No matter who we are, who we meet, or what we do, the truth is that a well-lived life is walking the path of service—a direction where kindness and helpful behavior becomes the most valuable part of our identity. No matter the struggles between our messy traits or our peculiarities, once we discover the benefits of practicing pro-social behavior, our path blossoms, become colorful and lively. Our inner-distortions becomes manageable and regulated. Equally, no matter which way our emotions whirl, they will eventually be guided by our inner compass, nurtured by generosity, pointing to empathy and helping others. No matter our distressful past experiences, no matter how difficult our situation, no matter how fragile our health might be, helping others can help us relieve stress, anxieties, and bitterness.
The next time you are resentful, you feel helpless, scared, or angry—practice altruism. Whatever the altruistic activity you choose to engage in, you will experience a state of flow, an emotional state that brings harmony to our conscious. A pleasurable experience that, at its core, embodies a goal and feedback.
Typically, this state of flow is achieved when you accomplish a rewarding and challenging task. “The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times . . . The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). Csikszentmihalyi further elaborates: “In the state of flow, we are so focused on the task at hand that everything else falls away. Action and awareness merge. Time flies. Self vanishes. Performance goes through the roof.”
There are many opportunities in life to expand our strengths and experience the concept of flow. No matter which path you take, your energy and attention in reaching a clear goal based on charitable intentions will enhance the experience that brings about this optimal state. Since the result encapsulates concrete feedback and inspiring reward. In other words, by helping others, we help ourselves since the effect of our concentration and fulfilling feedback lead us in a trance-like state. Naturally, we become a more level-headed individual. Also, helping others does not always translate into financial contributions. It is to develop a mindset that truly understands that our raison d’ être is for a higher purpose, to be of service in whatever capacity or contribute.
Featured image by Igor Morski