Have you ever considered giving your most important asset away? I am not talking about money, I am speaking about your time. Your time should be spent on your top priorities and I want to convince you that if you are not already giving your time, it should become a top priority and will lead to unmatched personal growth.
I don’t know the exact number but as far as monetary donation, according to philanthropy.org the US ranks 13th in the world in giving. I am willing to bet it’s ranked even lower with respect to us actually giving time instead of money.
It’s an unfortunate fact but we are somewhat selfish with our time. Most of us don’t feel as though we have time to give. In reality you can create as much time as you like. In addition, I am willing to bet that you are wasting time on so many non-top priorities.
How much TV do you watch? How often are you on your phone or social media sites? This adds up to hours and hours or wasted time. How do these activities help you grow? THEY DON’T!
Have you considered the impact you can make on others that may be less fortunate, younger, or even those that could use your expert guidance? Yes that’s right, “expert” guidance. There is most likely something you do better than most and that something could have a huge impact on others.
I have always tried to give my time but “something” always got in the way and made excuses. I always assumed it was too hard to find something I would be passionate about and too time consuming to put my energy into it.
This all changed when I realized that I was not contributing enough to the world. I thought about what I am most passionate about and who I would want to help. I instantly was drawn to helping younger adults and helping shape their future.
Once I had the direction in mind I started opening up on a social level and asking people how they give their time and if they knew of any programs that help younger adults grow and persevere.
As it turns out, in a business meeting, I was exposed to a program called Build.org and was told they were looking for mentors. Build.org is a program that was started in San Francisco and has expanded to Boston, DC, and New York. The program is based on helping less fortunate high school students understand how to build businesses, become entrepreneurial minded, and ultimately get them excited about college and beyond.
This was the perfect opportunity for me to share my entrepreneurial skills and mindset as well as spread positivity and the desire for self-growth. It was a perfect fit for the kind of time I was looking to give.
The task at hand was difficult. It comprised of working with 9th graders at the end of the day each Thursday. They were tired, hungry, and antsy. In the beginning we couldn’t keep their attention for more than a few minutes at a time. Ultimately, over the months they began to change and began to take on traits they learned from their mentors.
After 6 months of working with them we saw huge transformations. They built businesses, learned how to harness creativity, and in addition, how to speak in public and sell themselves. When I was in 9th grade I didn’t have any of these skills. This is an incredible head start for these young adults.
Now it’s summer vacation for the students and many of them are already excited for the school year next year to take their business to the next level. I have befriended many of the students and they look up to me and ask me for advice. It was quite a fulfilling experience and I met some wonderful people.
This is only one example of using your internal passion and translating it into a time giving cause. There are so many more opportunities and there is the right organization or cause out there waiting for you.
Lastly, there is an unmatched feeling you get when you can take all of your skills and wisdom and share them with others who could benefit from those skills and wisdom. Sure there is a little bit of self serving going on but that is just reality. Keys to our inner happiness and personal growth involve many aspects and contribution is just one piece (all be it a BIG piece) of the puzzle.
If you can find more time and more fulfillment through giving your time I say do it. I say put your heart into something you are passionate about. It won’t get in the way of the important things in your life such as family, friends, social time, or even your work. It will actually accentuate all of these things in a profound way. You will have more purpose and happiness to share.