Monthly Archives: May 2011

The Pamela Positive: The Positives of Serving Others

As I’ve found in my own experience, volunteering can be such a positive and valued experience for both the people helping, and the people who need the help. I’d love to share just some of the Positives I’ve observed for volunteers.

1- Be A Part of Something Greater. Often new volunteers find that the “product” — serving homeless people, helping microentrepreneurs, tutoring young mothers on their GEDs, is so meaningful that it’s hard to return to the corporate world. They feel a part of something greater, because it is so definitively clear how they are helping. We all want to feel we are caring for and helping others, and are part of a movement larger than ourselves.

2- Keep Your Skills Current. Use your current skills and ‘exercise’ them just as you would any muscle. Are you an attorney, administrative assistant, construction worker, public relations expert, manager? Put those needed skills to use, and expand them as you continue your work. Since you are not under the guise of a strict corporate manager, you will have more freedom to expand them in creative ways.

3- Attain New Skills and a Second Career. Once you have invested some time at the organization, ask to work in different areas or work on different business units. Express your desire to grow and adopt news skills. Try different areas in order to understand how the entire organization works. Learn for yourself, and learn to become valuable to the organization. You may find a new career!

4- Work on a Hobby. Do you love writing on the side? Perhaps you offer to write or contribute to their newsletter. Are you a hidden tech geek? Revamp their website. Is blogging your passion? Help them set up a blog and create a stronger brand presence. Explode a latent desire of your own to help others!

The Pamela Positive: Should Our Work Make Us Happy?

I find that so much of what is true ‘happiness’ in one’s job is how we conduct ourselves and our thinking.

For example, even if your job isn’t your exact ideal, there are elements that can bring full happiness. Being of service is not relegated to any one sector. Being professional, kind, courteous, and with a high “client service” attitude to external parties as well as to the internal team, can bring high “happiness” value.  Ideally, it should be coupled with sincere appreciation in return.  Regardless, it makes us feel happy to deliver sincere value. We hold a “high happiness quotient” in our own esteem for ourselves and how we are serving.

On the larger scale of trying to find something you love to do–I do think each person has a wonderful contribution in life and is here for a reason. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to search for it. Part of the searching makes us who we are; hones our goals; and positively affects others along the way… Life is not just an end game of finding the one job which makes you happy. You are evolving, and your happiness, and therefore growth, is also evolving.

The Pamela Positive: “Step Out of Your History and Create a New Day for Yourself.”

Oprah’s impact in people’s lives is unbelievable. How many people she has helped, so many!  What a powerful, and yet incredibly kind, selfless woman to devote herself to helping others and also bettering  ourselves.  I love what she noted about what the show meant to her, each episode, empowering others to “step out of your history.”

How do you need to step out?
Here’s Oprah’s quote below…

“It speaks to the essence of what the show has tried to say all these years: that you are not the product of your circumstances. You are a composite of all the things you believe, and all the places you believe you can go. Your past does not define you. You can step out of your history and create a new day for yourself. Even if every single possible bad thing that can happen to you does. You can keep going forward.”  — Oprah Winfrey

The Pamela Positive: “Love Many, Trust a Few, And Always Paddle Your Own Canoe”

“Love Many, Trust a Few, And Always Paddle Your Own Canoe”
–Terri, from Coudersport, PA, as seen on Dark Chocolate Dove Wrapper

Terri has it right.  What a joy to enjoy dark chocolate, which I love, with a truly inspired quote.

Life affords us so many ways to love, and how important we keep doing so.  At the same time, we have to be careful, and so Trust, or entrusting ourselves to others, perhaps must be a bit more rare.  I wish it weren’t so…however, everyone is on their pathway of personal growth.  So we must honor them, honor ourselves: We should always love, but not necessarily entrust to others.

As far as paddling one’s own canoe.  As my Oma says, “You’d better put a little elbow grease into that.”  She was always ensuring she had pulled her weight. In fact, when I went over to Oma’s for a sleepover as a young child, even at the age of 8 or 9, our fun together — was working together.   We scrubbed the kitchen floor on hands and knees, sharpened pencils, and wrote up a list for the freezer so she knew what was in there.  She taught me to care about being clean, ordered and organized, which made her home special.  She made it fun.  I loved working with my Oma.

Terri, we thank you for a quote which has delighted us all!

The Pamela Positive: “Make a Gift of One’s Life”

“One makes a gift of one’s life and endeavors by sanctifying it with love, and devotion and selfless service. When seeking to uplift others, we are uplifted in the process. Every kind thought or smile therefore benefits oneself as well as all the world.” –David Hawkins

Dr. David Hawkins is a psychiatrist and spiritual teacher, and the author of a number of books about spirituality and consciousness.

The Pamela Positive: “Make of Your Life an Affirmation”

“Make of your life an affirmation, defined by your ideals, not the negation of others. Dare to the level of your capability then go beyond to a higher level.” –Alexander Haig

Alexander Haig was a four-star general in the United States Army, as well as Chief of Staff under President Nixon and President Ford, and Secretary of State under President Reagan.

The Pamela Positive: Keep Your Balance

I think one key point in life is to maintain balance–balance between time for work, time for loved ones, time for oneself, time for interests outside of one’s business. It’s so important to keep that balance, or we’ll simply burn-out.

I remember once when I was young in my career, and meeting with a fairly older, single woman. She was a successful venture capitalist. I don’t know that I would consider her life successful. She traveled the world incessantly and was on every important board. But she seemed tired and joy was scarce. She told me to “Pack it all in.”

I didn’t. I kept my balance. I started a nonprofit and I did creative improv. I took care of my very young nephews and nieces. I loved life and I loved the people in my life.

We need to be renewed. We need to feel honored as whole, functioning people with families, outside interests, balanced lives, as well as our commitment to achieving the goals and vision of the organizations we run. The beauty of this balance is that I come back energized to UniversalGiving. My mind has had “time off” and is thrilled to re-engage with our efforts to serve. I look at challenges in a new light. My energy is renewed. I bring new skills to the table; my thoughts are stronger and more helpful. It’s better for me–and for my organization.