Power. Control. Clarity. Confidence. We see it and envy it in others. How often do we feel it in ourselves?
Why is this important? As long as you have a diminished sense of self [‘s/he or it holds dominion over me,’] you will feel at best unfulfilled, and at worst void inside. You may not realize it, but if you contemplate and reflect deeply, you might recognize the signs. Over eating/drinking/exercising/working/spending, overdoing anything is often an attempt to fill something, something that feels ‘unfilled.’ No matter how much you do it, you still feel empty; as if something else controls you.
There is something you can do, that every human can do, to find and feel those strengths yourself; something that is completely in your control. It’s easy. It’s free. It’s 100% guaranteed to work.
Give. Give of yourself to anyone and you will find a symbiotic energy rush and calm come over you. In the moment you are helping someone else, you are outside of your own negative ego space [ego is not always negative, but it can be], your focus is on other not self, your problems diminish, endorphins release and confidence ensues. This is not theory, it is proven science. The study of Positive Psychology has brought scientific endeavor to a once-soft ideal.
In The Giving Way to Happiness , author Jenny Santi reported “The results [of the study] demonstrated that when the volunteers placed the interests of others before their own, the generosity activated a primitive part of the brain that usually lights up in response to food or sex. Donating affects two brain "reward" systems working together: the midbrain VTA, which also is stimulated by food, sex, drugs and money; as well as the subgenual area, which is stimulated when humans see babies and romantic partners.”
Multiple juried scientific journals now exist in the area of positivity and happiness, and all agree-giving of self, giving to others improves one’s own sense of self [read confidence, clarity, control] and one’s own life.
This still relevant essay excerpt in Conversations on Philanthropy [volume V, 2008] further shows that Giving Works: “[Seligman] and Haidt each cite experimental results showing measurable differences in the level and quality of happiness obtained from philanthropic actions versus activities that were considered “fun” (Seligman 2002, 9; Haidt 2006, 97-98, 173-174), lending empirical support to the Biblical adage that ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Apply: When was the last time you gave to someone else? How did that act make you feel? [insert your reply here]. Why? In addition to being good for the brain and the body, Giving is good for the soul.