The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

Set Goals That Benefit Others

Here January is half over and I have not written once about the excitement and promise that a new year holds. This is unusual for me because of my fondness for the period between Christmas and New Year's Day. I look forward to that one week every year, a time to reflect and to plan.

The week flew by particularly fast in 2012. There was flu in our house of six, Christmas Day, a litter of eleven pups … the quiet moments were few in number and short in duration. Still, when I did have time to simply stop and think, my mind attempted to focus on the projects underway or about to begin. Things I want to complete and bring to light in 2013 (to 'ship' as the kids like to say these days). But I struggled a little to focus, mostly because of all the other needs that were going on in our home.

And it hit me. Every year I focus on my goals, on my projects. I plan for things that will benefit me. And it all seemed a little selfish. What if we each spent at least some of our time meditating on meeting a goal that benefitted someone else? A goal that in no way benefited us, but rather took some of resources (time & energy) away from our me projects. A lot of good things could be done if we just added one project or goal of this type to our list each year.

I realize my own projects benefit others. They bring in income (hopefully), which provides for my family. And I've deliberately filtered out specific projects from my never ending list of ideas that align with my beliefs, choosing ideas that I believe are good for others, and not detrimental to this world or to others. But still, I aim to choose one thing this year that benefits someone else, where I willingly serve the needs of another. At the very least, it's good practice in denying self, which is always a good thing, if counter cultural.

And reality is this: I will reap benefits in this type of situation. It seems unintuitive, but serving the needs of others over our own brings a lot of joy in the end. I wish I could say this from a lot of experience, but it has been against my nature.

But I've been changed from the inside out and am willing to learn.

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