By crownofsunbeams, eHow Member
I want to do this! What's This?
"Me, myself and I." "You are number 1." "Buy yourself this item. You know you deserve it." So many times during the day, we get bombarded from all angles with the idea it is all right to put ourselves first and forget about others. After all, if no one looks after us, who else will? While there is nothing wrong with taking care of ourselves, when we become so absorbed with our needs we don't give a thought to anyone else, when we care so much about making our dreams come true we find others a nuisance, the time has come to confront our inner being and to admit we need to make a change. A life lived only for ourselves, a life where our only priority is to please ourselves, a life spent being indifferent to the other billions of souls we share the earth with, is truly an empty life.
Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Take an inventory of yourself. Give yourself a little test: throughout your regular day, how many times are your thoughts focused on yourself, your problems, your needs, your desires, your dreams? Do thoughts of others enter your mind, thoughts of how your neighbors, friends or family members are doing, or do you only think of them when you need a favor? When you have a conversation, do you listen to others, or do you wish the person would hurry up and finish his or her sentence so you can keep the focus on yourself? Be honest. The purpose is not to feel miserable about yourself and to think you are a terrible person, but to admit there is room for improvement. It is never too late to start changing, it is never impossible to change and yes, an old dog can be taught a few new tricks.
Give yourself room to think of others. Don't shut the doors of your heart. You may not believe it, but your heart is so large it is filled to the brim with generosity. It is up to you to retrieve it. Don't shut the door to other souls. Make room for them.
Be a giver on purpose. Look for ways to be good to people. Many will not ask you for anything, but if you force yourself to look beyond the surface, you will find many ways to help someone in need. Be determined you are going to be a blessing to at least 5 people per week. You need to be on the offensive, not passively wait for people to come and ask you to be generous. Can you afford to pay for someone's dinner? If that is not possible, how about paying for someone's cup of coffee the next time you are in your favorite coffee shop? If money is tight right now, how about sparing a loving word to the sad-looking person sitting next to you on the bus? There are many opportunities to be generous in a day. Don't overlook them.
Help someone else's dreams come true. You may be tempted to think your own dreams won't come to pass if you are busy making another person's a possibility, but remember, God knows the desires of your heart. If He sees you doing all you can to be a blessing, He will cause the right people to come into your life and help you fulfill your own dreams.
Give yourself to the world. Give your talents, your time, your energy, your words of encouragement. Don't be the type of person who gives for the wrong reasons or who charges money or expects something in return for every little favor. Don't keep track of what you gave, who you gave it to, the sacrifices you made. Keep on giving, all the while knowing a life lived for others is never wasted. It is a life of purpose.