Positive Thursday: 4 Ways to Put Others First

4 Ways to Put Others First

As important as it is to focus on your dreams and your goals and your life, it’s equally as important to think about others. And more than just think about others — do something for others. The above image is a phrase we all have heard before, but something I was recently reminded of.

Actions speak louder than words.

It’s so true. I can say how bad I feel for the Japanese victims and how sad it is that they are going through this. That is a passive approach. It’s just like it I were to say “I really want to become a life coach.” They are empty words unless action is taken. And action means actively doing something about the words you are saying.

As with pursuing our dreams, there are so many things we can actively do to put others above ourselves. Why not take the opportunity today to put others’ needs and wants above your own? I decided to compile a list of

4 Ways to Put Others’ First:

1. Do something – donate!

I just mentioned the Japanese earthquake, so rather than just pray for them and think of them (which is great also!). Check out Prayers for Japan on Facebook for tons of resources. Another easy way to place these people above yourself is to support the Red Cross relief efforts.

Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a simple $10 donation. Here’s more info: Donate Funds to Red Cross. I could think of tons of things I could spend $10 on — a new tank top, five cups of coffee, a new agenda, a tanning package. That all seems so unimportant compared to what $10 actually means to people who need help more than anything

2. Volunteer. Take positive action within your community.

Recently, a friend and I volunteered at a community supper. Besides just cleaning and making food, we spent time with people in the local community who didn’t have a home, friends, or both. It was a simple two hours of our time that meant the world to the people we talked to. More importantly than just giving them food, we spent time with them.

We asked them questions about their lives, we shared stories about our lives, we treated them as the equals they are. These people needed food and shelter, but they also needed support and just someone to make them feel important. I learned so much from this simple step — taking time out of my busy schedule to help someone else made my to-do list seem pretty unimportant.

3. Show encouragement and thanks.

Rather than consciously think about how great your friends and role models are, why not tell them? Write them a note telling them why you appreciate their impact in your life. Know someone who is having a bad week? Write them an encouragement note.

Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in our busy schedules and our happy moments and we forget that others might not be feeling so great. You don’t have to let this ruin your happiness, but you can make a proactive step to show that you care for them, that you support them, that you are there for them!

4. Embrace “the little things”.

Has anyone ever let you cut in line at the grocery store? Has anyone ever held the door open for you when your hands were full? Sometimes putting others’ first can be as simple as saying hello to someone or showing kind gestures.

One time I arrived at my favorite coffee place to order and the cashier told me that my drink had already been paid for by the previous customer. How sweet! Consciously choose to seek out actions that put others above yourself, even strangers!

I’ve found that the more I put others above myself, the more I gain from the experience or choice. This doesn’t mean you should completely disregard your own wants and needs, but instead just choose to see both sides.

You are beyond important and what you are doing in life is so important, but everyone else is equally important.

Try out one of these four ways to put others above yourself and let me know the outcome and how it makes you feel.

Today, you have the opportunity to make a difference. Your actions and deeds you do for others say something directly about you as a person. And honestly, the blessings and joy you get from helping others are beyond rewarding.

Until next positive Thursday

XO —Andi

 

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  • Andi – thank you for the wonderful post and reminder that the act of helping others is truly enriching.

  • Jayne Speich, Financial Assistance

    Hi Andi, your post resonates strongly with a book I just read called The Anatomy of Peace. The authors say that as human beings we have a tendency to objectify anyone outside of ourselves, meaning, we don’t naturally or automatically realize that others have hopes, wishes, feelings, and ideas just as important as our own. In fact, if we’re not careful, only “I” am real to myself, and everyone else is just a bunch of stick figures acting out parts in my play. Thanks for asking us to open our eyes to the needs of others instead of focusing so intently on our own little worlds.

    Jayne

  • Greg

    The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

  • Lisa

    Awww, Andi, now you’re making ME cry!!! I’m so honored that my post inspired you, and so touched by all the suggestions you shared… And how beautifully you articulated it, that actions do speak louder than words… I love your concrete examples of ways to help others, and give back.

    Writing an encouragement note is such a beautiful one ~ and can help others more than we know. Really, there is no way to know what the ripple effects of even one small kind action will be, but as you said so beautifully, just TAKING the action is intrinsically rewarding.

    I loved this: “Today, you have the opportunity to make a difference. Your actions and deeds you do for others say something directly about you as a person. And honestly, the blessings and joy you get from helping others are beyond rewarding.”

    Amen, sister! Thanks for being such a beautiful, loving, positive and giving soul.

    Wishing you all the best with your move ~ and thanks again for such a moving post <3

    xoxo
    Lisa

  • I agree.

    I find something everyday to enjoy about my time with my son. Pretty soon, he’ll be like you — out somewhere living in the world away from me so I must enjoy these last years where he is underfoot.

    For Japan, it’s almost too overwhelming to say, and an important reminder to live our life to the fullest each day.

    Lovely post.

    Cath