I asked some of my amazing sisters, all of whom are incredible examples to me in this area, “What do you struggle with when it comes to Selfless Service?”
Here are some of the answers:
– “What I’m working on is to remember to ask more for inspiration. I feel like I could be a lot more aware of other’s needs. I want to spend more quiet time seeking inspiration so I am more in tune with how I can help others.”
– “I get afraid of doing it because I start projecting my thoughts on other people. I wonder what they will think, or if they are going to abuse the service and just keep expecting more. Sometimes that holds me back from doing anything.”
– “Service is really easy as long as it’s on my calendar two weeks in advance! When it’s service I can plan I’m always happy to do, and I do a lot of it. The spontaneous service is where I struggle more.”
For me personally, the biggest struggle I generally face is feeling “too busy”.
It feels like there are so many demands on my time with work and family duties that it’s hard to see how I can commit to one more thing.
Let’s discuss these challenges a bit today…the how and why of overcoming them.
First, the why. We can never spend too much time on the why.
Embedding the why deeper into our hearts is what propels us with energy from within toward all greatness.
My wife Nan is an incredibly intuitive and sensitive person.She senses the needs of others without them saying a word – without even seeing them quite often.
I am the luckiest man in the world to be married to her. She is so in tune with our family’s needs and constantly serves us. Her sensitivity is wonderful blessing to our family.
I think part of what comes with that amazing gift is also a greater sensitivity to negative emotions & energy.
She has had to deal with a lot of negative feelings, discouragement, and depressed states at different times in her life.
She said this to me recently: “Service is the absolute quickest way for me to snap out of a mood I don’t want to be in.“
She knows well what ‘depressed’ feels like, and nobody wants to feel that way – but service is one of the quickest, most effective remedies for that state.
It’s virtually impossible to feel bad within ourselves when our focus is placed entirely on the needs of others.
That’s easier said than done of course…but it is the direction we should work in nonetheless.
My younger sister confirmed a similar sentiment when I asked her:
“I think service is a great tool. If I start to feel down in any way, as soon as I can remember that there are other’s needs I can help with, I’m quickly taken out of that depressive mood.”
“It’s a great tool for others and it’s a great tool for ourselves.” – Emily Dunn
Everyone on earth feels depressed feelings sometimes.
Don’t even bother trying to kid yourself into thinking it’s just you – we are all affected by the negative and positive energies in this world.
In each person there’s a part that loves to serve and give – and another part that loves comfort, pleasure, and self-serving.
That’s just the nature of the human being.
Thankfully we have that contrast – without contrast we would never experience true joy.
However, when we are true to our ‘servant selves’ we can break into the deeply fulfilled, happy state of living – and out of the depressed, trapped, discouraged state.
Service aligns us with positive energy which results in better feelings.
Just one more reason why to serve.
Now what about the how when it comes to the challenges my sisters brought up?
Too little inspiration: Just adding the writing exercise we discussed in week one into your daily routine should resolve this.
That’s why I’m so adamant about actually writing one act of service per day.
This habit forces you to think and ponder on the people in your life…and that is what will bring you inspiration on how to help each and every day.
Too much wondering what people will think: In reality, it will become obvious if you are being taken advantage of – and it’s a lot better to err on the side of service.
People need help. Regardless of how your help is received, you know the intent in your heart.
Don’t allow fear of judgment to make you miss out on true joy. Just serve.
Too little spontaneity: This can be tough for those of us planners out there!
There’s no easy solution to this, but the daily writing exercise will also open your heart to more spontaneity.
Too little time: Reality? All we have is time.
The only question is…how will we choose to spend it?
The daily commitment to do something to serve – no matter how small, and write about it has always been the best way for me to overcome the ‘not enough time’ trap.
When we commit to a thing we nearly always make time for it.
Time certainly has its limits – and we don’t usually see how to fit more into the confines of the 24 hour day…
…Yet somehow we can always make time for the things that are truly important to us.
So today, commit to the most truly important thing you can possibly do: Selfless Service.
Make Today Amazing!