Friday, March 21, 2008

Discover Success In Life Through Volunteering

When we focus on improving our lives, our first thoughts tend to center around what we can do for ourselves. We create a vision, set goals, read books, and take classes. We take action by implementing what we have learned to fulfill our goals and make our vision a reality. These steps are important, and I perform these steps in my own life, but our attention should not be exclusively on ourselves. Rather, we should think about how we can make the world a better place, while at the same time advancing our own goals.

You know that volunteering a portion of your time is something that you should do, but are you aware that helping others can significantly enrich your own life and move you toward completing some of your goals more quickly? Have you thought about the benefits you could receive from volunteering?

Build personal and professional contacts

Your ability to do significant things during your lifetime will grow by building a significant network. The other volunteers with whom you work will have unique abilities, experiences, and networks of their own that could aid you now and in the future. Get to know them, and support them in your unique way. They may find ways to return the favor.

Develop skills

You can use volunteering as a way to enhance your skills. Volunteer opportunities are available for almost any skill you can name. If you have a goal to develop a new skill, volunteering can be one of the best ways to make that happen. Prior knowledge is not usually required. Voluntary experience is also an added bonus on your resume. Not only can it show additional skills that you have obtained, but it also demonstrates your willingness to give back to others. This is important to companies that support their communities and adopt charities.

Share your skills with others

Mentoring is a terrific way to hone your own skills while feeling good helping others. You can help someone else add a skill to his resume and b e m ore successful as a result.

Increase your personal satisfaction

Knowing that you are doing something to make a difference in the world will increase your personal satisfaction. Being needed and appreciated for contributing your time and energy to a cause will also build your self-esteem and self-confidence.

Earn academic credit

Many colleges and universities are now giving academic credit for volunteer support to charities. If you are working on a formal education, academic credit for your time is a possibility.

Make new friends

True friends can be a great source of encouragement when needed. Volunteering provides a tremendous opportunity to build friendships with other generous people. Find occasions to learn more about them. Find opportunities to encourage them; your encouragement can be as simple as a positive word or a handwritten note. Don't be surprised if the kindness is returned at a time when you need it most.

Have fun

You have fun when you work with other caring people toward a common cause!

You will get more out of your volunteer experience than you put into it. If you are looking for a life change, consider giving to others as a part of your personal growth plan. Don't wait until you are successful to volunteer your time as volunteering can help you to become successful more quickly.

Identify a worthy cause, and donate some of your time to it. You will be glad you did.

Roger Carr is a co-author of "101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life" along with Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, Denis Waitley and many other leading experts. Check out to get more information on this life-changing book.

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