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How Happy is... 5 Easy Ways to Serve Your Country

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Obama has the rare opportunity as a President to make a huge difference to his country and to the world and even though the task is daunting, he is also very lucky to be given this gift. However, you don't need to be President to make a difference. It is a matter of recognizing how you already serve in your own life and how with very little effort you can serve more. Remember as well, that when you make a difference to one person's life it invariably reverberates out to the people that they come in to contact with. So you might actually be underestimating what a difference you already make and how many people are affected by your positive actions.

1. Your profession. It is easy to think that if someone is a priest, therapist, teacher, soldier or doctor (etc) that they are the only people who serve. But actually it doesn't matter what you do for a living, if you understand the service that you are giving to others. You could be a shop assistant, a plumber, a chef or a builder and you are making a difference with your chosen profession. If you are a cleaner, you are helping someone feel relaxed, clear headed and happy in a tidy home. If you are a conscious chef you are helping nourish others with food. Much of it depends, not on what you do for a living, but the intention behind what you do, why you are doing it and the care you put in.

2. Be vocal. You can touch people's lives all the time, without any effort just by giving compliments. It's so easy to think something positive about someone and not express it. But it's no good to keep your positive thoughts inside; it's so much better to give them away. So, if you come in to contact with someone who has a great color shirt on that goes well with their eyes, tell them. If you think a shop assistant has been exceptionally helpful, let them know. If a work colleague has come up with a brilliant idea, express that. It is so easy to do it and you will, without doubt, make their day.

3. Listen authentically. When someone is speaking, listen. You have two ears and one mouth and being fully present for another person means aiming to understand what they are saying fully and completely. It is very easy to pretend you are listening or just hear part of what they are saying while your mind drifts somewhere else. And it is just as easy to interpret what you think the other person is saying with your own filters. But none of these ways are very giving. If you are fully present for the other person and aim to understand what they are really saying, then and only then, are you serving them.

4. Ways of giving. In our society there is so much emphasis on the material and that being recognized as the ultimate gift. Whereas many people can't necessarily afford to give materially but have other ways in which they are of service. They can be emotional, mental and spiritual and there is an enormous value in all of those. Those gifts should not be underestimated and not considered less important than giving trinkets. The bottom line is to give in the way that you can, with the gifts you have.

5. Be open. Whatever is going on in the country, and whatever inheritance Obama has if he keeps communicating in an open and honest fashion and listening to the citizens of America then he will be popular. In the same way, if you can be open and honest with others in your own life and hold no internal resentment towards anyone then you will be serving those around you.

If you walk through your life with the intention of being of service with whatever you are doing, then your life will have more meaning. Often it is a matter of finding the element of service in your actions and coming from that place. This will help you appreciate yourself so much more and how you already give where you didn't think you did or show you how, by making a few small adjustments, you can give so much more. It is not about changing the world single handedly, it is about touching one person's life at a time and in turn they will touch others.

That's it for this week and if you want to make contact with me please do so at sophie@howhappyis.com.

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