Ever notice how really good you feel after doing something good for another person? When we perform a selfless act without any expectation, it can be so satisfying. Often after we make a difference in the life of another, we ask ourselves why we haven’t done it more often. Our act of selfless service might involve a kind word or lending an ear to a person who could use it. It could be holding the door open for a person we don’t know. Or even as simple as smiling to someone with whom we interact. We can help in many ways. When somebody is in need and we’re open, there comes an impulse from inside us. It’s at that instant in time, when we can choose to act upon it, or not. That moment tends to go by in a flash. Thoughts of a busy day ahead, or perhaps uncertainty, sometimes might sneak in and cloud our decision to move forward. And then it’s passed.
We can overcome our indecision
The good news is that we can overcome our indecision by having already thought about selfless service and making it something that we do on an ongoing basis. Selfless acts performed consciously with thought-out intention magnify our satisfaction. We get that feeling of being truly alive and in the moment. Our hearts beating. Of being of purpose. Of significance. Consciously helping others is easy to do. We start by thinking of the reason why we would like to be of service. For example, “I’m going to help this person pick up those books they dropped. By doing this I am affirming that there are nice people in the world and that we’re all looking out for each other.” The action then follows and this becomes our truth. At the end of the day, it’s quite refreshing and healthy to feel good about ourselves. It’s also very powerful to affect change by positively influencing the lives of those we touch. Even better, our selfless service to others has a way of attracting the same back to us. And when those acts of kindness do happen to us, we feel right at home receiving them. The reason is because this has already become our model of how the world works. Everyday in your life can be then turned into a special occasion with no regrets.
Take Hold of Every Moment
A friend of mine opened his wife’s lingerie drawer and picked up a silk paper wrapped package: “This, – he said – isn’t any ordinary package.” He unwrapped the box and stared at both the silk paper and the box. “She got this the first time we went to New York , 8 or 9 years ago. She has never put it on. Was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is it.” He got near the bed and placed the gift box next to the other clothing he was taking to the funeral house, his wife had just died. He turned to me and said: “Never save something for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion.”
I still think those words changed my life. Now I read more and clean less. I sit on the beach in salthill at times without worrying about anything. I have started to spend more time with my family, and less at work. I understood that life should be a source of experience to be lived up to, not survived through. I no longer keep anything. I use crystal glasses every day. I’ll wear new clothes to go to the supermarket, if I feel like it. I don’t save my special aftershave for special occasions, I use it whenever I want to. The words “Someday…” and “One Day…” are fading away from my dictionary. If it’s worth seeing, listening or doing, I want to see, listen or do it now. I don’t know what my friend’s wife would have done if she knew she wouldn’t be there the next morning, this nobody can tell. I think she might have called her relatives and closest friends. She might call old friends to make peace over past quarrels. I’d like to think she would go out for her favorite food. It’s these small things that I would regret not doing, if I knew my time had come. I would regret it, because I’d no longer see the friends I would meet, and the letters or e-mails…that I wanted to write “one of these days”. I would regret and feel sad, because I didn’t say to my parents, my brother and sisters, wife and daughters, not enough times at least, how much I love them. Now, I try not to delay, postpone or keep anything that could bring laughter and joy into our lives. And, on each morning, I say to myself that this could be a special day to do a selfless act for others. Each day, each hour, each minute, is special.
Thought for the week
As your thought for the week remember how special each day and each week can be if we consciously set about helping those in need and do some selfless service with our lives. Everyday of your life is and should be a special occasion. Only you can make it so.