If you have achieved a high level of accomplishment in your career and personal life, you may have found that you’ve become a victim of your own success— by realizing that things which used to motivate you no longer do. If this situation speaks to you, then giving back may be the answer.
Something more may be needed to bring meaning back into your own life; and there’s no better way than to shift your focus to the needs of others. The perfect starting point is often a place of gratitude for all the good things you have been able to manifest and enjoy in your own life, or even simply gratitude for life itself.
When gratitude joins passion as your principal motivators and sources of fulfillment, there is a shift in the paradigm. Your passions are still guiding you, but now its towards truly caring about something beyond you—whatever or whoever that may be. Goodness can morph into greatness and there is no limit to the potential of where it can all lead.
What motivates you in life is the internal reward provided by your contribution and service towards a purpose bigger than yourself. Happiness is a simple paradox: by focusing on your own needs, you rarely achieve it in a lasting way; but by helping someone else, happiness and fulfillment usually comes back to you effortlessly.
There are so many ways and places to give: individuals, groups, organizations, or even to nations. Close family members, neighbors or friends, animals or the environment can be your focus as well as people whom you never have —or never will — meet, the entire world, or any segment of it.
In Stage Climbing, The Shortest Path to Your Highest Potential, I explain that all the direction you need to find your true focus ultimately resides within you. And it will surface when you go inward and self-reflect, whether by simply listening to your intuition, through meditation, journaling, long silent walks, or your association with a spiritual guide, a role model or mentor.
When — with no strings attached — you are simply helping someone who can’t reciprocate, for example, you are then committed to something larger than yourself. Your contribution — whether it be donating blood, writing a check to a charity, or answering phones at a telethon — all put you in that zone, whether it’s time or money that you can easily afford, to your life itself, or anything in between.
But remember, it’s not the size of your mission that is important, only the intent that it be driven by your own true desire to give back. And when you do that, you’ll truly notice that life has become much more fulfilling.