Have you ever walked into a business and gotten a sense that things are not what they seem behind the scenes at that business? Front line people can be excellent indicators of the culture of the businesses we enter. Are the staff stressed out, tired, and unhappy? If they are, it won’t matter how much they smile, people entering the business will know something is not right. The same is true for our lives outside of the office.
Mother Theresa gave a lot but she recharged often and because she was giving from joy she was able to infuse joy into her giving and care. By giving from her core, through her sense of spirit, she was able to create a flow. As she filled up she was able to give more. Mother Theresa understood the importance of getting rest to rejuvenate.
When you volunteer or sacrifice something for yourself to help others, or act altruistically, where does your motivation come from?
I believe that people do a lot of things out of fear and obligation. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that giving is important as long as we are coming from the right place when we are doing it. We must give out of joy not fear and obligation. When we give out of joy the experience is better for everyone because the energy we give out of is positive. This creates a rewarding act that gives joy back. It comes from our core, our sense of self or spirit. Those that we are helping can sense that and will feel much better about receiving and accepting our gift of giving to them.
So, what does it take to keep us full and rejuvenated so that we can serve others better? There are six areas in our inner circle that need attention:
- Spirituality – Examples of this can include being in nature, connecting with someone or something greater than ourselves. If you are religious it can mean attending a worship service. We need to remember that the terms spiritual and religious are not synonymous with each other. One can be spiritual without being religious. It doesn’t matter which we consider ourselves to be, we need to engage in connections and activities that will feed our spirit, we can’t be doing these things out of obligation. Keeping a journal is a great way to get in touch with yourself. I recommend starting a Gratitude Journal.
- Physically – Be sure to get enough sleep. It is recommended that adults get eight hours of continuous sleep every night. It is even better if you go to bed at the same time every night. You should also be sure to make time for exercise and practice good nutrition.
- Emotionally – Spend time with yourself. Again, journaling can be an excellent way to do this. Find your own therapist to talk with and help you to sort out your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Make time to spend time with yourself.
- Socially – We need to have good connections in our lives. Relationships take time but we need to make them a priority. Evaluate the quality of your friends, negative or positive, and make the choice to spend more time with friends that bring positive things into your life.
- Intellectually – When we learn new things we protect our brain from regression. We need to expand our lives by continuing to learn and to grow. A great way to do this is to pursue activities like music, art, hobbies and so on.
- Financially – There is an idea that discussing or thinking too much about money is taboo. That our finances are bad for us to focus on. The reality is if we have a mission to help the poor we can’t do it if we are poor ourselves. Money is needed to support our mission. Disagreements about money are the #1 reason for divorce. Financial problems are very difficult on individuals as well. We must evaluate our finances and develop a plan. Read books, attend seminars, and ask questions if you are unsure how to manage this area of your life. There are so many unconscious emotional areas around money that we have to educate ourselves in order to be aware and take the appropriate action with our money. A few books I recommend are; Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kyosaki, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind – T. Har Becker, Rich Women – Kim Kyosaki, Think and Grow Rich – Napolean Hill.
Start making more intelligent decisions by educating yourself so that fear and anxiety do not rule your emotions.
Feed these six areas at least once a week, if not once a day. The more you do, the better of you are. By just spending a little time each day focusing on these areas you can make a huge difference in your life.