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11 Facts About Volunteering That Will Surely Impress You

11 Facts About Volunteering That Will Surely Impress You

When it comes to benefits of volunteering, a lot of people think that’s it’s all about the warm and fuzzy feeling you feel after helping someone. As it turns out, that’s far from the only benefit. What a lot of people don’t realize is that it is not just about soup kitchens, the peace corps and doctors against borders. Charity work requires a wide variety of people, doing a wide variety of things for everything to work. Because of this you can volunteer as almost anything, which means there are some surprising benefits to be had. For example, volunteering….

1. Teaches You New Skills

From helping making websites, to teaching immigrant kids your native language, to arranging events for charity. Volunteering can really be almost anything. That means that when you get involved in charity work, a lot of the time you will face challenges just as you would in a new job. And through overcoming these you learn and start to master completely new skills,

2. Helps You Stay Active

Sometimes when you need to do something the most, is when you feel the least like doing anything. This is where volunteering can help out. It’s a lot more difficult to blow off volunteering than a casual appointment with a friend. So when you feel like shit, and you don’t really want to, but really need to stay active, volunteering is your friend.

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3. Fills Empty Spaces On Your Resumé

If your job search seems to be taking longer than you had expected, you might want to consider volunteering. It’s a way to prove that you’ve not just been sitting on your ass the whole time but you’ve been actively taking steps that can help you better your situation.

4. Can Lead To Work

I’ve seen people go into volunteering with no expectations, and further down the road, ending up working for a non-profit as a coordinator. Of course this line of work is not for everyone, but thankfully actually volunteering will give you a good idea of whether or not it’s a viable career path for you.

5. Can Be Therapeutic

Depending on what you choose to do, volunteer work can have a tremendous therapeutic effect. There are many options that can be tremendously giving. One of my close personal friends has completely transformed after she started working with disabled kids.  Volunteering helps you look outside yourself and your problems, allowing you to see the world and other people from a whole different perspective, which in turn can make you grateful for what you already have and see your own personal value.

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6. Can Help Improve Social Skills

If you’re the kind of person that has a hard time putting yourself in social situations, volunteering can help. Of course it’s far from an instant fix, but it can be a useful tool in your battle. A permanent excuse to talk to people and try to get along.

7. Can Be Relevant Work Experience

Everyone and their third cousins are overwhelmed by finding a decent job these days. Something that seems to stop many, is that experience often seems to be a prerequisite to get a job. With some professions, volunteering can actually help you get the experience you need to get your foot in the door. There’s many a budding journalist that got his or her start volunteering for a college or university paper, and that’s not at all the only profession this applies to.

8. Can Teach You What Truly Matters

It’s a great way to find new perspectives on life. When you’ve been at it for a while, you just might find yourself re-evaluating your priorities, or even deciding on a completely new path to take in life. One of my friends went from wanting to be a lawyer, to discovering a true passion for teaching.

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9. Helps You Make New Friends

Maybe not so surprising, but what might surprise you, is how genuine these friends are. Some of my long term friends are people I’ve met through volunteering.

10. Helps You Expand Your Network

One of the great things with volunteering, is that you meet a very wide variety of people. Instead of looking at it in a negative light of meeting people you don’t have a lot in common with, think of it as expanding your network. You’re getting to know people involved in many different walks in life that you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. I’m not the kind of guy that makes friends purely for connections, but sometimes it’s very convenient to have a broad network.

11. Helps You Grow

Summed up in one line: Volunteering helps you grow. Not only as a person, but as we’ve covered, it can help you develop your skill set as well. The only real downside is how hard it is to leave when circumstances make it difficult for you to continue.

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So if you’ve ever considered volunteering, what are you waiting for?

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Ragnar Miljeteig

Ragnar is a passionate writer who blogs about personal development at Lifehack.

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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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