, you tend to take better care of yourself so you're able to accomplish them.
What ways do you find to contribute to your community, big or small? What ways are you teaching your children to contribute to their world? I'd love to hear in the comments!
With love, hugs and smiles,