To be selfless means being concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with your own.
Do you meet that description? Would you like to?
Acting selflessly isn’t easy; it doesn’t come naturally to many people. You need to have the desire to be selfless, but if you come to the decision to make others feel good you won’t regret it. The self satisfaction that comes from trying to make the world a better place will actually make you into a happier person..
The Life Daily team has put together some basic rules you need to follow to become the selfless person you want to be.
Are you ready to take your first steps down the path of becoming selfless?
Here they are:
1. Widen your horizons
Being selfless starts with seeing beyond your personal concerns. If you’re constantly consumed by your own problems and status, you won’t have time or energy to act selflessly. Having a greater awareness of the world is the first step to becoming more selfless.
Listen when other people are talking. Yes – really listen! Don’t let your mind wander when someone is confiding in you about his or her troubles, or telling you an exciting story.
Read, watch, or listen to the news. Be aware of major world events as well what is going on around you.
2. Consider other people’s feelings
If you understand how someone else feels, you’ll be more likely to feel empathy for that person.
Try to put yourself in the other person’s situation. If you were the one experiencing the problem, how would you feel? How would you want to be treated?
3. Be selfless even if no one else knows
Selfless people don’t act with kindness and generosity because they expect to be rewarded. They do it because it’s the right thing to do, and because it feels good to help other people when you’re able to.
For example, donating something anonymously is a good way to practice being generous – without expecting anything in return.
4. Take pleasure in the happiness of others
Do you know the feeling of making someone else happy? If you take pleasure in other people’s happiness, you’ll be more likely to find extra ways to be selfless.
5. Model yourself on someone who is selfless
Putting other people’s needs before your own is often extremely difficult when you have your own needs to attend to. That’s why having selfless role models can be a great encouragement.
Think of a person whom you would describe as “selfless” – maybe a celebrity or a religious figure – anyone who acts for the benefit of others. What selfless actions has he or she taken?
What impact did the actions have? When your trying to make a selfless choice, ask yourself what would that person have done?
6. Don’t hurt someone else for the sake of it
Even something as seemingly insignificant as taking the last slice of cake and leaving none for others, defines a certain way of thinking.
Avoid the temptation to cheat, steal, or act deceitfully, even if you’re certain you won’t get caught.
7. Don’t value your time more than others
Do you get impatient when you have to wait in line? Remember that every other person in the line has a life just as valuable as yours. Their time is as precious to them as yours is to you. Keeping this in mind when impatience threatens to get the better of you.
8. Learn to forgive and forget
Try not to hold a grudge. The selfless person sees the situation from the other person’s point of view. Better to foster peace, love and forgiveness than spitefulness and hate. Forgiving someone who you feel has wronged you can be incredibly difficult, but it’s also a great demonstration of selflessness.
9. Volunteer your time
When you volunteer your time and skills, all you get in return is the rewarding sense that you’ve played a part in helping another human being. There are numerous ways to volunteer, so identify a need and determine how you can contribute.
10. Donate what you can
Donating money and goods is a selfless act that you should practice as often as possible. Check your budget and decide how much you can afford, then commit to donating that amount.
Select a few charities to which you can regularly donate a specific sum. Giving money to those who ask for change is a kind, selfless act you can do on a daily basis.
11. Be selfless in everyday ways
Give up your seat on the bus or train to the elderly and pregnant. Hold doors open for people coming in behind you. Pick up the tab when you notice the person at the next table is short on cash.
Of course, you can’t be completely selfless 100 percent the time – you can’t pay for everyone’s meals or give everyone in need the shirt off your back – but there are other meaningful things you can do.
If you follow these suggestions, you will certainly become a more selfless person than you were before.
Some people argue whether it’s actually possible to be truly selfless, since the acts of selflessness can actually bring great pleasure – which is a form of selfishness in itself.
Do you agree with that viewpoint? What do you do in your daily life to demonstrate your selflessness?
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