You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. John Bunyan
The efficiencies of the internet are moving us towards a more insular world and it is becoming more difficult to be mindful of helping others. According to the Dalai Lama that is our sole purpose in being here on earth – to share our compassion and help others.
The Pay It Forward movement has been particularly active on Facebook this year. You may have noticed several posts that read:
“To start this year off in a caring way I’m participating in this Pay-It-Forward initiative:
I don’t usually buy into these things, but due to a recent act of generosity I have decided to get involved, this is for real.
The first five people who comment on this status with “I’m in”, will receive a surprise from me at some point in this calendar year – anything from a book, a ticket, a visit, something home grown or made, a postcard, absolutely any surprise!
There will be no warning and it will happen when the mood comes over me and I find something that I believe would suit you and make you happy.
These five people must make the same offer in their Facebook status and distribute their own joy. Simply copy this text onto your profile (don’t share) so we can form a web of connection and kindness.
Let’s do more nice and loving things for each other in 2014, without any reason other than to make each other smile and to show that we think of each other. Here’s to a more enjoyable, more friendly and love-filled year.”
So while our modern world seems to be encouraging selfishness, greed and isolation – Happiness Weekly looks at some ways that you can help others this week without having an agenda of your own. Truly helping others means there’s nothing in it for you – in fact, the person you may help may never be able to repay you and that’s the ultimate aspiration in truly helping others.
The benefits of helping others includes:
- Connecting you to someone in an otherwise very lonely world
- Enhancing someone else’s life
- Making the world a better place to live
Things you can do to help others
- Teach them something new
- Smile and be friendly
- Volunteer for a charity
- Start your own charity
- Make a donation
- Share your knowledge
- Help someone do something – e.g. cross the street, change a flat tyre, get from A to B
- Donate something you don’t use
- Comfort someone
- Buy food for a homeless person
- Listen to someone
- Do a chore for someone
- Send a nice email
- Share your favourite things (movie, song etc) – if you enjoyed it, someone else may too
- Give a loved-one a massage
- Praise someone publicly
- Be patient with someone
- Tutor a child
- Make a care package for someone
- Speak up for someone – sign a petition, write a letter etc.
- Offer to babysit
- Share what you have
- Find out what’s valuable to someone and get it for them
- Present an opportunity to someone or make them aware of it
- Give transparent feedback to better performance (without being too critical)
- Introduce people to each other, help people network
- Give someone a gift
- Do something nice for someone without expecting anything in return
- Welcome a new neighbour by baking for them
- Use your power to help people around you have a good day
- Only see good in people and treat everyone accordingly
We’re all here together and the only certainty is we have one life and we’re living it now. Help others to be the best they can be where ever you can, because if everyone surrounding you is doing the same, imagine the powerful world we would live in.
Pages that helped inspire this blog:
No one has ever become poor by giving. Anne Frank
Many people are interested in working for a charity or not for profit organisation that has a good cause – however there’s not a lot of work available in these workplaces as many people stay in their role. Why? Because not only is helping other people satisfying, and particularly if you’re passionate about the cause you are supporting, but there are great benefits!
Today, Monday, 12 August is International Youth Day recognising the positive contribution youth make and this year the theme celebrates Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward. “While migration can often offer valuable opportunities and contribute to the development of communities and society at large, it can also pose risks and lead to unacceptable situations, including discrimination and exploitation,” the United Nations says.
Many organisations have been set up to help youths in that may be in this situation or with complications as a result of migrating (such as mental health problems: anxiety and depression) including the Commonwealth Students Association (empowers and encourages students to have a coordinated voice in decision making in the Commonwealth Education Sector), St Vincent de Paul (helps people in need and combats social injustice across Australia), Headspace (Australia’s National Youth Mental Health foundation – they help young people who are going through a tough time) and BeatBullying (all about young people helping and supporting each other online). Meanwhile, World Vision’s 40-Hour Famine begins this Friday, 16 August and is also one of Australia’s biggest community awareness and youth fundraising events.
This week Happiness Weekly looks at how working for a charity or Not For Profit organisation with a great cause improves your outlook on life.
1. Like volunteering – it’s all about the purpose
There is nothing more rewarding than helping others and giving back to the community. The best thing about working for a charity is you have all the benefits of volunteering (aside from the flexibility of working whatever hours you like) and you get paid while you do it. There’s no doubt it can be hard work at times, but it’s always rewarding – add passion for the cause and you could well find yourself in your dream job!
2. It makes you more self-aware
If you’re working for a cause you’re not familiar with, it will be like becoming a doctor. You’ll learn the symptoms of the problem, hear about the debilitating consequences and complications associated with the cause and you’ll do everything in your power to avoid the problem you’re working to solve for everyone else! On a brighter note, you will be the first to know if you have even the slightest symptoms of developing the problem. While it can make some people paranoid, others just grow with self-awareness.
3. You’ll learn A LOT as you grow and develop
Not only will you grow and develop in your role as you will in any organisation (we hope!), but you will also learn a lot about: the cause, the complications, advocacy and government, the people you are helping, volunteering, education techniques, various payroll benefits… the list goes on. You name it, there is a lot to learn when you enter the world of working for a charity organisation and it’s not just about role development and climbing the corporate ladder. Day one – prepare for information overload!
4. It’s family-friendly and flexible
The general consensus looking at people who work for charity organisations is that they are family-friendly and flexible. It’s almost like working for a family business … but with more people! Everyone generally leaves on-time and there are usually part-time and flexi-time (or time in lieu) options to ensure employees maintain a healthy work/life balance. So if you’re chasing balance and want to work somewhere that appreciates you’re human not robot, working for a charity may be the best option for you! A work/life balance means more time for you and the things and people you love.
5. People appreciate you
Not just the people at work, but the people you are helping and the volunteers who can see the work you do will always appreciate you. Each day there’s generally someone in your building who will say or do something lovely that will inspire you and keep you motivated to continue working to the cause. Work becomes a great place to make friends! Why? It’s stereotypical, but the people who work in these kinds of organisations are generally very supportive, nurturing and caring.
6. You’ll be inspired
Sometimes it’s the people who haven’t got things, have less of things, or are missing something who are happier and have a more positive outlook than other people. Speaking to some of the volunteers and even employees with the illness at the charity I have been working for has been extremely inspiring, and I must say it has motivated me to work to my full potential every day.
Want to know more about what it’s like working for a charity? Read this fantastic interview by TotalJobs.com, with Fundraising Development Manager Eve Robinson from the Epilespy Society.
Online dating is just as murky and full of lemons as finding a used car in the classifieds. Once you learn the lingo, it’s easier to spot the models with high mileage and no warranty. Laurie Perry
Internet dating is becoming the most recognised way to meet your match. With so many people now heading to the internet for love, the competition is increasing and it is becoming harder to get noticed. This week Happiness Weekly looks at how to put your best foot forward and write a fantastic internet dating profile.
Benefits of internet dating
- It’s a great way to screen people before spending time with them to ensure you have enough in common
- You only talk to people for as long as you need, til you gauge interest or a connection before you can move on
- It’s safe – if someone makes you feel uncomfortable, you can easily block them or exit away from the situation
- It’s fun, great for your self-esteem (as people introduce themselves to you) and for meeting new people
- Even if you meet someone and it doesn’t work out, you may become friends
- You’re in control. You only need to share the information you choose to, there’s no pressure, you can even hide your identity until you find the right person for you
- Like the best things in life, it’s FREE (depending on what site you use) and it’s convenient – particularly if you work long hours and don’t get to go out much
- The fear of rejection is significantly reduced because it’s easy not to have expectations. Even if you talk for weeks and they vanish or find someone else, it’s ok because there are so many other options!
Selecting you profile picture
If you’re serious about meeting the right people, your internet dating profile should be approached as you would a job interview. Select a nice, clear and classy photo that represents you well for your main profile picture. Make it a current (within the past year) photo so as not to mislead anyone.
What to write
- Your first sentence should be something about you that will set you apart from everyone else. It needs to show your personality but it doesn’t have to be witty. Or start simply with some positive adjectives to describe yourself: Loyal, fun, caring, intelligent, confident, sensitive, daring, honest…
- Be honest. Don’t say you’re an expert at something if you’re not, don’t pretend to have more money than you have. Be yourself: and remember – those who mind: don’t matter, and those who matter: don’t mind
- Write passionately and creatively about your interests and hobbies. Focus on the things you LOVE in life – that will make other people sense your passion and want to be part of it!
- State clearly and honestly what you’re looking for. If it’s short-term, explain why (going overseas? Just out of a relationship, don’t want anything serious?)
- Are you educated? Have you studied? What did you study? What field do you work in? Career-wise, what are you most passionate about?
- If you do want to avoid certain people (for example players), put it back on yourself but keep it fresh, light and always finish positively: “Straight up – I’m not a one-night-stand girl. I’m selective about who I will let in my life. Initially, I am just looking for new friends, new perspective and new inspiration” or “I’m not a package deal – I have never been married, I have no lingering or jealous ex-boyfriends, no children, no haunting past… I have a cute dog?? But he doesn’t live with me.”
- List the things you love: favourite food, activities/hobbies, favourite tv shows, sports, entertainment etc.
- Go into detail about your favourite thing to do in your favourite season. For example: “My favourite thing to do is go out on a boat with friends, crank up the tunes and drink the afternoon away. Nothing beats it!”
- When saying where you live, this is where I say I live a suburb further than I am. You don’t want any crazies tracking you down!
What you are looking for
- The key to this section of your profile is knowing EXACTLY what you are looking for. Do you want a smoker or a non-smoker? A social drinker or a non-drinker?
- Be selective! It can be tempting to put “A great person” in there, but by being specific you are more inclined to encourage the right people to talk to you.
- Fill in this section with positive adjectives about the person you are looking to date: outgoing, educated, generous, funny (not at other’s expense), mature, accepting etc.
What to avoid saying on your profile
- Saying anything negative on your profile. Instead of saying what you don’t want, use the space to say what you DO want (after all – you’re marketing yourself and you want to come across as positive and happy)
- Mentioning or inferring anything negative about your past “No players”, “Control freaks need not apply”, “I come without baggage”. You can discuss this stuff when you make it to the date
- Likening your appearance to a celebrity. Embrace your individuality – the celebrity talk will make you appear conceited
- Lying in any way – if you lie then you’ll get found out in the end. It’s a horrible way to start a relationship with someone – just be honest!
- Giving too much information. Not just in your profile but when you begin talking to people. Don’t tell them your life story straight away, leave a little mystery
- Shorthand – not everyone gets what OMG LMAO ATM means. Keep it real, straight to the point and simple
- Committing to meeting everyone you talk to. It can be tempting, but remember to be selective when you meet with people. You don’t want to be too available and remember, the person you’re attracting may also have friends on there, so try to avoid saying the same thing to everyone. Keep your introductory letters unique to each individual you chat to.
In short, the best way to write a great Internet dating profile is to be positive – remember, when you meet, no one’s perfect. Good luck and I hope this helps you to find love!
House hunting is easy. It’s the catching it part that’s difficult. Susan Gale.
House hunting is something everyone has to go through at one stage or another. A good friend of mine once told me that making a rash decision and choosing a bad housemate would be the worst decision I make. I didn’t trust that advice until I made the mistake.
Generally when you’re house hunting you’re focusing on the house, the location, the bills, the features … and on top of your massive list of ideals, you get to meet a complete stranger, for five minutes, to chat about what they like to do and their favourite breakfast cereal. By the time you’ve found your common ground (most likely Coco Pops for dinner), you’re excited about the place and ready to make your decision … but before you hit the green light – follow these tips to ensure you’re connecting yourself with the right housemate for you.
Know what you want in a housemate
Make a mental list of everything you’re looking for in a housemate. This will generally include someone that respects your space and privacy, someone considerate and caring, and someone that you can talk to. You may even have a preference in the age and gender that you want to live with. Remember, this person is your living companion, not your friend. You can spend some time together, but you don’t want to overcrowd each other. When making your mental list, consider your values – smoking, drugs, drinking, social gatherings … what will you tolerate? What won’t you tolerate?
Ask lots of questions
Leave no stone unturned! This is your chance to talk about your pet-hates, your expectations (fridge space sharing, dryer usages, shoes on or off, rental adjustments, length of stay etc.). Get everything out in the open so there are no surprises later on. Find out if they have pets, if they want your name on the lease, how much bond do you need to pay, when is rent due, come to an agreement about partners staying over (so you don’t end up unexpectedly living with a couple!), ask where they work or what they’re studying – but whatever you do, go in casually, it’s not a Spanish inquisition! It’s ideal to make a list of questions so you don’t feel as though you’re put on the spot and you cover everything.
Meet your potential housemate
Ideally, try to take a friend with you to meet your potential housemate so you have a second opinion. The same friend that told me to avoid getting a bad housemate, also offered to come house hunting with me – but I chose to do it on my own. Now I always ensure someone – a good judge of character who I trust – can come with me to all my inspections. A true friend will stop you from making any rash decisions and will give you their honest opinion.
After you’ve inspected the property and met your potential housemate, give yourself time to think about it and get back to them. Avoid deciding on the spot. Weigh up your options, think things through, even search other property listings to compare.
- Casual worker or long-term unemployment
- Awkward conversation – I’m a believer if it starts awkward, it may end awkwardly
- Pay attention to how the person makes you FEEL! If you feel light, happy and vibrant after meeting them – this may be a great person. If you’re feeling low in energy and tired, perhaps this isn’t the right person
- Bitching. If they’re bitching a lot about their ex-housemate, they could be a winger. People are trying to put their best foot forward at the initial meeting, so be wary of these types
- Excessive rules. If you’re living in a share house, you need to agree on the rules. Just because they live there first, doesn’t mean it’s their way or the highway, feel free to stand your ground
- Anyone too eager. If they say they want you to sign on the dotted line straight away and move in tomorrow and won’t give any time to think, clearly they’re desperate and there will be a reason for this. Consider this before you sign anything! If you are very keen, try to find out the reason for their eagerness and see if you are comfortable with their response.
Tips to being an awesome housemate
* Be polite and considerate at all times. Remember all those tips your grandmother would give you when growing up? Best apply them now!
* Don’t use your phone loudly after 9.30pm. Be considerate! If you want to talk on the phone, go into your room and use it quietly
* Let them sleep. If you know they’re sleeping or it’s an unreasonable hour and you are awake, find a quiet activity to keep you occupied – such as reading
* Don’t touch their things without asking first. That means: don’t eat their food because it’s there and it looks good, don’t take their phone charger without permission and don’t steal their toilet paper because you’ve run out – take some responsibility! In emergency cases where you do use their things, let them know immediately after and replace it as soon as you can
* Invite them to parties or events you hold at the house. Don’t wait until they come home from work and there you are at the dinner table with five friends having a laugh. After a long day, that’s not nice to come home to!
* Make friendly conversation – don’t be a hermit, try to be social. Talk about things your passionate about, your family, friends, interests etc.
* Use your common sense: If you make a mess, clean it up. If you break something of theirs, apologise and offer to replace it. Keep common areas clean. Limit the number of people you have over and the number of nights they’re over. Don’t go through their things – whether they’re home or not.
Looking for some more information in Australia about renting or sharing? Click here!
If you don’t love yourself, nobody else will. Not only that – you won’t be good at loving anyone. Loving starts with the self. Dr. Wayne Dyer
Instead of finding someone for Valentine’s Day, why not focus on the things you love – it’s guaranteed to make you feel great! Avoid the mistake of taking the first person that comes along so you’re not alone on Valentine’s Day (which may lead you to feeling lonely, empty and unfulfilled – even when they’re in the room), by filling the void discovering the things you love. In doing this, you will meet people with similar interests and before you know it – you could have the man/woman of your dreams!
The easiest way to find out what you love (or what makes you happy) is to start a list of things that make you feel good. For example:
- Smelling perfume in a department store
- Taking my dog for a walk
- Setting and achieving goals
- Making people laugh
- Sitting in the sunshine
- Keeping a journal/blog
- Host a dinner party.
Once you have your list together, you could arrange to do some of the things you love on Valentine’s Day. It will make you feel great!
Another way to really discover yourself is to write out nine of your values on nine different sheets of paper. Then prioritise them in order and look at each one carefully. Ask yourself why you selected that value, why it’s so important to you and why you put it where you did.
You could also make a list of things that you love about being single. Think about all the things you can do with your freedom, that your now taken girlfriends can’t be doing. Write a list of all the things you love about being on your own.
The key is to keep yourself busy by trying to discover yourself and the things you love. Trust me – before you know it, it’ll be 15 February!