December 24, 2018

Below is a lesson from Time on how helping others leads to happiness, as well as our key learning.

The Blue Courage team is dedicated to continual learning and growth.  We have adopted a concept from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why team called “Learn, Share, Grow”.  We are constantly finding great articles, videos, and readings that have so much learning.  As we learn new and great things, this new knowledge should be shared for everyone to then grow from.


The Secret to Happiness is Helping Others

by JENNY SANTI

There is a Chinese saying that goes: “If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody.” For centuries, the greatest thinkers have suggested the same thing: Happiness is found in helping others.

For it is in giving that we receive — Saint Francis of Assisi

The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity — Leo Tolstoy

We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give — Winston Churchill

Making money is a happiness; making other people happy is a superhappiness — Nobel Peace Prize receipient Muhammad Yunus

Giving back is as good for you as it is for those you are helping, because giving gives you purpose. When you have a purpose-driven life, you’re a happier person — Goldie Hawn

And so we learn early: It is better to give than to receive. The venerable aphorism is drummed into our heads from our first slice of a shared birthday cake. But is there a deeper truth behind the truism?

Continue reading here.


Key Learnings:

  • Scientific research provides compelling data to support the anecdotal evidence that giving is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness. 
  • Through fMRI technology, we now know that giving activates the same parts of the brain that are stimulated by food and sex.
  • Experiments show evidence that altruism is hardwired in the brain—and it’s pleasurable. 
  • Giving can also make us feel depleted and taken advantage of.
  • Tips to help you give not until it hurts, but until it feels great:
    • Find your passion: Our passion should be the foundation for our giving. It is not how much we give, but how much love we put into giving.
    • Give your time: The gift of time is often more valuable to the receiver and more satisfying for the giver than the gift of money.
    • Give to organizations with transparent aims and results: Giving to a cause that specifies what they’re going to do with your money leads to more happiness. 
    • Find ways to integrate your interests and skills with the needs of others: It is important to be willing to give more than you receive, but still keeping your own interests in sight.
    • Be proactive, not reactive: Set aside time, think about our options, and find the best charity for our values.
    • Don’t be guilt-tripped into giving: If we are feeling guilt-tripped into giving, chances are we will not be very committed over time to the cause.
  • The key is to find the approach that fits us. When we do, then the more we give, the more we stand to gain purpose, meaning and happiness.

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