“I wondered why somebody didn’t do something. Then I realized, I am somebody.”
— Author Unknown
To many people, giving time is simply volunteering. You do it because it’s the “right thing to do.” Or, you do it because you were asked.
Yet, giving time is much more fundamental to our well-being than just volunteering or doing good things. It’s a foundation on which we can build a better life for ourselves while we build better neighborhoods and communities. It’s a safe and solid way to become more integrated into our communities, to build networks and friendships, and learn to act with intention. It’s a foundation to build meaningful purpose into our lives.
Plus, it’s free.
Giving times works in these important ways:
- Perception. Giving time changes our perception of time so we become more open to new opportunities. That gives us more time. Read this study to see how some Ivy League professors put that to the test.
- Intent. The more intent you have to help someone in our community, the more giving time will come back to you. Serving ourselves is limiting. Serving others is empowering.
- Connection. Isolation is one of the under-reported scourges of humanity. When we’re connected within our communities, we’re happier and more productive. Giving time helps connect you with like-minded people.
- Immediacy. Helping others doesn’t have to wait until you can quit your job, take a life-changing trip, or wait until you’re retired. It can start now by helping someone in your family in a small way – do the dishes, pick up after them, give them a ride, be extra kind.
- Happiness. Being open to doing more, having the intent to help others, being connected, and doing it now gives more than just a sense of satisfaction. It makes a real difference in every aspect of our lives.
If you start giving your time with intention, everyday, you’ll find that you will start to make a real difference in your life. Slowly at first, but it will change. People will start to treat you differently because you treat them differently. You’ll start to ask “how” can I do this, rather than “why.” You’ll start to see opportunities rather than problems.
Eventually, you will lay your head down on your pillow some night and you’ll realize that “Yes, I made a difference.”
We *do* have time to make a difference.
Start by giving time today.