“If one lights a fire for others, it will also brighten one’s own way.” — Teaching from 13th-century Buddhist sages
At HCI we often say that to become ayou need two things: a passion for health and a desire to serve others. We talk a lot about both but today we want to focus on the idea of service.
The word “service” comes from “servus” meaning slave. But that’s an outdated notion of the meaning of service. It implies that the person who serves is in a subordinate role, lesser than, and somehow inferior to the person or people he/she serves.
Another idea of service is that of selflessly giving of oneself. One iconic figure that comes to mind is Mother Theresa. We often label someone, who gives of themselves to the point of being self-sacrificing, “A Mother Theresa” as though they are coming from a place of martyrdom as the giver with no need to receive themselves.
Nowadays, however, this reciprocal relationship of giver and receiver is much more balanced and mutually pleasurable. We now talk about being “in service,” and it has an almost spiritual tone to it like the energy behind it is coming from the Divine. One says, “I feel called to be in service.”
This modernized version of the notion of service is one of empowerment rather than subordination. One in which the person serving receives equal, if not greater, pleasure than the receiver through the act of helping another in need because the decision to be in service comes from a personal and willing desire to give—it’s a choice.
Earlier this month The Dalai Lama published an op-ed piece in The New York Times, Behind Our Anxiety, the Fear of Being Unneeded. His Holiness writes, “Being “needed” does not entail selfish pride or unhealthy attachment to the worldly esteem of others. Rather, it consists of a natural human hunger to serve our fellow men and women…”
At HCI we believe that being in service to others assatisfies our intrinsic human need to be needed, to contribute, to make a difference in the world and in the lives of others just as His Holiness describes.
gives us a genuine sense of self importance, and a deep fulfilment in that we are going beyond ourselves to enrich someone else’s life and that’s where the true satisfaction lies. We feel important and empowered when we are willingly helping others and being compensated adequately.
His Holiness The Dalai Lama goes on to say, “Virtually all the world’s major religions teach that diligent work in the service of others is our highest nature and thus lies at the center of a happy life…The more we are one with the rest of humanity, the better we feel.”
Serving others as aputs you in a loop of reciprocity where the currency that circulates between you and your client is one of gratitude, positivity, expansion, possibility and courage.
If these are the energies you’re working with every day as a, as you visibly witness your client transform before your very eyes on physical, spiritual, and emotional levels, how could this not make you deeply happy?
And the amazing thing about it is that this deep happiness with your ‘job’ satisfaction feeds itself. The happier you are serving others, the more satisfied you are with your work, which makes you happier to serve, which creates more job satisfaction. The personal reward is endless when you do meaningful work that changes someone’s life.
His Holiness goes on to say, “We need to make sure that global brotherhood and oneness with others are not just abstract ideas that we profess, but personal commitments that we mindfully put into practice. Each of us has the responsibility to make this a habit.”
So since making “good” and breaking “bad” habits is the name of the game in, let’s take heed of what His Holiness suggests and make it a habit to reach out to others in need of our gifts, our service, and in so doing fulfil our commitment to creating a healthier world.
We welcome your comments below! If you’re a, tell us how being in service to others has changed your life. What gifts have you received from those you have served? Does feed your soul?
And if you’re an aspiring or inquiring coach, share with us what your life would feel like were it to be made more meaningful by your service. And what would having more meaning do for you?
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Click here to read the Dalai Lama’s full article Behind Our Anxiety, the Fear of Being Unneeded.