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
- Start a charity
- 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:
An interview with Sarah Webb, founder of Happiness Weekly
What is Happiness Weekly?
Happiness Weekly is a blog that promotes self-awareness and personal development to not only better yourself, but also to create an impact on others around you. It’s designed to encourage proactive problem solving that respects the rights and wellbeing of others, while being mindful of how everyday dilemmas can be turned into a positive experience. Through effective communication you can still achieve what you desire, but also take into account the needs, wants and feelings of others.
When was Happiness Weekly created?
Happiness Weekly was an idea which sprouted in November 2011 and grew into a weekly commitment in 2012. When I initially started Happiness Weekly, it was actually a really difficult time for me. It felt as though the universe was closing the doors on me from all angles: my long-term boyfriend wasn’t as he’d appeared, the people in my life I thought I could count on: abandoned me. It was a very lonely time. I was forced to move back home with my parents, which included giving up my fulltime job (in hindsight this was a bad choice as I loved my job and the people I worked with at the time!). All I really had at the time was my health, and not surprisingly from the stress, that was a little hit-and-miss at the time as well. I actually began posting Happiness Weekly blogs during the eye of the storm on Friday, 25 November 2011, which is why there are long gaps between. I became more regularly committed to the concept in February 2012 and haven’t looked back! Although it was a painful thing to go through, I have not looked back. My life has now completely changed for the better. I am now passionate about enhancing the lives of others – particularly when they’re going through a hard time like mine, and sharing messages of hope and inspiration. I don’t deny that it was challenging to get where I am, but if I wasn’t proactive in the steps I took, then I may be somewhere else – and it’s knowing what steps to take and how to respond to certain situations that can seem the most daunting when you are suffering from a significant amount of personal pain – but can also be the most rewarding.
Why is it called Happiness Weekly?
Each week (generally early in the week) there is a new blog post. That means that each week my readers receive a positive message or learn something that could improve their life in a positive way, which will enhance their happiness and wellbeing. If my post each week is thought-proving enough to start a simple conversation, and raises awareness about various everyday topics and situations, and promotes effective communication, then Happiness Weekly’s goal is achieved.
What are you most passionate about in life?
My biggest passion in life is to combat bullying – in schools, workplaces and just in everyday social situations. I think it’s a highly underrated topic and so much more can be done. I would love to work for an organisation that promotes awareness and proactive solutions to bullying in a way to evict it from schools, homes, workplaces and communities. Ideally I would love to change the system enough so that every individual person bullied has someone reliable to turn to who can also help them to proactively work through their issues in a way that is assertive but doesn’t encourage the aggression to continue. It may sound idealistic, but ultimately I want to have a hand in significantly reducing bullicides across the globe. If every victim has a solution or someone to walk with them through to the solution so they are not alone, and every bully was aware of how their actions and words affect others – there’s a chance bullying could be eliminated.
There’s a lot of personal development stuff out there – what makes you different?
I love people and I talk to them! If someone writes to me or tries to communicate, I will respond as soon as I possibly can. I love inspiring people. I love sharing ideas and having other people share their ideas with me. I encourage ambition, individuality and change. I have clear values and beliefs that are the vein of every article I publish. And I’m practical – not extreme. I believe in trying new things, but don’t look at anything too extreme. I think the course section and awareness calendar information also sets Happiness Weekly apart from other blogs out there.
Where do all the ideas come from for the blogs?
A lot of my inspiration comes from my everyday life and general conversations with people. Many of my friends approach me for advice about various topics. Or I may encounter my own problems (life’s not always smooth sailing!), and that’s what I start researching that topic and ideas to positively solve it and I want to share that with my readers and strengthen their knowledge and positive actions in various areas. We can always learn something! Some of my friends, particularly my partner, will read my blog and know exactly how the idea came about – other ideas are inspired by news items, Facebook discussions, or even just overheard conversations. I’m never short on new material to work on with a great list of ideas for topics to write. I’m looking forward to 2013, as Happiness Weekly will become a lot more strategic and streamlined – and I hope to triple in my readership as I encourage more voices, ideas and sharing of my blogs.
Why do you have an events and awareness day page?
I like to think that Happiness Weekly has potential to become the number one go-to place for information on personal development courses and events. Nothing too extreme – I want anyone to be able to relate without too much explanation or thought. It’s not a religious page. I want to encourage people to come to the page to look for basic awareness days – not only in Australia but across the globe – so I have a particular focus on internationally recognised days. Some national days in America, Canada and even the United Kingdom are also celebrated on the calendar. The more recognition Happiness Weekly can give to these events, courses and awareness days, the more our world has the opportunity to grow and develop in a positive way.
What do you want to achieve with Happiness Weekly?
I work full time in marketing and public relations, but try to dedicate as much of my outside time to Happiness Weekly as possible. Sometimes things may not happen as quickly as they otherwise could (such as writing my eBook!) but they are definitely in the pipeline. There are a lot of exciting plans ahead for Happiness Weekly – so stay tuned!
Where are you based?
While my thoughts are always internationally focused, and anything I publish should cater to an audience living anywhere in the world, I am based in Sydney, Australia.
What makes you keep writing?
My passion for helping others. I’m extremely self-motivated. People say that these days in job interviews, but I generally am! Hopefully the work I do speaks for itself. Obviously the figures help, seeing my work get out there by the amount of followers, likes and readers I have is really important to me. So please, when you like a blog, share it with friends and family and pass the wisdom along. Happiness is the best gift you can give to someone.
What’s ahead for Happiness Weekly?
SO MUCH!!! I will be working with a graphic designer shortly to get a few things rolled out including a logo for Happiness Weekly and hopefully a new look and feel. I will also be working with a Sydney-based photographer to get some new photos posted up. I am introducing a few new sections including Thank You Thursdays – which encourages my readers to participate in a gratitude challenge each week. It’s a small exercise in mindfulness. I believe that when you live with gratitude, you start to notice little things and are able to find inspiration in even the simplest moments. And on Tuesdays you can receive a positive motivational quote simply by following the Facebook and Twitter pages. I’m also introducing a little blurb every time an awareness day comes up to help promote awareness for these important days. It’s going to be a busy year but I’m looking forward to it!
For pleasure has no relish unless we share it. Virginia Woolf
1. You can contact the author (Sarah) easily and you’ll get a response!
One thing Happiness Weekly has is a highly interactive comments feed. If you comment or ask for advice, you will generally receive a response from me quite quickly. Contacting me, Sarah (founder and chief blogger for Happiness Weekly) is easy:
- Find me on Twitter @HappinessWeekly or www.twitter.com/happinessweekly
- Find my page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/happinessweeklypage
- Befriend my profile on Facebook: www.facebook.com/happinessweekly (I generally befriend any legitimate person)
- Email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Comment on my blog – I’ll receive it straight away and will respond if requested.
2. It’s more interactive than any other blog: request a blog or ask for advice
Have a suggestion for a blog? Got a problem you can’t a positive solution to? Contact me through any of the above means and I will do my best to publish an article on it in the near future. It doesn’t matter how whacky or strange your suggestion is, all ideas are welcome. Maybe you’re in a sticky situation and looking for advice on how you can maintain your wellbeing and respect others in certain situations. Personal content will not be shared and all enquiries can be anonymous but I will respond to you as soon as possible.
3. It’s a great source for events and courses
Find the best self-empowering and self-motivating courses lead by inspirational teachers on the Happiness Weekly website. Most of the courses are Australian-based at the moment but I am updating this to give it a stronger global appeal as a lot of my readers are from the United States and the United Kingdom. This page is my way of thanking readers and making it easier to connect people with proactive positive activities around the world. If you have an idea for a course or would like to add something – posting is free, please email email@example.com, with the details and I’ll update the information as soon as possible.
4. Be in the know of all awareness days
Happiness Weekly includes the Internet’s most comprehensive awareness calendar! Most of these dates are celebrated internationally. In 2013 the blogs will become more strategically aligned and meaningful as Happiness Weekly continues to grow. If you know of some more awareness days and dates that aren’t on the calendar – posting is free, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with the details and I’ll update the calendar as soon as possible.
5. Regular blog posts – it’s my promise!
One thing Happiness Weekly promises is that you will receive a highly comprehensive blog on a different topic each week. To receive it in your email inbox, please make sure you subscribe to the blog on the homepage, alternatively like my page on Facebook or follow my Twitter feed for regular updates via social media. Blogs are generally posted at the start of the week, so keep an eye out every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to see the latest from Happiness Weekly!
6. Receive weekly inspiring, thought-provoking and motivational quotes
Happiness Weekly releases a positive quote to think about each week via its social media pages: Facebook and Twitter. It is not necessarily related to the blog or any particular topic, but is generally something that everyone can relate to. That’s one of the best things about Happiness Weekly – not only is everyone welcome and everyone can contribute and have their say openly, but everyone is made to feel welcome as they can relate to everything posted.
7. Learn something new
It’s likely that you will learn something new every week – and why not share this knowledge with your friends, family and colleagues! The topics that Happiness Weekly posts about are extremely thoroughly researched to receive the best tips and guidance on each. The advice is proactive and simple for everyone to try. If you think I’ve missed anything or have something to add, please leave a comment. All blog-related comments are welcome on the Happiness Weekly page!
8. Expand your friendship circle with better communication
By sharing the Happiness Weekly website with your friends, it’s not only likely that your communication will improve but you will improve the communication of your friends around you. This will inevitably provide a shift as everyone is able to express their thoughts and feelings clearly and so your friendship circle will naturally develop and grow and you will naturally encourage new people into your life. Happiness Weekly is also a great conversation starter: it contains topics and information that are worthwhile sharing with your new and old friends.
9. Encourage the continuation of Happiness Weekly
The more popular Happiness Weekly becomes, the more likely it will be to continue. While the writing-style may come across as easy to follow, a lot of time and planning goes into the blogs published by Happiness Weekly which is produced by a single person. The purpose of Happiness Weekly is not to raise revenue but to simply give back to the world in a way that promotes happiness and wellbeing – because it’s not hard to be happy, but knowing how to communicate effectively and respecting others is important. If you have enjoyed a blog by Happiness Weekly, you can show your appreciation and support by simply clicking “like” in the comments field.
10. Sharing is all about helping others
Now it’s your chance to give back to the universe and pay it forward. Tell your friends about Happiness Weekly by getting them to check out the website: www.happinessweekly.org! Share some blog posts on your Facebook pages, repost quotes on Facebook or retweet through Twitter. Spread the word to your community and encourage them to pass it on. Help Happiness Weekly grow so we can all live in a happier and healthier world that actively promotes self-awareness, encourages fair and assertive communication and enables everyone to make the best choices they can in their situation.