Written by Lil Williams
Have you ever had those days (or seasons) where you feel like everything’s going wrong and you’re all up in your own head and it’s like a hurricane in there? Want to know a way to actually fix it?
I realised today that I’m happiest when I’m helping people. I was feeling on top of the world this afternoon–super energetic–and it started me wondering if I’d missed my calling as a life coach. I’d just gotten off an hour long phone giving someone sales coaching/a big pep talk.
When other people are struggling it makes me excited to think that I could help them. A new world of possibilities opens up and I suddenly feel more grounded than before.
I think a lot of it boils down to a sense of purpose. People want to feel like they’re part of something that matters–something bigger than themselves–and that they can make a difference to people’s lives.
Often when you’re feeling down the very thing that will make you come alive is helping someone else achieve something. It’s a win-win.
Pulling the focus off yourself and putting energy into someone else gives you energy and is far less draining than constantly worrying about your own problems because, let’s be honest, what good does that ever do?
You may have tried everything under the sun, self-help books included, but I bet you this will work better than all of them.
If you don’t know what I mean, consider this. It’s like giving a gift. My sister is the best gift buyer I know. Every single one of her gifts is exactly on point. She thinks about that person and what they like, has been listening to them for months and weeks leading up to a certain event, like a birthday or Christmas. Then she goes out and buys exactly what they want and, because she’s been paying attention, she doesn’t need to ask them so it’s still a surprise. The focus is on the other person, and that gift says, “I love you.” In the end it’s often more rewarding than receiving one (all cliches aside).
Apart from taking your mind off your own stuff, giving to others (whether it’s time, love, gifts, whatever) leads to a sense of fulfilment in you.
My dad has been telling me this for a long time; if only I could properly grasp it. Even though some days it feels like we’re wired that way, we’re not meant to be always focussed on self. The slew of social media clamouring at our door will try to pressure us into thinking it’s natural and normal. But then why are depression statistics at an all time high? Why does your heart drop when you see families ignoring each other while consumed with a media that is so “social”?
The selfie culture is a trap and putting your energy into others, while I realise it won’t automatically solve your problem, does put things into perspective, which automatically lifts your mood. Doing so says, “I am not the most important thing in the world. My problems are a blip in the light of eternity.”
It’s something we have to be taught again and again but it’s a lesson worth relearning.