How Do You Do It?
Random acts of kindness are easy to do and can be quite a quick pick-me-up when we get too tied up in our own miseries. Compliment someone’s shirt, or pay a cup of coffee forward for the next person in line. How you do it does not matter — it is the intention that counts.
Often, giving doesn’t have to cost us a thing. When I speak with a pleasant customer service agent on the phone, I make a point of asking for their manager.
I praise their good work and how I’ll remain a loyal customer because of their service-oriented demeanor. This just improved your day and the two people you connected with, all on a routine call.
Volunteering Is Essential
One of the greatest and most proven avenues to finding a sense of purpose is through volunteering. Consider what you are able to do, be it from home or someplace close by, a few hours a week.
Become a pen pal to a soldier overseas, read to children at a hospital, train to become a responder on a crisis hotline, or volunteer at your local MS chapter.
Volunteering can sometimes seem to be a bit much to handle with our busy lives. Regardless, give it a try — even if it is something simple you do for a friend or immediate family.
There is no doubt that volunteering in ay capacity is uplifting and purposeful. Once you clear your mind and spirit of clutter, you may be surprised how easy it is to find the room for something that tugs at your heartstrings.
The virtue of giving time to those less fortunate or to worthy causes is a selfless act. It does absolute wonders for our sense of purpose and overall wellbeing.
No Matter What
Dismal outlook aside, there is one thing we all have. We have our ‘now’ in all its messy glory. The trick is to find ways to feel good about yourself every single day, no matter what.
There have been times in conversation when people ask me how I can have such a great attitude with ‘all I go through’ with MS. I have a simple answer to this: I choose to have a great attitude.
I think about the ways that I am a good person and I focus on bringing a little lightness and a smile to those around me, no matter what.
Catch Yourself — Change Your Focus
Sometimes I have to fake it ‘til I make it, before I can well up any kind of joy in my heart.
Certainly too, there are always going to be times where feeling down or simply being miserable fits the moment. The idea is to create a fulfilling enough life to not to get sucked into a vortex you cannot get out of.
Finding purpose will help you to rise up and out when you get stuck in a depressed place.
When I feel down or my mind spins into the depths of MS despair, I go back to my MS journal and breathing. Sometimes even in spite of myself, I work on checking my attitude and I change my focus, thinking of things that feel good to me.
I recognize that I am able to choose how I react and how I feel, I can decide to remain miserable or I can choose to push through and step up and out.
Back on the Bus
Some days I laugh to myself as I sit on the bus overlooking the people in cars all around. I realize my life is different now, and from that, I have the opportunity to use my time on the road in any way I choose.
My focus is on what I have now, in lieu of what I don’t have. This is my time and I — and only I — decide how to feel about it.
So, I choose to focus on either listening to my beloved lectures, disappearing into a meditation or I take on a random act of kindness.
I engage with others on the bus. As we sit amongst one another, we learn about each other’s lives, pass the time lifting each other up or just quietly support each other with knowing grins. No matter what I choose for my ride, I am a full passenger now.
My keys to living a good, purposeful life have changed — both figuratively and literally. In both cases, I am right where I want to be.