Most people believe that when they reach a certain point in their lives, they will instantly feel fulfilled. The truth is that no level of achievement or material possession will ever lead to fulfilment. So what will? What is the key to true and lasting fulfilment? The answer is one word: service.
The Secret To Living Is Giving
The hedonistic paradox reveals to us that people who seek happiness and fulfilment by focusing on themselves won’t find it, but people who seek happiness and fulfilment by focusing on others will. In fact, Contribution is one of the 6 Human Needs.
We’ve all likely heard of the Chinese proverb: “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 and fulfilment is found in helping others.
When we shift our focus from what we can do for ourselves to what we can do for others, we instantly shift our internal state from a feeling of scarcity to a feeling of abundance. Furthermore, the irony is that we actually get by giving. Giving feeds our soul, makes us feel truly wealth and makes us feel more connected to the people and world around us. Why? Because life supports what supports more life.
In fact, the trait most strongly associated with long-term increases in life satisfaction is persistent commitment to pursuing altruistic goals — in other words, service.
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ― Sir Winston Churchill.
The Science Of Service
The secret to living is giving. While it’s a simple statement, it contains tremendous wisdom. There is compelling data to support the anecdotal evidence that giving is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness and fulfilment.
Through fMRI technology, scientific research has shown that altruism is hardwired in the brain. In other words, we are programmed to give — and it’s pleasurable when we do.
When you give, your brain releases dopamine and oxytocin, two intoxicating pleasure hormones associated with excitement and love. There are powerful evolutionary reasons for this. Traditionally, communities that cooperated and collaborated not only survived (lived longer), but thrived (lived better).
“Success without fulfilment is the ultimate failure.” — Tony Robbins
Harness The Gift Of Giving
One of the best ways to harness the gift of giving is through the Impression Of Increase. This concept involves leaving other people feeling better after they came in contact with you than before they came into contact with you. This doesn’t have to be a physical possession — it can simply be a genuine compliment, a smile or even a silent blessing.
No matter how busy or broke we may be, we all have something to offer others. When we focus on ways we can give, opportunities present themselves. What’s more, when we give, we also harness the power of the Law Of Giving & Receiving which states that we get what we give. Therefore, the more you give in life, the more you get.
While success is important in life, it is limited in how it can make us feel. True and lasting fulfilment doesn’t come from achievements or possessions, but rather from the contributions we make to the people and world around us.
When we approach life from a place of service, we shift from a model of scarcity to one of abundance, leading to greater happiness, health and wealth and ultimately a life more meaningful.