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Give – Day 8 – Planned VS. Spontaneous VS. Anonymous Service

What if we just happen upon selfless service opportunities this month that we don’t pre-mediate…does that help us build the habit?

First of all, that’s AWESOME!

Definitely keep that up – that’s the whole point of building the habit – to become a person who is always just giving selflessly by nature.

But don’t overlook the importance of thoughtful planning of selfless service.

What about those days when you don’t ‘just happen upon’ any obvious opportunities to serve?

All humans are hard-wired to serve their fellow being when they see the need – it’s just part of our DNA.

But most of us have become blind to some degree to the needs of others because of a focus on ourselves and our own needs.

So how do we start to see more clearly so we can meet the needs of others in a selfless way?

It’s really important to take the discipline to think for a few minutes and check in writing each day.

Adding this to a quick morning routine is the best way to make it happen consistently and get the habit.

There are many people we love who we forget about as we get caught up in our own busy lives.

There are also many needs in our community and world that we could be helping with if we just stopped for a few brief minutes to consider them.

And when we do, this one simple habit of committing in writing to serve others will absolutely change our lives for the better.

That’s the point of this habit of selfless service.

So, it’s fine to think back at the end of the day and reflect in writing on the service you did. But if evening is when you check in, make sure to think and plan one way to serve tomorrow at the same time.

If you get to the end of the day and haven’t done any specific service – remember, the fastest way to a habit is by daily consistency.

So do at least ONE small action each day toward lifting or blessing someone. I’ll give you some ideas in a minute.

The small act may seem insignificant, but getting the selfless service habit is highly significant.

Small pebbles of service stacked up each day will create a mountain of good in the world over time.

So, keep on spontaneously serving others!! But don’t let that be a tricky way to deprive yourself of getting the habit of premeditated, planned, selfless service each day.

The daily planning and thinking will greatly expand your ability to serve and bless.

Now, what about anonymous service?

Anonymous service is the best service because it’s never clouded by any thoughts of external reward.

Stephen Covey once said: “Perform anonymous service. Whenever we do good for others anonymously, our sense of intrinsic worth and self-respect increases. Selfless service has always been one of the most powerful methods of influence.”

I think it would be ideal if ALL our service were anonymous – that’s not possible of course – but whenever you possibly can, do service anonymously.

There’s something extra amazing about the feeling of doing good and nobody but you and your maker knowing about it.

When somebody serves us we feel grateful to them – but when service is anonymous we receive an added gift: we feel some duty to repay humanity in general – not just one person.

So give anonymously when you can – there’s a special power that comes from the humility of totally anonymous service.

And to finish, here is a list that you can use to keep up this habit today!(even if you’re already feeling overwhelmed with a ton of things crowding for your attention this week):

7 Selfless Service Ideas that take ONE MINUTE or less:

1. Smile at someone – almost everyone feels better when they see a smile

2. Sincerely compliment someone – tell someone something great about their character, appearance, accomplishment, or any diligent effort you see.

3. Express appreciation out loud to someone – it’s impossible to express too much appreciation and most people never hear enough. You will bless a life by opening your mouth in gratitude.

4. Pay for the meal of the anonymous person behind you in line – Almost no time is required here – if you know you’re going to be eating out or shopping today, you can just decide that you will anonymously give this gift to someone.

5. Praise someone at work for doing a great job – like appreciation, praise or recognition is always beneficial, and people can always use more sincere acknowledgement.

6. Give extra affection to someone you think could use it – a hug, kiss on the cheek, or short neck or back rub could make someone’s day.

7. Do a quick chore or two around the house – take out the trash, turn off the lights, sweep up the floor, or load some dishes. Dozens of things take barely any time, so there’s no excuse to not do SOME selfless service today.

Make Today Amazing!