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7 Simple Ways to Start Doing Social Good Today

7 Simple Ways to Start Doing Social Good Today

At any given point, the world is facing crises that seem overwhelming. Today, we face political upheaval, war, famine, economic hardship, hatred, and environmental issues. If I wanted to focus on the negatives, I could continue that list for pages and pages. It’s certainly easy to get frustrated and think that nothing can possibly be done to make things any better.

The world becomes a better place when ordinary people commit to doing social good every day. If you aren’t sure where to begin, keep reading. Here are 7 things that you can begin doing today to make a positive impact on the world.

Here are 7 things that you can begin doing today to make a positive impact on the world.

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1. Be Alert And Mindful

One thing that I am very guilty of is walking around in my own world. If I’m not staring at my phone, I am often immersed in a book. The problem with this is that it causes me to miss opportunities to do small acts of kindness or charity.

I’ve committed to changing that a bit. I’m working hard to pay attention to the world around me. By doing this, I’m finding ways to do little things such as giving up my seat on the train for a man who looked simply exhausted, or helping a woman to corral her dog. These aren’t life changing things, but there’s always a piece of litter that can be picked up, a person who needs a door held open, or someone who just needs a kind word.

2. Change How And Where You Spend Your Money

Money isn’t the most important thing in the world. However, when it comes to doing positive things, it sure has a lot of power. In fact, the simple purchasing decisions that you make on a daily basis can really make a difference. For example, most people buy tickets to concerts and sporting events several times each year. Imagine the good that could be done if everybody decided to use Good Deed Seats to purchase those tickets.

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Next, take some time to think about where you go shopping in your community. Are you spending your money at big box stores? They are often more convenient and less expensive, but consider the benefit to your community if you started shopping in locally owned stores.

3. Show Kindness When Interacting With Disagreeable People

You’re trying to make a return and the customer service clerk is being rude. You’ve waited twenty minutes just to get a cup of coffee, and the server brings you regular instead of black. Somebody cuts in front of you at the store. When these things happen, it’s tempting to snap at people, to match wits, or to complain about them.

Before you do that, stop. It’s impossible to know whether or not somebody is incompetent or intentionally rude, or if they are having a really bad day. Try hard to give people the benefit of the doubt. Doing so never hurts you, and it could mean a lot to a hurting stranger.

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4. Volunteer Today!

Since college, I’ve always spent a few days over the Christmas holidays volunteering at a homeless shelter. That’s not a humblebrag. In fact, lots of people do the same thing. In fact, that’s where the problem lies. Us human beings are great at being generous in the face of the holiday season, or when tragedy strikes. The question is, where are we the rest of the time?

There are people and organizations in your community that can use  your help today. Don’t wait for Christmas. Call a food bank in your area and ask if you can come in to help today. Walk into an animal shelter and ask if they need help cleaning cages. There are immediate needs all around you.

5. Do The Charitable Things That You Have Been Putting Off

As I write this, I am acutely aware of a box of clothing that I haven’t worn in months. It’s sitting in  my storage closet waiting for me to drop it off at the local women’s shelter.  I am guessing that I am not alone in this.

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If you’ve been intending to donate food, goods, or money to a charity, do it today. Don’t put it off any longer. If you keep meaning to start a compost pile, or to finally begin recycling, there’s no better time to start than today.

6. Change The Way You Consume

Everybody likes stuff. Unfortunately, consumerism truly does have a negative impact on the world around us. It leads to economic problems in third world countries, environmental troubles, causes debt, and clutters our lives. Here are a few changes you can make.

  • Buy more ingredients and less pre-packaged food.
  • Spend money on experiences.
  • Get items fixed instead of replacing them.
  • Donate things or repurpose them instead of throwing them away.
  • Purchase items with the least amount of packaging.
  • Buy things from companies that practice fair trade and have environmentally friendly policies.

7. Reach Out to a Lonely Neighbor or Family Member

Do you have a neighbor who lives alone, and rarely gets visitors? What about a family member who rarely sees their children? Pick up the phone. Invite them to lunch. Bring them lunch if they cannot or will not go out. Drop off a book that you think they might like. Watch television with them. Your presence could make a huge difference in the quality of their life.

Everybody has the potential to make the world a better place. Start doing social good today. It’s truly what the world needs right now.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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