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Give – Day 4 – If you light one other candle today, it is enough.

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” – Buddha

As we discussed yesterday – you literally light up the world through your simple daily service.

Each act of selfless kindness lights another candle.

And even though we often don’t see the impact of what we do, there is peace in the heart knowing we have done our best to serve and give.

There’s something sublime in that feeling.

Our conscience rests in the light, knowing for at least this moment, that we made a positive difference in someone’s life.

It’s amazing how much better it feels to just be alive when in the state of love as opposed to the state of fear.

It can be as slight as one degree of separation…but as long as we are on the love side of the line – life feels amazing – where moments before it may have felt harsh and bleak on the fear side of the line.

Keep taking action. Keep thinking, writing, and doing selfless service.

It’s so easy to get sucked back into the world’s damaging definition of a Truly Amazing Life: Grand achievements, possessions, living in luxury, and having everything we want.

Of course you and I know it’s just the opposite really – truly amazing means living in a state of love, joy, awe and gratitude…which happens to be the byproduct of selfless service.

It’s not by achieving love, possessing love, or getting love from anywhere at all…

But by giving love away!

When love is allowed to flow out from the wellspring within, that is a truly amazing life.

Don’t you want that life today?

Then pull the pump lever to your heart and get love flowing out of you freely by deliberately architecting your life as a life of service.

By now you’ve made a list of people you love and spent time brainstorming ways you can serve them.

Today let’s flip it around and think first of ways to serve – then add the people into the mix after.

Here are 10 simple ideas for serving others today that take less than 30 minutes…do any one or just use it to spark your mind’s creativity.

1. Wake up early and make lunches for your family members

2. Donate money to a charity

3. Give away some of your old stuff

4. Do some extra ‘chores’ around the house – clean the bathroom, fold some laundry, clean a neglected drawer or garage space.

5. Give a gift card to someone on the street who needs help.

6. Write a letter to your grandparents, great-aunts, or great-uncles.

7. Organize a dinner or potluck with neighbors.

8. Pay extra special attention to your child by reading, playing outside, helping with school, truly listening to them.

9. Find and commit to doing some type of volunteer work this week. Search for opportunities in your community by typing ‘volunteer in (your city name)’) in a search engine, or search a site like www.volunteermatch.org

10. Do a random act of kindness for your neighbor – stop by with a treat or some flowers just to brighten their day.

As you scan through a list of ways to serve, you will likely notice people come to mind that you could do some of those things for…if so, perfect!

Just write down their name and the thing you want to do and you’re on you’re way!

It’s great if you think of 10 different people and things to do for them, but don’t worry about doing it all today.

There’s no rush.

Remember, all it takes is writing and doing ONE thing each day to build the habit.

But of course, serve as much as you have time and desire to do! Just don’t try to run faster than your strength.

Throughout the rest of this month I’ll scatter in different service ideas – some super small, some medium in time required, and some more involved.

By the end you’ll have a list separated by different time frames so you can look at a glance to spur your ‘service creativity’ depending on how much time you have available.

Now two final thoughts for today:

1 – Selfless service can be directed toward anyone – family, friends, total strangers or just to the world in general. Just do some good without thought of reward.

2 – It’s not your job to help everyone.

It can be easy and quite natural to start getting down on ourselves as we become more aware of all the many ways we could be serving others and realize we’re doing so few of them.

Watch out for the self-criticism trap – we can’t help people from the pit of self-pummeling.

Just remember what Ronald Reagan said, “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”

You are a beautiful soul. Let your light shine.

Make Today Amazing!