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When The “Like”Button Isn’t Enough: 6 Reasons Why Everyone Should Volunteer For A Cause

When The “Like”Button Isn’t Enough: 6 Reasons Why Everyone Should Volunteer For A Cause

Huge advancements in medicine, technology, and etc. over the past decades have ensured that most of us in developed countries live in big cities where we don’t have to worry about keeping our bellies full, sheltering ourselves from the elements, getting medical attention, receiving education and having access to all kinds of luxuries and entertainment. However this is not the case with a large number of people across the globe, people who live in poverty and don’t have access to even the basic life necessities, let alone luxuries. The sad truth is that there are a number of problems in the world that require our full attention and devotion.

There are plenty of causes, but very few people willing to actually help out

Some of the biggest problems in undeveloped countries are the following: lack of effective education and medical facilities, lack of food and water, poaching and the destruction of habitats of many endangered species, rampant prejudice towards people of different ethnicity or sexuality, homelessness, and people struggling with addiction or emotional and psychological problems. There are an estimated 150 million homeless children roaming the streets of the world left to their own devices.

Simply clicking a like button or sharing an article does nothing to help deal with these issues – we can all be aware of these problems, but unless someone actually does something about them, these problems will continue to plague humanity. Every little bit helps, and there are several good reasons why more people should get involved.

1. Your effort will make an actual difference

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GVN make a difference

    How many of us are just toiling away at our jobs, waiting for the workday to fly past, so we can go home? How many students are just sitting around clicking away on the internet feeling bored out of their mind? There is no real purpose to it and you can’t see any serious changes being made. Even when raising awareness or collecting money for a cause by distributing simple promotional items, you can see the change on people’s faces as they ask about more information on how they can help.

    You can see just how much funds you have collected, and you know that they will go towards creating homes, distributing food and medical materials or building an animal sanctuary. When you can clearly see how your actions are making a direct impact, then you are motivated to keep pushing forward – e.g. when you go out and help nurture a baby tiger so that it can be released back into the wild or when you spend a few hours teaching poverty-stricken children English.

    2. You develop strong connections and learn to work in a team

    GV teamwork

      There is a very warm feeling that comes over you when you see another person wearing a blood donor shirt, wearing a silicone bracelet from a fundraising event or a “bracelet of hope” where the funds collected from sales go towards fighting aids in Africa. The feeling of camaraderie you get when working with people on the project and the bonds you create with the local people – especially the children – are something that will stick with you for life.

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      You can keep in touch with your fellow volunteers, make some friends, and even meet the person you decide to share your life with. Another bonus is that you learn to work as part or even lead a team, work under stressful conditions and use outside-the-box thinking to find quick solutions to problems. When you engage in physically demanding activities like building, planting gardens and child care, you learn about good work ethics and can even improve your fitness.

      3. You will develop a new understanding and appreciation of nature and different cultures

      WLV develop appreciation

        We tend to become very short-sighted and even narrow-minded if we never leave our little city or our home country. Most people have never seen any animals – except dogs, cats and rats – in their natural environment or have never spent a day in the wild. There is just so much to learn about different cultures and about nature in general. Being so close to these creatures and so far from the luxuries of the modern world helps you gain a new perspective on life and opens your eyes to some of the real problems that are facing our planet.Some 85% of land in Europe has been modified, destroying natural habitats, and rainforest ecosystems have lost well over 90% of their former area due to human deforestation efforts.

        Interacting with people from all across the globe and from very different socioeconomic backgrounds also helps develop compassion and tolerance, which are essential steps towards building a true global society. You can collect a wealth of knowledge and experience nature first-hand by volunteering in an animal sanctuary and working with people in national parks to help preserve wildlife.

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        4. The experience won’t just make you “feel good”, it will make you grow

        Globalteer growth

          While some people will tell you about how great it feels to help others and how much it can do for your own mental and emotional well-being, the truth is that the experience of volunteering for a good cause changes you deep down inside. It’s not about feeling good about yourself and earning bragging rights – it’s about learning about the harsh realities of the world, but at the same time seeing the kindness inherent in humans that manages to thrive in even the worst imaginable circumstances and suffering.

          You will mature emotionally and become wiser as the rose-tinted glasses fall from your eyes. Working with impoverished street children who are often forgotten by the government, and helping them grow into healthy and productive members of society will also help you grow into a better person.

          5. You will learn a lot of new and interesting things

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          PA internship

            Aside from getting some valuable teamwork skills, you will be able to learn a whole host of new skills you didn’t even think of. It’s not unusual for volunteers to learn how to prepare ethnic meals, learn how to dance or become quite handy with household DIY projects. Of course, some of the best ways to combine something that is good with something that is useful is to hone your skills by doing your internship in a third world country. Around 22,000 children die every day because they lack basic living necessities, and there are an estimated 2.2 million annual deaths due to lack of immunization. People with a medical and healthcare background are always needed and welcome in various communities and it’s a good way to get tons of hands-on experience and learn to work in adverse conditions with limited resources.

            6. It will look great on your CV and improve your people skills

            ItoI porject skills

              After all is said and done, there is also a very practical reason why you should volunteer for a cause – it is an excellent thing to have on your CV. To company execs this says that you are a good and trustworthy person who has a strong work ethics and can work in tough conditions. The experience will also teach you important people skills, teamwork and creative problem solving which can all translate well into any other area of your professional and personal life. In other words, spending some time building homes for the poor will help you develop several very practical skills that will come in handy even in a modern business environment.

              As you can see, volunteering is not only an effort that benefits a noble cause – it also benefits the person doing the volunteering in a lot of ways. Once you have roamed with the wild predators, built homes with your own two hands, helped underprivileged children learn something and connected with other kind and generous people from around the globe, very few things will be able to extinguish your faith in humanity.

              Featured photo credit: isafmedia via flickr.com

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              Ivan Dimitrijevic

              Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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              Last Updated on August 12, 2020

              When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

              When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

              Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

              In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

              How to Listen to Your Gut

              The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

              Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

              1. Tune Into Your Body

              Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

              However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

              Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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              Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

              In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

              2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

              Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

              There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

              3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

              Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

              As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

              This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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              4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

              As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

              Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

              5. Challenge Your Assumptions

              When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

              In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

              A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

              6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

              Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

              There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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              Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

              Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

              Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

              We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

              The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

              We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

              7. Trust Yourself

              It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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              Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

              If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

              The Bottom Line

              The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

              Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

              More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

              Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
              [2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
              [3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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