(Post by COLLEEN CANNEY)
I volunteer in order to live with a higher purpose. As we move away from serving ourselves and out into the family, the community, the society and the world, we become part of the solution. We get a feeling of belonging, and of making a difference. Through volunteering, I have learned so much about myself, and have been able to take that into my professional life. (Quote from a member of the “Positive Thinkers” Group on LinkedIn.)
Two years ago I found myself feeling unfilled and I was struggling to find joy in my life. I was trying to pinpoint where this apathy was originating from. On the outside my life sure looked good. I was working at a top company, making more than enough money, and had everything I could possibly want from a materialistic perspective.
What I realized however is that my life involved only serving myself instead of serving others. Once I realized volunteering was essential to my overall well-being, I took action and signed up to become a Big Sister with a local non-profit as well as a Career Coach with another non-profit in Seattle. When I started volunteering, my spirit soared and I felt my life had purpose to it. The happiest times of my life are when I am connecting with others through volunteering.
What I have realized is that the majority of people are miserable because their lives are empty and without meaning. These individuals engage in mindless gossip because they have nothing of substance to speak about. They try to fill voids by accumulating more and more material things, which only results in a fleeting sense of superficial happiness (as well as massive credit card debt). These individuals may also abuse alcohol and drugs in order temporarily erase painful feelings that arise from living an ego-centric life.
When we serve others, our lives open up and we are no longer consumed with our selfish desires that lead to a constant state of misery. Volunteering helps us realize there is so much to be grateful for in our own lives and we realize that are “struggles” pale in comparison to those of others.
Colleen Canney, Seattle, Washington
Colleen Canney is a Career and Spiritual Leadership Coach with clients around the world. Colleen brings a well-rounded background that includes an MBA and over ten years’ experience working as a Human Resources professional in both the private and non-private sectors. For more information, visit www.colleencanney.com. She is available via phone and in-person. If you are unemployed and need some guidance and support, contact Colleen for a FREE consultation. Email at: colleencanney (at) live (dot) comTweet