I see a lot of people who feel “stuck” in life, bored, a bit unhappy with life, not feeling entirely satisfied with how things are going but unsure what if anything they can do to change that dynamic. I’m going to give you the advice I frequently give them. “Go volunteer for something that sounds fun.”
Here’s why: volunteering gives you access to a whole new set of experiences you might otherwise not have and it’s really freakin’ fun! Here are some examples of things I have actually done.
-I volunteered to drive young tennis players around in a brand-new Acura for the Acura classic tennis tournament and in exchange I got to watch as much of the tournament as I wanted for free … not cheap tickets, I can assure you.
-I worked at a wolf rescue center for a day and literally got to play with the wolves that used to be at Neverland Ranch (Michael Jackson’s old compound); they are like big hairy dogs.
-When someone at Habitat for Humanity realized I had no real skills, he handed me a sledgehammer at a remodel project and told me to “tear down that wall.” That was just about the most fun afternoon I have ever had.
-A set of fools decided to elect me to be president of a small local Sierra Club chapter at a time when my only experience as “president” of anything was overseeing supply ordering at the office where I worked. People listened to me, and I did what I said … very cool, huh.
-I painted part of the Sierra Club lodge. You may have seen my lovely paint job on TV when a camera crew filmed it being burned down in a fire a few years ago … very sad actually.
-I spent an afternoon dressed up in a gypsy costume and giving psychic readings at a Wounded Warrior Project event. That volunteer job got me a couple of paid jobs later, super fun.
-And my all-time favorite. When I was a pizza delivery driver I was asked to volunteer at Mira Costa College’s Angel Tree project where I delivered donated toys to poor families. They asked pizza drivers because they figured we would know where all the houses were without needing maps. They were right. Just a few of us delivered thirty gifts in about two hours. I was literally Santa Claus for a day; how cool is that?
So, am I telling you about all the time I spent in service to the world so you will know I am a saint? Nope. I am most certainly not. In truth, like most people I am selfish, and in these cases I most definitely got more from those experiences than I gave.
That’s what I want for you. No one would have paid me in cash to do all those things. They couldn’t afford to, so these organizations HAD to make it fun to attract people to give up a hard-earned Saturday to work for nothing. I have made lifelong friends at many of these events and had experiences I will never forget. So if you are feeling down about life, find something fun to volunteer for. You would be surprised how amazing that experience can be.