4 Misconceptions Hindering You From Embracing Your Adventurous Side

Anyone would be happy to be described as adventurous. It is generally a compliment implying that someone is interesting, independent and strong. The trait personifies confident individuals who are ready to face any challenge that comes their way. All the positive characteristics make being adventurous a little intimidating. But as they say, there is almost always more than meets the eye. Adventurous people may appear larger than life for others, but in reality, they are just typical people with their share of strengths and weaknesses. Shatter any doubt about your ability to embrace an adventurous spirit by looking at some of the misconceptions about this trait:

Adventurous people are fearless.
Bravery plays a huge role in trying something new, so it is easy to assume doubts and fears have no place in any adventure you take. However, it does not mean that people should adopt a “risk-it-all attitude” at all times. A famous quote even says that courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to face it. Therefore, it is wrong to think adventurous people are fearless. Most likely, they suffer from worries and anxieties too, but the main difference is they have learned to adopt skills and techniques to deal with their fear. So, if you are feeling a little scared, do not be too quick to say no to an adventure. Rather, try to look for ways to subdue your fears. When you come to think of it, without the element of fear, an activity may not even be considered an adventure at all.

Adventurous people are young.
People associate old age with retirement houses and routine activities. On the other hand, heart-racing adventures seem to be reserved for the young. So it wouldn’t be a surprise if people beyond their 50’s would think twice about trying new experiences. But the truth is, there are no rules stating an expiration age for adventures. If you have a young spirit, no one can say that you are too old for any adventure. As part of caution, it is still advisable to seek the advice of a physician before starting any physically draining adventure.

Adventurous people are wealthy.
You can’t deny that funds and resources are needed to try new experiences. Travel requires airfare and some activities require equipment. However, do not forget that money is not the most important thing about being adventurous. In fact, lack of funds could even open doors for more unforgettable experiences because you get to make do with what you have. People who are truly adventurous are resourceful and creative, so they can find ways to make exciting activities happen even with limited funds.

Adventurous people are perfectly healthy.
It takes physical strength to participate in extremely strenuous activities, such as mountain biking or rock climbing. Still, adventures should not entirely exclude people with physical limitations (such as disabilities or ailments). Sometimes, adventures can even pave the way to physical fitness or improved health. It can also be a way for some people to discover hidden strengths.

The decision to be adventurous is not something reserved for the privileged few. Given the right mindset and stern determination, anyone can add a sense of adventure in their life. So, if you want more fun and adventure, start by widening your mind and shattering misconceptions.

Brad and Julie Duncan4 Misconceptions Hindering You From Embracing Your Adventurous Side
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Three Ways Great Leaders Rise From Their Mistakes

Leadership comes with great responsibilities. But no one said that the heavy load a leader has to bear requires perfection at all times. On the contrary, the very best of leaders are those that are not afraid to make mistakes. They proceed with caution and minimize errors as much as possible. But they also have a full understanding of the risks involved in their actions. Thus, mistakes do not rattle or take them off guard. They recognize the opportunities that come with every mistake they have made. Great leaders overcome mistakes with ease and can even turn them into opportunities. They can do this by adopting a few key mindsets and principles, which are discussed below.

Accept and react accordingly.

In an organization where leaders refuse to acknowledge errors, problems persist and can ultimately break the team dynamic. That is why wise leaders do not turn a blind eye when something went wrong. Instead, they quickly acknowledge it and are willing to apologize for it if necessary. They are not concerned that these actions willl make them appear weak or incompetent in front of their subordinates. On the contrary, leaders will earn the respect and admiration of their team because admitting mistakes is a decision that takes humility and courage.  

Do not resort to negative behaviors.

As a leader, you are likely wary of making mistakes because they can often lead to negative behavior or situations. Proactive leaders, though, know that negative actions are a waste of time because in the end, they don’t solve anything. It’s important to get to the root of the problem in order to have a clear understanding of how the mistakes happened and how they can be fixed. However, once the scrutiny reveals the names of the people who are responsible or involved with the mishaps, exceptional leaders have the ability to react calmly and constructively.

Great leaders don’t resort to harsh punishments and instead set their attention on the mistakes done and not on the person who did it. Instead of subjecting people to harsh criticisms, they listen in order to learn how the mistake can be fixed or avoided in the future. Criticisms and fault-finding will only damage your team’s morale, which can create more trouble for an organization in the long run.

Focus on lessons and solutions.

Leaders may feel frustrated over a misstep for a while, but it is important not to linger on the mistake and instead look to the bright side. Be aware that mistakes are just a part of the journey and come heavily laden with lessons to learn. Likewise, don’t dwell on negative emotions for too long after a mistake. It is not wise to dwell on bad emotions. Your main concern should be set on how to solve it. Any problem can be fixed, so try to instead plot ways to correct the mistake.  

Do you want an easy way to assess a person’s leadership skills? One way to do it is by observing how they handle mistakes. The mediocre ones may start to panic and end up making decisions that can turn a small mistake into a major problem. On the other hand, great leaders stay cool and collected, giving them presence of mind to turn any mistake to their advantage. So what kind of leader do you want to become?  

Brad and Julie DuncanThree Ways Great Leaders Rise From Their Mistakes
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Embarking on a New Career Path

Abandoning familiarity is frightening. Fear of the future and work-related anxiety is common, but for many, excitement is also a welcomed side effect. Envisioning the accomplishments to come and the adventure awaiting ahead can be just the motivation you need to spark your career change. Although the process of switching professions will be a challenging endeavor, there are steps you can take to ease your transition. Here are four tips to help you successfully embark on a new career path.

Have Confidence
Naturally, doing something you’ve never done before can breed uncertainty, but in spite of your fears, you must remain confident in yourself. Your new coworkers need to trust in your capabilities and resolve. Setting the tone starts with you. Fight your instinct to feel as if you don’t belong or don’t deserve the job. Own your space. Rest assured that you are there for a reason and have something special to offer your new career field. Hold your head high, even if you have to ‘fake it until you make it’. Soon enough, your confidence will become genuine and reassured.

Find a Mentor
Having an experienced ally makes all the difference. As soon as you can, find a mentor who is willing to help you fill in the gaps. Being the newcomer is difficult. You won’t want to rely on just anybody for support and advice. The best mentors are approachable, available, wise and helpful. Be selective in your choice, then use your resource to help you find your footing. Once you’ve adjusted and mastered your new career, you can pay if forward by mentoring someone else who is new to the field.

Study Hard
Being surrounded by experts and longtime professionals will undoubtedly create the occasional gap in knowledge (or experience). To remedy this you will have to study harder and more often than your counterparts. If you encounter a subject that you haven’t completely mastered or don’t feel fully comfortable with yet, take it upon yourself to put in extra study time when you clock out. Putting in those additional hours of self-initiated study will show your team you are dedicated to pulling your weight despite your inexperience. Fortunately, in due time, you’ll notice the number of topics that require study steadily decreasing.

Remain Open to Feedback
Learning something new comes with making mistakes. While it’s never fun to be informed of your errors, it is a necessary evil when it comes to improving. You can’t control how feedback is given to you, but you can control how you receive it. Remain open to the possibility that you’ll receive constructive criticism, sometimes in moments that you least expect. Do your best to take it in stride. Afterward, you have the freedom to decide what to do with the information you’ve received. Remember you aren’t required to give every opinion legitimacy and you have full discretion over filtering what is worth addressing or ignoring.

Following your dreams and changing your career takes courage, hard work and patience. Enduring the highs and lows of the transition will yield a reward worth seizing. Remember these four tips along your journey and enjoy the success that follows.   

Brad and Julie DuncanEmbarking on a New Career Path
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Everyday Philanthropy

We’ve all heard of the philanthropic undertakings of the millionaires and billionaires around the world and hoped to one day be able to do the same. But what if you could, even without needing a six-figure salary to get started? You can. Philanthropy is the act of sharing something, big or small, with someone in need. You have talents, skills and a unique community around you that qualify you to become the perfect full-fledged philanthropist. Here are five ways to practice everyday philanthropy.

Habitual Kindness
Foster a habit of being kind all day, every day. Kindness goes beyond simply being polite, it requires you to take the extra step to be generous and considerate as well. The difference is thinking deeper than superficial niceties by transitioning pleasant words into actionable care. Generosity inspires us to give more than is required. Consideration motivates us to be selfless in our thinking by employing empathy and thoughtfulness.

Use Your Free Time for Good
When a rare free moment presents itself, make use of it! You may only have an hour or even as little as a few minutes, but whatever time you do have can be put to good use. Consider these examples. If you are on the road and pass a fellow driver with a blown tire, pull over and ask how you can help. If you’re driving and have a very limited amount of free time, think smaller and use those spare moments to give a fellow driver time to safely merge in front of you. The goal is to look for ways to help throughout the day because no deed is too small.

Small Frequent Donations
You may not have tons of extra money lying around for the sole purpose of philanthropy and that’s ok. Small donations have helped many people in need. If you are able, vow to allocate a small amount to be set aside on a regular basis for donations. You can then take that money and distribute it how you see fit. Whether you choose to pay for a stranger’s meal, buy lemonade from a young entrepreneur’s stand or donate to a GoFundMe campaign, your dollars can make a difference.

Be a Good Neighbor, Friend, Coworker and Family Member
You don’t have to limit your philanthropic work to major charities or foundations, you can think local and improve the lives of the people in your circle. Many people around you could use a helping hand, but rarely ask out of fear of burdening others. Make it known that you are willing to fill in the gap. Let your friends, family, neighbors and coworkers know that you are looking for ways to help around the community and would love to contribute your time, skills or company. You’ll be surprised by just how many of the people around you are struggling in ways that you never knew.

Be Aware
The last way to expand your philanthropy is to be persistently observant. The more aware you are, the more you’ll start to see the vast number of philanthropic needs that surround you every day. Be an active listener and you’ll start to hear unresolved problems that you may be able to help with. Open your heart to unexpected opportunities that will allow you to contribute to the lives of others. Once you tune in, as a willing ally, your next philanthropic venture will find you.

Kindness is contagious. Why not be the one who starts the chain? It doesn’t take much to make a large impact in someone else’s life. Everyday philanthropist make the world a better place by taking the initiative to create a difference.

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Leading with a Teacher’s Heart

Teachers spend their days imparting wisdom through lessons of love, compassion and inspiration. In turn, students grow into more capable, informed and mature versions of their former selves. They take their teachers’ guidance and go on to accomplish more than ever imagined. Entrepreneurial leaders can take those same methods and adapt them for the workplace and net similar results. Here’s how to lead with a teacher’s heart.

Affective Filter

In the teaching world, instructors are aware of a concept called the affective filter. This phrase describes an abstract boundary that plays a hand in a student’s ability to acquire a second language. A high affective filter means the student may feel a combination of self-consciousness, anxiety and tension. Contrarily, a low affective filter is marked by confidence, comfort, assurance and a willingness to take risks. Affective filters can be affected by intrinsic factors but can also change due to the environment or interpersonal interactions. Teachers work to control the second two.

Great teachers foster environments of inclusivity, affirmation and acceptance. They rebuke damaging responses when student mistakes are made and respect each pupil’s preference that affect their ability to process information. Amazing leaders can do the same. Earn your employees’ trust,

New Slate Every Day

Teachers understand that their students are in a constant state of learning, which means they will make plenty of mistakes. When children are in school, they are faced with new challenges every day, some of which causes them frustration and stress. When students feel these negative emotions, they sometimes act out in ways that are not ideal. As humans, instructors naturally feel disappointment and frustration in response, but they habitually try to understand the perspective of their students and offer new mercies every morning. They have high standards and expect the best, but reserve plenty of room for grace.

As a leader of adults in a work environment, your standards will undoubtedly include a smaller margin or error, but that doesn’t cancel out the necessity for patience altogether. Follow the example that teachers set and try to start each day with patience and understanding. Remember that your employees are trying their best and want to perform just as well as you’d want them to. However, everyone has the occasional off-day or noticeable mistake.   

Specialized to Each learner  

In many of today’s schools, teachers are presented with a class of unique learners. No two students have the exact same personality, preferences or learning style. To account for those differences, great teachers individualize instruction. Adept instructors constantly assess and reassess students’ needs and progress, then do what’s best to maintain a balance of challenge and accomplishment. They also make small changes to each lesson to help students thrive. For shy students, they may only call on them when their hand is raised. For active students, they may teach a lesson that intertwines exercise with the academic concept. However they can best serve each student, they do.

On the job, leaders too can specialize tasks. Distribute  a communication style assessment and personality test to figure out how each employee works best, then adapt their environment to fit their needs. Pay attention to their communication style, then converse with them using their favorite methods.

Teachers earn their students’ trust and inspire their best work by remaining attentive and sharing information in a kind and effective way. They pour their hearts into every student, every day, without cease. You too can yield the same results with daily practice. Leading with the heart of teacher is bound to help your employees feel secure and valued, giving them the confidence to outperform even your expectations.

Brad and Julie DuncanLeading with a Teacher’s Heart
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Pursuing Adventure by Facing Your Fears

“Do one thing a day that scares you.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt

This is a popular quote that many have heard but few have abided by. So what’s so difficult about pursuing fear? You’ve been conditioned to think of fear as a feeling we should avoid. The word fear has been connected to other terms that have negative connotations: danger, consequence and even intimidation. When you imagine being afraid you probably think pessimistically. You visualize the worst possible outcome no matter how likely it is. You’ve learned to fear fear itself. But fear is nothing more than a feeling – not an actualization of dread, tangible evidence of consequence or anything concrete at all. If you remember that caveat, it’ll help you tackle the issue from the proper perspective. Because fear is an emotional response, a psychological element in the mind, it can be conquered.

For most, daily life is composed of repetition and fulfilled expectations. You wake up, head to work, come home and repeat the steps the following day. Sure, random surprises pop up here and there, but rarely is there a major divergence from the norm. Going about life in this manner is comfortable and keeps your mind at ease, but it lacks excitement because thrill requires fear. Adventure is a process that includes encountering discomfort, facing it and then overcoming it triumphantly. It needs a bit of discomfort in order to celebrate the bravery it takes to succeed. The build up of nervous tension peaks and becomes gratification.

Helen Keller said, “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”

Have you lived life cautiously thus far? Have your negative thoughts prevented you from accomplishing your wildest dreams? Take a minute to think of all the adventures you’d pursue if you dismissed those anxieties. Use that thought as motivation. No matter how afraid you are, remember that fear is not a bad thing; it’s simply a part of the process. Whether swimming with sharks, climbing the highest mountain or speaking publicly, nothing is beyond your reach. And while you may feel apprehensive initially, the feeling will pass.

You are bigger than your fears. Don’t allow missed opportunities to become your life story. Make the decision to always follow your heart, exude confidence and be brave. Get in the habit of maintaining a healthy perspective of the larger picture instead of focusing on just the parts that scare you. Alter your mindstate and start asking yourself, “What if I succeed?”

It’s natural to feel anxious when faced with uncertainty, but you don’t have to let the anxiety rule you. Convert your anxiety to adrenaline and use it to your advantage. Embrace the discomfort and remember that it’s temporary and will be followed with emotional reward. On the other side of fear is accomplishment, pride, inspiration and passion. Adventure awaits!

Brad and Julie DuncanPursuing Adventure by Facing Your Fears
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Pointers to Remember In Raising Brave & Adventurous Children

We live in a big and uncertain world. Thus, it is easy to understand moms and dads who are overly protective of their children. Yet on second thought, the ultimate role of a parent is not to shield their kids from danger, but to equip them with skills that will enable them to cope with whatever challenges that may come their way. As sad as it may sound, parents cannot be by their children’s side all the time or forever. At one point, you will have to let go of your kids and allow them to explore the world on their own. This moment is something that parents should get ready for. Courage is a must if you want to survive and achieve great things in life, so responsible parents should make it a priority to instill bravery and resilience in their children.

Nevertheless, your goal to raise kids with a tough spirit is easier said than done. Most of the time, parents are faced with a difficult dilemma because giving children some degree of freedom is also risking their safety. For this reason, some parents would rather keep their kids sheltered and perfectly unscathed inside the home. So how do you awaken a sense of adventure in your children so they will be eager rather than scared to chart their own path? The following reminders can help you raise brave and adventurous children.

Be a model of courage.

As stressed time and time again, parents should practice what they preach. Parents who want to raise brave kids should also examine their behaviors. Children learn best by imitating and are likely to pick up the habits of those around them, so consciously set a good example. If you manage to stay calm and alert during a stressful situation, your kids will also have the strength to be brave during similar situations. Moreover, a research study from the University of Wisconsin confirms that parents can pass their anxiety to their kids.

Discuss your child’s fears.

Children can be scared of the littlest things and parents can sometimes be tempted to dismiss it as something inconsequential. But if you truly want to help your children overcome this fear, start by discussing it with your child. Try to understand where the fear is coming from by listening intently to your child and be genuinely sympathetic. Instead of laughing off the fear, gradually encourage them to face the things that are causing them anxiety.

Share inspiring stories of bravery.

Storytelling is an effective way to introduce concepts and ideas such as courage and resilience. Share stories about men and women who successfully overcome diversity through braving great odds. Literature and cinema offer a wide resource you can use to inspire children to overcome fear. Give them books that depict the importance of bravery. Or allow them to watch movies in which courage is the prevailing theme.

Mind your warnings and reminders.

As parents, you may often hear yourself saying the phrase “be careful” to your child numerous times. In an attempt to avoid any untoward incidents, there is nothing wrong in reminding your kids to be careful. Still, constant notice to stay safe does not really accomplish anything and may even incite fear to kids. According to university professor, Ellen Beate Sandseter, parents can effectively help their kids stay safe by using specific and action-oriented terms. For example, in a playground where a kid is playing on monkey bars, a mother can say terms such as, “stay focused” or “take your time” rather than “be careful”. Instead of presenting the dangers that may happen, you teach kids ways to tackle the challenge with ease.

From day one, parents should already be aware of the importance of fostering independence on their children. Courage is an essential trait to survive and achieve great things in life. Making a conscious effort to raise brave and adventurous children is one of the best gifts you can give your kids.

Brad and Julie DuncanPointers to Remember In Raising Brave & Adventurous Children
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Simple Ways To Instill The Virtue Of Altruism To Children

If every parent consciously makes an effort to ensure their children grow up with a passion to help others, the world would definitely a better place. However, our competitive society today seems to be so focused on accumulating wealth and valuables. This makes the task of raising kind-hearted kids that will then become responsible adults quite a challenge.

Kids may be exposed to various people and environments as they are growing up, but their most important influence will start at home. This gives parents ample opportunity to instill the virtue of generosity to their children.It would be such an achievement to raise a kid with a big heart and generous spirit.So make an effort instill the virtue of altruism with the following tips:

Practice generosity.

You can preach all day about the importance of sharing and giving, but actions speak louder than words. It is better to set a good example by being a living representation of what generosity means. You can do this by lending a hand to a neighbor or a friend in need. You can also let your kids tag along while you serve as a volunteer on community projects. Your children will likely emulate your behavior, so allow them to see you giving back to society.

Stress the importance of kindness to others.

In order for your kids to understand that kindness matters, gently discuss with them how their actions can create a huge impact on others. Tell them that some families or children are not as blessed as others, but people who are more privileged can do a lot to make things easier for them. Young minds can get overwhelmed or confused when you talk about injustice, sickness or poverty; so remember to keep the discussion age-appropriate. This practice will serve a double purpose because aside from encouraging empathy, you also teach them to be grateful for the things they have.

Choose a cause to support.

Raising a caring and giving kid will be effortless if you make charity a family affair. You can ask family members to choose a charity or cause and determine the one you will support by voting. It will also be a fun bonding moment for the whole family as all of you find ways and share ideas on how to help the chosen charity. Aside from that you also hone your child’s skills in brainstorming and planning. You may just be surprised with the insights and suggestions that you will get from your child.

Give them opportunities to share.

Your children will understand that giving is something that can be part of their daily life if you give them opportunities to share everyday. One way to do this is by allowing your kids to pack an extra sandwich or snacks to share with school friends. You can also encourage them to write a thank you or appreciation note to teachers or other people that they mingle with everyday. Aside from teaching them to be thoughtful and generous, you also teach them good manners that are essential life skills.

Recognize good deeds.

Do not forget to complement your child if you notice him or her being thoughtful about the needs of others. Keep your appreciation genuine and point out the specific outcome of the good deed done. Your praise will allow your child to feel good about being kind. It will also encourage positive behavior and build self-esteem.

Let them experience the fulfillment that generosity brings.

It is a nice bedtime routine to discuss with your child the good deeds he or she had done during the day. Ask your child how he or she feels after doing something good for others. Your child will likely feel fulfilled and happy, so it is a nice way to let them understand the benefits of giving. Let your kids know that in giving, they are also doing themselves a big favor.

Your children are your legacy. If you want to leave a lasting positive legacy to the world, focus on raising children who are caring and altruistic. As parents, this is one of your most important tasks and this is definitely one of the best gifts you can give humanity.

Brad and Julie DuncanSimple Ways To Instill The Virtue Of Altruism To Children
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The Healing Benefits of Adventure Therapy

The word therapy can incite a vision of a counselor intently listening and taking notes while the client pours out emotions. You can describe the scenario as formal and professional, as the setting usually takes place in the organized office of the therapist. This setup can indeed be effective, but people who are not so eager to try the usual way of a counseling session have another option: adventure therapy.

What is adventure therapy?

This therapy program breaks free from the typical setting of a one-on-one counseling session. Instead of doing it in the confines of the counselor’s office, you take the therapy outside and immerse the client into different kinds of adventure.

History of adventure therapy

Adventure therapy sounds like a groundbreaking concept, but the program actually has a long history. Its earliest form was during the 1900’s with the introduction of tent therapy. One of the first institutions to try this program is the Manhattan State Hospital East in 1901, when they isolated the patients afflicted with tuberculosis. The main goal then was to prevent the communicable disease from spreading, but the tent therapy program was surprisingly beneficial to the patients. Exposure to nature brought significant health improvements to the TB patients.

Adventure therapy today

Today, adventure therapy is a great alternative program to help people suffering from problems such as substance abuse, juvenile delinquency or severe depression. The program is based on the philosophy of experiential education which states that people learn faster and easier with direct experience and interaction.

Adventure therapy is called by various names such as a wilderness therapy program or therapeutic excursions. The approaches and methods also vary as the activities can include the following: cooperative games, wilderness adventures (such as camping or hiking), outdoor adventures (like rock climbing or rappelling), problem solving initiatives and trust-building activities.

The type of adventure therapy may differ based on the problem that the program specifically wants to address. In spite of various ways of implementing adventure therapy programs, all methods involve interacting with others as participants embark on a new experience.

What are the healing benefits?

Organizations that offer adventure therapy programs claim that the opportunity to experience nature and try new things can effectively encourage positive behavioral changes. This claim is backed by research as the result of a study about the effect of wilderness adventure therapy, published by the International Journal of Human Science, revealed wilderness adventure effectively decreases delinquency problems in minors.

Apparently, activities that involve nature and group interaction are effective in boosting self esteem and enhancing social and communication skills. Individuals who participate in adventure therapy programs also develop leadership skills and become more independent.

These therapeutic activities can therefore help people overcome problems such as eating disorders, substance abuse, and juvenile delinquency. Adventure therapy can likewise aid in the healing process of people suffering from severe depression or traumatic stress.

For many people, adventure is synonymous to fun, relaxation and excitement. The activities may involve risks, but breaking free from the daily routine to do something different almost always leads us to learn new things. Everyone will agree that we all need a little adventure to keep our zest in life burning. All of us should therefore take advantage of the many benefits that adventure therapy can bring.

Brad and Julie DuncanThe Healing Benefits of Adventure Therapy
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Ready To Pursue Altruism? Four Things To Ponder On

Altruism sounds noble and heroic, a highly commendable act because of the many advantages it brings. By devoting time and energy to worthy causes, you contribute to the betterment of society and improve your overall well-being. The myriad of benefits that you can gain from philanthropic endeavors makes it easy to think that nothing can go wrong.

However there is a thin line between good and bad deeds. As Russian novelist, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn put it, “The battle-line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man.” Philanthropy is meant to create a significant impact on the lives of others, but it will be a careless act if you do it without enough knowledge about a cause or unclear intentions about a charity. Thinking about the following factors listed below can help you prepare for your altruistic endeavors.

Consider your values along with your interests.

The first thing you have to do is decide which non-profit organization  you would you like to support. You can arrive at a good decision by taking into consideration your values and interests. If you are interested in the healthcare profession and want to help people cope with their illnesses, it may be a good idea to join a medical mission. Or if you love children and have a knack for teaching, you can be a volunteer tutor in an orphanage or children’s center. On the other hand, nature lovers can support environmental projects. Aligning your altruistic deeds with your values and interests will ignite your passion for a certain cause. Philanthropy will then cease to feel like work and becomes a very rewarding experience.

Check your intentions.

The reasons for doing philanthropy vary per individual. Some may do charitable work because they want to enhance a skill or simply to pass time. Sadly, there are also people who donate to charities or serve as volunteers because of vanity and recognition. Your reason for going into philanthropy should be clear right from the start. If you clearly define the results that you want to achieve, you gain inspiration to work towards the goals that you set. It will also help you measure the success of your efforts.

The organization and the cause it supports will benefit whatever reason a philanthropist may have for helping. However, if you truly want to gain the benefits of philanthropy, you need to do it to genuinely help others. A number of research studies prove the many benefits of doing philanthropy for others. One study published in Journal of Health Psychology proves the correlation between doing volunteer work and low mortality among old people.

Assess your knowledge, skills and resources.

Upon deciding which cause to support, start to think of the best ways you can help by assessing your skills and resources. If you have money to spare, the amount of financial support you can give will be much appreciated and go a long way. However, philanthropy is not limited to monetary means, so you should also assess how you can contribute with your skills and talents.

Along with this, you should also check your knowledge about the cause. You risk the chance of doing more harm than good if you are ignorant about the cause you are supporting. To gain enthusiasm about a project, you need to be aware of its history and missions. You can set some time to attend the orientation or training that an organization sometimes offer to new volunteers.

Gauge your willingness to commit.

Once you sign up to lend a hand to a group or project, be prepared to commit to the tasks given to you until the end. Your participation will hardly make a difference if you only exert effort at the start. Take a moment to check your schedule and see if other obligations will prevent you from committing to an organization wholeheartedly. You should also be aware of the challenges that come with the tasks so you can ensure you can complete them.

Philanthropy reminds us that we are here in this world to touch lives. That no matter how small, weak or insignificant you think you are, there is always something you can do to help. However, you do not want to be trapped in the middle of doing it for others or doing it for your own selfish interest. So, spend time on self-reflecting to truly feel the essence of your philanthropic efforts.

Brad and Julie DuncanReady To Pursue Altruism? Four Things To Ponder On
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