At the root of it all we want to feel a sense of safety and security. We want to feel a sense of belonging and that we’re connected to something greater than ourselves.
In an upcoming online symposium on Uncovering Happiness that includes people like Dan Siegel, Rick Hanson, Sharon Salzberg, Tara Brach, Jack Kornfield, Dan Harris and others, you’ll see and hear Byron Katie talk about an essential truth saying, “If you have something valuable, you must give it away.”
This can be seen as a fairly extreme statement, but if we unpack it, what’s the potential net effect?
When we give things away, we’re reminding brain that we’re not alone and that we’re connected to others. And when we give things away to those in need, we recognize that we have the power to make a positive impact on other people’s lives.
We are not islands, we are not alone and there’s a sense of purpose. Feeling a sense of purpose is an essential ingredient to our well-being.
One of the simplest happiness tips around is to make giving a part of your daily life.
It doesn’t necessarily come naturally to give since life is routine and many of us are often self-focused, so that becomes the routine. So we need to set a daily intention.
Just in case you are stuck on ways to give, here are 10 ways to give:
- Smile toward another person
- Join a group painting a mural
- Volunteer your skills at a senior center, spiritual center, or YMCA or other places.
- Double the dessert recipe and share with neighbors or maybe a local police or fire station.
- Make PB&J sandwhiches and hand them out to the homeless
- Become a big brother, big sister or volunteer at a tutoring program
- Bring special teas to your office to give co-workers a special feeling.
- Pay for the person behind you at the toll booth
- Visit VolunteerMatch.Org or CharityNavigator.Org
- Help build a house with Habitat for Humanity
Pick one of these of something else. Set any judgments aside, try it out as an experiment and see what you notice. Whatever you choose, as part of my purpose project and intention of giving things away, I created 21 Days of Purpose for free support and guidance. You are welcome to it.
Ultimately, if you make giving a part of your daily life, you’ll experience one of the simplest ways to feel more purposeful, compassionate and connected and weave in key ingredients for uncovering happiness in your life.
Elisha Goldstein, PhD
PS – Here’s a 1-minute video of me sharing my thoughts on the importance of connection. Enjoy!