Sunday August 25, 2013
n Part One on the subject of serving others, I stated about service that – in addition to its intrinsic value – serving also serves as therapy for much of what ails us. Extraordinary people take the time to serve others, and the rewards are amazing!
I also shared this quote from my book and, of course, take every opportunity I can to encourage you to read it!
“Human beings are complicated, yet from our experience of working with hundreds of thousands of people, we’ve learned that most or even all of the average person’s neuroses and hang-ups disappear when they start giving and serving others.”
The “Extraordinary Minute” offering on service generated more response than any other in our history. I thought you’d enjoy and find personal value in seeing some more slightly edited reprints of a few of those responses:
A new friend from a speaking engagement to Human Resource executives, George Groseclose, should expand the following to an article or even a book:
“When we become stressed from our relations with the outside world we tend to withdraw from those stressors and retreat in to ourselves. The problem with this is that the more you avoid the outside world and the perceived stressors the more your focus is directed inward. Usually this inward focus is of the ‘woe is me’ variety and not the ‘how can I improve me’ kind. In this retreat the walls permit nothing to come in and nothing to go out. This limits your reference and perspective which increases the neurosis or stress.
Pushing through this wall is similar to taking flight. Remember your perspective at the airport as the plane sits on the runway - your sight is limited by the tree line at the edge of the airport; your senses confined to the limits of the cabin. As you speed down the runway and liftoff your small world inside the airplane seems to dissolve as your attention is focused on the unfolding world below you. All reference to the ‘inside’ disappears and all focus becomes ‘outside’ and on the expanding horizon.
This outside focus is what diverts our attention from the ‘woe is me’ myopic view we sometimes fall in to. Pushing past the "me" perspective to the ‘us’, ‘we’ or ‘them’ perspective removes the mirror from in front of our face and changes it to a window. Rising up to peek out the window is the first step in the journey to a new horizon and ultimately to a new ‘you’.”
And finally – and perhaps most emotionally gripping for me because it came from a family member...
“I am a firm believer in this! I tell anyone I know that if they feel like they are down about how their life is going or angry at the world because things are not going their way, they need to work with people that are not nearly as fortunate as they are.
When I began working with a local therapeutic horseback riding program in my area, I suddenly realized just how lucky I was. It helped to dispel old anger and self-pity and gave me a new lease on life. I realized that some do not have the simple opportunities such as being able to walk, speak, hear or see, like I could, and that most of us waste many opportunities because we are so busy bemoaning our lives.
We also have a group home right behind our riding program, and the children there are ‘wards of the court’. I did not have the best childhood, we were very poor and Mom was an alcoholic with many problems of her own, but we had each other. I have a new appreciation for what she was going through and how lucky I am to have my family, as quirky and irritating as they can be.
I cherish the time I get to spend with the kids I work with in the program. Knowing how much the program helps them physically and mentally really makes my spirit soar.
I wish that real community service was required for all. Dealing with the less fortunate of humanity is the best therapy anyone could ask and I think there would be a lot more love, understanding and compassion in the world.”
WOW! I couldn’t say it any better!
"The purpose of life is not to win. The purpose of life is to grow and to share.
When you come to look back on all that you've done in life, you will get more satisfaction from the pleasure you have brought into other people's lives than you will from the times that you outdid them and defeated them."
Rabbi Harold Kushner
Extraordinary Living Action Steps –
Be Selfish: Give, Give, Give and then give some more
The action step here is repeated for the third time in my writings... because I just can’t communicate it any better:
“I want to be able to say this in way that penetrates deep into your being: Everything I’ve learned about this complicated existence called ‘being human’ and amplified by the experience of working with my adopted children Levi and Emily and with hundreds of thousands of people, tells me that most or even all of the average person’s neuroses and hang-ups disappear when they start giving and serving others.
It’s that simple. If you’re feeling ‘down’ or ineffective or confused or all those conditions where you’re being in a less-resourceful state … just find a way to give, to contribute to others. Doing that will transform your experience of life from ordinary to extraordinary more than any other single choice I know.”