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Helping Others is Selfish

In high school, I compiled a manual on volunteerism. In the introduction, I wrote, “Volunteering is selfless and selfish.”


The advisor, who I still recall fondly, asked me to remove the word 'selfish'. He didn’t think it seemed appropriate.


Years later, I still disagree - you gain a lot for yourself when helping others.


Perspective – Volunteering widens our view, which in turn brings new insights about the world and ourselves.


Skills – You may have new responsibilities, enter a different industry, or handle a completely different role.


Networking – Interacting with others often uncovers unexpected opportunities. You also may make new friends.


Purpose – Especially during a crisis, helping others creates meaning which offsets the malaise of uncertainty.


Fun – You can help around your interests. For example, I volunteered at performances I would have seen anyway.


Right now, it may feel there’s no time to help others when your schedule and mind are preoccupied.


A full schedule is not necessarily a fulfilling life.


In times of great pressure, consider pushing your own boundaries. Helping others is a way to help yourself, too.


Being selfish and acting selfless are not mutually exclusive. Give and grow.


#leadership#adapting#founder#startups

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