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:
Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow, Anthony J. D’Angelo
The saying goes ‘you learn something every day’, and if you’re open to it – you actually do! From learning you are able to grow and develop and ultimately it will affect your life and wellbeing in many positive ways. Learning new things opens us to change. It assists us in making informed decisions, encourages curiosity, exposes us to new ideas, and keeps us engaged. Learning can also bring us a sense of accomplishment, boosting self-esteem and confidence as we can demonstrate and speak about what we now know. But the question is: how can you be open to learning every day?
There is no one set thing that everyone can do to learn something every day. The key is being open to learning. When you talk to people, be genuinely interested in the response to your questions. Having respect for the person who is teaching you something new is critical. Listen to the experts or talk to someone you trust in the field, otherwise you will find it more difficult to take on board.
Share your knowledge and skills with friends and family, and encourage them to share with you. Join a club, start a course, ask for opinions and encourage the sharing of ideas – all of these things will help us to grow as much as receiving formal training and qualifications.
How to be open to learn something every day
- Prepare to learn something every day. Think to yourself “If someone asks me what I learned today, what will I say?” Actively seek to understand things you don’t already know about
- Use the Internet to research about something you’ve wanted to know. Why the sky is blue, how aeroplanes stay up, the background of your favourite movie or play, how Helen Keller made it to become so famous etc.
- Read a dictionary or encyclopaedia. It won’t be long before you find yourself reading about something you didn’t already know
- Talk to people. It could be anyone! An expert, a teacher, a friend – even a complete stranger will have a story and the ability to teach you something new
- Keep yourself open to learning something new. Pay attention. Listen actively and attentively. Be present in all situations. Keep yourself inspired and encourage child-like curiosity
- Watch educational television. It’s time to get Foxtel and start watching the History Channel or National Geographic etc. If you’re in Australia, SBS and the ABC also have some highly educational programs. Even talk shows such as Oprah and the Tyra Banks Show have something they can teach you. Even YouTube will have plenty of educational clips for you
- Start reading newspapers, magazines, blogs, novels, autobiographies, billboards, Wikipedia, facts, figures, statistics… anything you can find!
- Look to the internet. There’s this fantastic blog by Marc (from Marc and Angel) about Top 40 useful sites to learn new skills – take a look, you never know!
- Ask questions. There’s no such thing as a silly question – even if it’s how you spell a name like “Smith” – there are many ways to spell names! So ask before you question yourself about asking the question and stop yourself from learning and growing
How to learn something quickly
- Associate it with something (this is also why history tends to repeat itself in bad relationship)
- Use a visualisation technique. Get a vivid mental image of what you’re learning, see it in as much detail in your mind as you can
- Rhyme it with something or make a song about it
- Make index or flash cards about it
- Listen to it. Ask a friend to read it to you or read it into a Dictaphone and play it back to yourself when you’re relaxed. Use inflections in your voice as they do on the radio to keep it interesting
- Research and read about it until you completely understand it. Once you understand how something works, it will be easy to remember it
- Ensure your teacher is someone you respect. It’s a lot easier to listen to a teacher you have respect for than someone you think doesn’t really know what they’re talking about
- Write it down – you could even keep a notebook of all the things you learn each day, it will bring you satisfaction when you look back on it to reflect and you’ll never forget your lessons!
- Nicole Willson, James Quirk and Flickety wrote a very comprehensive WikiHow about “How to Memorize” including various techniques for all learning styles. It is well worth the read!
What have you learned recently and how did you learn it?