Monthly Archives: May 2013

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 Classic 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!

Maasai Land: Taking a Stand for Home

Home.  What a kindness, security and blessing it is to each one of us.  We take it with us, wherever we go.

My heart drops when I read below about the Maasai tribe.  What does it feel like if your home is about to be taken away?   To make it real for yourself, simply imagine that below is your own home.

“Tanzania announced last week it plans to evict 30,000 Maasai herders from their ancestral lands in order to create a game reserve offering exclusive access for a Dubai-based hunting company. Maasai activists say the proposal, which reduces their space here by 40 percent, will destroy their traditional cattle-herding livelihood.

The Maasai once ranged across northern Tanzania and southern Kenya, following seasonal rains with their cattle…Now, they could be losing some of that land, too. According to the proposal, they would be locked out of the planned corridor, while Ortello Business Corp. (OBC), a Dubai-based hunting outfit that has operated in Loliondo since 1992, would be granted access.

…Numbers of women at sit-ins have swelled in recent days, with protesters refusing to leave, despite a further deployment of government troops that are driving the muddy roads of Loliondo in open air trucks waving dark red warning flags.”

– “Maasai Face Eviction from Ancestral Lands,” The Christian Science Monitor

We have to gently and firmly take a stand for home in every part of the world. I hope you will join me in supporting homes through UniversalGiving today.

Volunteer to renovate homes

Give to build earthquake-safe homes in Haiti

Support families in Palestine rebuilding their village

Early Education Leads to Stronger Workforce

Early education wins. If we want our world to succeed, and our businesses, let’s invest in it.   Children can follow their dreams…the world will be stronger.

That’s the larger picture.  For our businesses, too, we want to invest.  A recent article in The Christian Science Monitor points to increased “executive functioning,” such as continued attention and expanded memory, among children who attend preschool. The children who went to school earlier develop needed business skills more readily.  We can commit to higher teacher education, educating children of different backgrounds, and providing adequate food to ensure that our programs are holistic and successful.

Read on and invest!

Here are some projects on UniversalGiving to help children learn:

Give to send books to Africa

Volunteer teaching orphaned children in India

Give so that a girl in Ghana can learn computer skills

Support the Awesome Girls Mentoring Program in New Orleans

The Classic Pamela Positive: Celebrate True Wealth

Wealth is a state of mind and life. We tend to associate poverty with money.

But poverty can be mental, emotional or spiritual poverty. I am often struck by this in my travel and volunteering in developing nations. Often, the divorce rates are low. Families not only stay together, but also spend time together. They gather food from the fields together, cook together and share meals together.

Contrast us: 15 minute family dinners if we are lucky. Fast-food and food distanced from its natural base. We eat alone; we eat in our cars. Divorces are easier to get, and in our mind it can be easier to allow those thoughts in as a possibility, rather than working through critical issues. So we lose the connection to family. We lose the connection to the local farm. We can lose the connection to long-term commitment.

We lose our greatest asset in natural wealth: relationships. Relationships with ourselves, our families, the earth. This wealth creates happy, balanced, productive, lower stress lifestyles, because we are connected in the way we are meant to be.

Further, we often pass by our heritage and where we come from. In many emerging nations, and especially in the continent of Africa, we see tribes value their connection to their heritage as primary importance even above their nationality. There is a deep-rooted connection to rituals and history which keeps people grounded in who they are, and the deeper, long-term meaning of being a part of a larger community in their lives.

Poverty is about money, at times. It has to be addressed as people should have the opportunity to live productive lives and make choices about what they would like to devote their lives to. Poverty is also about our well-being. Often when we get beyond “money poverty,” we forget “well-being poverty,” and get trapped in a go-go-go consumer culture.

I hope we can celebrate the healthy wealth that is accessible to us all in positive, committed relationships with ourselves, one another, our families, our earth, our communities and our heritage. How wonderful this is available to us all.