Five Great Ways to Achieve Happiness Through Serving Others

Here are some ways to bring happiness to yourself by serving the needs of others.


Dr. Martin Luther King: A Man With a Noble Purpose

Today is the 46th anniversary of Dr. King’s I Have A Dream Speech. Your thoughts?

“Kids With Courage:” Noble Purpose In Action

Here is another example of people who formed an organization to help children in need. This is Noble Purpose in action! Can you share a story or example of an organization you know which is serving the needs of others?

Eunice Kennedy Shriver: A Noble Purpose Legacy!

When the time comes, how will people describe your legacy? Will people use the same kind of Noble Purpose type words that they use to describe the legacy of Eunice Kennedy Shriver? Will people describe you as a “social activist,” someone who made a difference in the lives of others? The world? Will people say that you impacted the lives of others in positive, meaningful ways?

Eunice Kennedy Shriver was inspired by her sister to create the Special Olympics. Who in your life inspires you? How might you use and apply that inspiration to serve another or others?

Read Noble Paths: Stories of People Who Serve…Discover Your Noble Purpose Through Appreciative Life Refection to forge a Noble Path to your living legacy.

Listen to Albert

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve. Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

An Excerpt from Noble Paths: Stories of People Who Serve

This is an excerpt from the Introduction of Noble Paths: Stories of People Who Serve…Discover Your Noble Purpose Through Appreciative Life Reflection:

Countless stories and books have been written about world-renowned humanitarian figures such as Albert Schweitzer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Helen Keller, and the quintessential Mother Theresa.

Similarly, Noble Paths is a book about extraordinary people serving the needs of other. The “others” in this book include children who have been abused, neglected, or are medically fragile; people who are developmentally disabled; the homeless; and those who struggle with mental illness and addictions.

Unlike Mother Theresa or Martin Luther King, Jr., however, the “extraordinary people” in this book often go unrecognized. They are not world-renowned but merely part of the fabric of our daily existence, working on behalf of people in desperate need. If you look, listen and pay attention to the world around you, you will see such people doing what they do, and not for money, glory, or glamour, but for more personal reasons.

Noble Paths presents the stories of twenty-six extraordinary people I met while head of one of the largest state government human-service departments in the country, the New Jersey Department of Human Services. These are regular people who have chosen work that impacts the lives of vulnerable people each day. These people are not just helping others, but are changing the quality of those others’ lives and, in some cases, even saving them.

Why? What’s inside these people that compels them to follow the “noble path” to a meaningful and purpose-filled life? And what can we learn from these incredible individuals that will help us find meaning and purpose in our own lives? Perhaps, if we discern what makes these people tick, we can make our own lives tick a little better, making the world more pleasant and peaceful.

In this way, Noble Paths is an inquiry into the essence of serving others, asking and answering such questions as these:

  • Why do certain people act selflessly and without regard to their own well-being in order to serve others in positive, meaningful, and sometimes life changing ways?
  • Why do people who serve others choose to do so?
  • What circumstances led them to serve?
  • Where does their inspiration come from?
  • How do they feel about what they do?
  • How have their lives been changed or influenced by those they serve?

As you read, you will see that each person’s noble path is set up as a vignette, which can be used as a positive example or guidepost for your own life goals. As you read each story, use it to help you reflect on personal themes by asking yourself questions such a the following:

  • How can I be of service to others?
  • Am I being “called” to serve and, if so, how should I answer that call?
  • Do I have the commitment and passion to serve others in a  specific way and, if not, how can I develop passion for a service I am interested in?
  • Is my interest in serving others grounded in selflessness?
  • How can I use my own life experiences to connect with and serve others?
  • Do I have a deep yearning to live a life of meaning and noble purpose?
  • Do I understand that achieving this meaning and noble purpose requires that I touch someones life in a positive and life changing way?
  • How have the people and relationships in my life influenced my capacity to serve others?

Focusing on these questions as you read the stories will help you to connect with the people profiled to form your own “service to others” mentality. This mentality will lead you on a direct path to personal transformation and your own noble purpose in life.

National Autism Awareness Day

Today is National Autism Awareness Day. The links below will connect you with a Good Morning America story about the high cost (over a lifetime) of providing services to individuals with an autism spectrum disorder. The story also talks about how essential it is to diagnose and access early intervention services for young children in order to mitigate the affects of autism over the lifespan. Unfortunately, as the story goes, early diagnosis and intervention services for poor, minority and non-English speaking families are difficult to access thus exacerbating the affects of autism for their loved ones. 

The two other links are to AutismNJ and Autism Speaks. These are two organizations that advocate on behalf of families and persons with autism and point people in the right direction to gain the critical services they need.

Finally, a question: What kinds of systemic changes are needed to enable families and persons with autism to gain greater access to comprehensive, competent and compassionate services from early diagnosis through the lifespan?

And well, another question: After World/National Autism Awareness Day is over, what did you learn?

March 2018
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