Primarily, the initial motivation is believed to be empathy and fellow feeling – to want to help people less fortunate than ourselves. Or, for environmental volunteers, the impetus is to create a better world to live in. Realising that what we are doing has a greater purpose is a real buzz. Some sort of powerful, intrinsic legal high.
I have coached a lot of intelligent and financially successful professionals over the years. However, many of them get to a point in their lives when they feel that there is something missing. They have somehow lost their sense of purpose and meaning. Sometimes they even feel disconnected from their own family. They have lost the big picture of their place in the world.
I can’t sufficiently express the true value of doing good. Beyond helping others and the world, it gives you a sense of usefulness and purpose. By helping others, you also help yourself. In other words, when you do good, you feel good. Having that warm fuzzy feeling: whether evoked by the gratitude of those you help, or from your sense of achievement, or just knowing the difference you make – is a strong motivator to do more. Feeling a sense of purpose is associated with long-term contentment.
Young people, be aware that volunteering activities also look good on your CV. If you can say that you help other people – whether by designing flyers for a community group, coaching a kids’ football team, helping at the food bank, litter-picking, cutting elderly neighbours’ lawns, walking dogs at the rescue shelter, collecting for charity, or volunteering on phone-lines – it all proves that you are engaged in doing good for society. It proves that you are interested in other things than yourself. Employers are interested in your values, in your people-focus and in the activities that give you a good work-life balance. Volunteering gives a more complete picture of you, showing your real commitment, dedication and interests.
So, I invite every young person to start doing something for the good of others. See how it feels. Enjoy.
Founder, Arthur Coaching
Arthur trains individuals to become professional Young People Coaches. Our mission is to facilitate access to quality leadership coaching for young people