Help others while you help yourself

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What is success? It’s a broad question, yet a common cultural definition is rather simple: money and status. For many, if you are financially well off, you must be successful. To take it a step further, if you have success, the general thinking is you must also be happy.

In a world that is growing more and more tired, it seems that this definition of success simply doesn’t work. People with money, status, and success are not necessarily more happy than others. Instead, many admit they are too busy, too exhausted, and find themselves empty–uncertain of what they were even striving for. To fill the void, it’s easy at the end of a long workday to simply purchase happiness. Though not inherently harmful, purchasing a movie or going out to dinner is easier than taking the time to enjoy  a home cooked meal or going for a run. Day in and day out, repeat over and over, the cycle seems to never end.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum some simply strive to find a meal or a temporary place to stay, “success” is unattainable when the struggle is for mere survival.

Where do you find yourself? Whether you’re positioned in a successful job or are homeless and unemployed, there’s something all have in common–simply trying to make it through another day.

Research shows that when you help others, you’re helping yourself.

Science has shown that your brain chemistry changes as you help others. This means that while you are spreading hope and happiness, you’re actually creating it in your own brain.

What if success was measured by the number of meals you served at a local meal program? Or the number of smiles you shared while walking to work? What if success was dependent on interacting with people and caring for your community? What if success was simply “things that make life fun”–as one supporter shared

The process of getting involved in your community doesn’t have to be complex. It might be cleaning out your closet to donate any extras you have or sharing a meal with your neighbor once a month. It might feel like work at first, but as you let your shoulders relax and stop your eyes from looking at the clock, you’ll grow to enjoy the process of giving to others.

Start with something to help the community–your health and happiness depend on it.

Originally posted on RochesterSA.org.

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We are Haley and James Earley, a family of two established on October 11, 2014 in our hometown of Rochester, MN and now living in St. Paul, MN. We are dog-lovers, coffee addicts, tree-huggers, balance-seekers, community-livers, and new foster parents. We live in a house of three adults, three dogs, and our sweet foster kiddos. We desire to slow down in this fast-paced world in order to pursue intentional community as we seek after the heart of God. We're just one couple trying to figure out this whole living life thing.

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