Helping others is a key to happiness
Much work has been done by researchers such as Stephen Post and Dr. Elizabeth W. Dunn to verify the idea that giving things away and helping others has a significant positive effect on our happiness. It would seem that psychologically, helping others is built into us.
Who would have thought, in this society of competition where we feel we have to fight just to stay on top, that being nice to people would be good for us? Of course there is no need to reject our competitive spirit or our drive to be the best we can. Competition and cooperation don’t need to be mutually exclusive. What if we competed at helping others?
What a world that would be…
Helping others builds trust
Certainly at first, many will look on you with suspicion when you offer them something without expecting anything in return. However, it is this expectation that makes this behavior appreciated if you just keep at it, building up trust.
When people realize that you really don’t have an ulterior motive for helping them, they will be extremely grateful. You will be seen as someone helpful. Your reputation will increase, as will the trust that people put on you. Respect that trust and never demand or expect anything in return for your altruism.
By being genuinely interested in helping others, you will find that relationships build naturally. Nurture these relationships.
Helping others comes back to you
Doing things for others with the motive of getting something in return is no way to be. You should never do it for this reason, it will undermine all the other benefits of helping others – reducing trust, and even having a detrimental effect on your happiness if you don’t get back what you perceive to be ‘equal value’. Helping others should always be its own reward, but it just so happens that it brings more.
Your altruistic acts will almost always have the unforeseen side effect of bringing benefits to you. People will be inclined to help you. Doors will open for you. It will seem like magic, as you refocus on what benefits you can bring to other people and society.
By putting others first, every aspect of your life can take on new meaning.
Helping others builds your networks
According to prolific forward thinking thought-architect Venessa Miemis, the future is networks. Our networks empower us. They connect us with with resources. These resources give us security, freedom, and more possibilities.
The most significant benefit of networks is synergy. Melding our minds with those who have similar goals and aspirations enable us to integrate powerful solutions that we may not otherwise have uncovered. We can inspire each other, motivate each other, assist each other, provoke each other’s imaginations. Synergy obtained from networks allow these networks to become far more than the sum of our parts, because each individual is inspired and empowered.
The Power of Networks
This is a very important time in our evolution. Many have said that the internet will play a major part in a transition of power from authority to individuals and small groups. Nobody had really clarified how this would happen – but we now know – this power comes from networks.
Helping others improves society
The “Pay it forward” mentality is growing in popularity as more people realize we have transcended scarcity and no longer need to compete for survival. With a growing number of people inclined to help others without asking anything in return, our attitude changes to be more accommodating, more giving, and more willing to help. This in turn changes the atmosphere around us.
Could this be our first step towards a more cooperative future?