Many of us love to help others. We go out of our way even for strangers; if someone needs something, and we can provide it, then we do. But the downside is that we can completely drain ourselves doing this. We can live our lives for others. This may seem very charitable but it’s not. If you don’t keep your own health and happiness in mind then you’re doing a disservice to others and to yourself. If you ‘dry’ yourself up for others, then how can you keep providing help and assistance? You can only truly help other people when your own tank is full. It’s not about just Doing, it’s about showing other people tricks and tools for how to live a great and fulfilling life. Giving your all to others can create resentment, not the outcome you want. Helping should make you feel Good! Once it stops feeling good stop and question why.
[If you want a visual: You are a car. Looking after yourself is the gas station that fills up your tank. When you help others you give them gas from your tank. If you keep just helping and helping then you will eventually run out of gas. With no gas left, not even for yourself, you need to get back to the gas station for a refill. But you gave away all of your gas so you can’t even get back to the gas station. This is when you have health and emotional problems, which will Persist until you figure out How to get back to the gas station.]
I finally decided to make service to others (volunteering) a part of my life last year. But I also decided to do many other things and ended up putting way too much on my plate. It all fell apart. I’ve taken some time off from the regular demands of life – catching up on sleep, only working as much as I have to, only volunteering for 1 organization instead of 2+. I feel guilty about this at times but after spending 9 years at college/university I had to spend some time figuring out what I wanted to do with my life; none of my past programs showed me that.
Passion and interest have to match up with skills and abilities. I took engineering but was never the top of any of my classes so I had to pay attention to that. I’ve always been passionate about space exploration but since my skill doesn’t match my passion that’s not a good direction for me. (Aerospace engineering is math heavy and that’s my worst subject) Thanks to that insanely busy semester (I tried tackling 2 diplomas – my 3rd year in Mechanical and my 2nd in Robotics, was working, volunteering, training for future volunteering, and started a school club) I noticed I quite enjoyed, and was good at, my club activities and endeavours. I at first thought perhaps Event Management was in my future. Upon careful consideration (the next semester I withdrew and started to just enjoy life and relax) I realized it’s the helping of people that I’m both Good at and Greatly enjoy. But to figure that out I had to leave the rat race for a bit and just spend a good amount of time pondering my life. (And yes, 3 years of engineering is a rat race. Every spare moment is supposed to be spent doing homework, studying and working on assignments. You want a life? You can have one when you graduate ;-) )
So thanks to this time of being selfish I have, for the first time ever, realistic goals for my future career. Life Coach. Holistic Practitioner. And Strategic Interventionist (Life Coaching the Tony Robbins and Cloe Madanes way. It is Amazing what that man can do! I want to be able to positively affect people’s lives like that :) ) And perhaps be a motivational writer and speaker. And of course continuing and sharing my spiritual growth journey :)
That is still a lot, I’ll have to figure out what I’m best at in those fields or how they can be meshed together. But thanks to my time of self-reflection and being ‘selfish’ (by North American standards) I have started to figure out how I can best be of service to others and myself.