There are so many lessons learned from volunteering. But when was the last time you engaged in the act of community service?
Today’s world is filled with many incredible ways that we can offer our time to volunteer projects or activities.
It can be highly beneficial for our mind, body, and spirit to offer more selfless service on a day-to-day basis.
Whether it be helping in a “homeless garden project” in the local community, rebuilding homes for victims of natural disasters, or traveling abroad to teach children how to read. There are many amazing life lessons learned from volunteering.
5 Positive Life Lessons Learned from Volunteering
1. Giving makes a world of difference.
We have all heard the quote, “the more we give, the more we will receive”.
I believe with all my heart that this statement is true.
When we shift the focus of our selves and serving others has powerful effects.
Life is all about giving, not gaining. Not only does giving make us feel happy, but it is also suitable for our health and evokes gratitude.
There is growing evidence that proves to do something good for someone else can boost your own happiness.
The more we do to make other people happy, the more we can increase our own joy by creating a “positive feedback loop”.
Another great thing about giving is that it’s contagious. When we give, the people around us feel happy and positive. They, in turn, are more likely to give to others and pass it on!
By giving, we can create infinite cycles of joy.
2. Hard work isn’t always about making money.
There is so much work to be done in this life.
Instead of thinking about monetary gain as an end result, it is a great lesson to commit to things without taking shortcuts.
Instead of seeing money as a reward, we can look at life as a “labor of love”. All good things take time.
It takes time to build our homes, teach our children, grow gardens, self-study, and our relationships with others. These are all things that take time, devotion, and hard work.
ALL these things are all worth it.
If we only work hard for financial gain, then what are we really working for?
One of my life lessons learned from volunteering it that it allows us to get in touch with a more profound spirit. We have the opportunity to work hard for things we truly believe in.
3. Community is IMPORTANT.
Most volunteer projects are for the greater good of the “community”. When we get involved and serve in these projects, we are automatically subjected to being part of the community. This allows us to meet and learn from a range of new people and create memorable experiences with others that will last a lifetime. Working with others promotes cooperation and social connection. Through work exchanges, we promote a sense of trust that strengthens our ties with others. Experiencing positive social interactions is vital for finding joy.
“Being kind and generous leads you to perceive others more positively and more charitably,” writes Sonja Lyubomirsky in her book, The How of Happiness ( www.thehowofhappiness.com ). This attitude “fosters a heightened sense of interdependence and cooperation in your social community.”
4. It is possible to follow our grandest dreams and even travel the world without being a millionaire!
There really are infinite possibilities out there if we manifest them and take action. Volunteering can be a valuable gateway to travel or a way to engage in activities that may not otherwise be financially possible for us. It can be a win-win situation, supporting communities in acts of service while also experiencing things that we have had on our bucket list for years!
There are so many great ways to get involved out there.
For example, one can experience the magic of Esalen Educational Center on the Big Sur coast of California by volunteering for a day and working in the gardens.
Meet the Esalen community, learn from the garden, and support the Esalen Farm, in exchange for a day to experience the beauty of this great land. Another way is to become part of the community at Yoga Trade (www.yogatrade.com). Yoga Trade allows members to offer and search for worldwide yoga volunteer gigs and work exchange opportunities.
Take the first step and get involved!
5. Taking action by following what we love is the key to finding life-long passion.
It is so important to do things that make us feel alive. But even more critical is to embody self-discipline to take action. Self-discipline can provide steadiness and stability. Through volunteering, we can experience both by committing to our self-discipline and by choosing to serve in areas that we feel passionate about.
When we combine commitment, action, and things that we love, it leads to creative passion and a life’s work.
Many times volunteering involves coming back to a “beginner’s mind”, learning new things, and being in the present moment.
Life lessons learned from volunteering can lead to self-improvement, confidence, and can even help in finding our soul purpose. Find your spark by serving others and take action.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
Do you have any life lessons learned from volunteering? Share your life lessons learned from volunteering in the comments below!
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About the Author
Erica Hartnick enjoys all things wild and free. She teaches nature inspired yoga and leads outdoor mindful adventures in California and Costa Rica. She is the founder of Yoga Trade www.yogatrade.com, a new and empowering online network for the yoga community that globally connects instructors, students, and organizations. Yoga Trade enables members to post and search for yoga jobs, work exchange gigs, and volunteer travel opportunities worldwide.
Website: www.yogatrade.com and www.ericahartnick.com
Email: [email protected]