Believe it or not, the holidays are upon us. Which means it’s time for family and friends to get together in celebration, for towns across the country to get decked out with festive decorations and, of course, time for shopping and gift giving. Fortunately, the holiday season is also a time at which many people actively look for ways to serve, which often involves ensuring others have a bit of holiday cheer, too.
Since so many of you will be heading out to serve, I thought it would be a good time to refocus on The Five Commitments – my approach that guides all of my service. I first developed The Five Commitments when I embarked on my Thirty Days of Service, but they are as relevant today as they were then. And, can be applied to any act of service, big or small.
The Five Commitments
- Be Present – Try to remain in the moment and put everything else in your life on hold. And, turn off your electronics!
- Check Your Ego At The Door – Your title, status, connections and all of the other things that feed the ego have no place in service. So, leave it all behind and remember, “it’s not about you.”
- Do Whatever Is Asked – You are being of service to others, so do the task(s) needed, whether they are things you like to do or not. Remember, every act of service contributes to the greater good, even those we may not love doing.
- Be A Student – Use service as an opportunity to learn something new, whether that’s about the organization you’re helping, your community or yourself.
- Focus On The Good – Try to see past the suffering you may encounter when serving and keep your attention on the good that is being done. Seeing and recognizing the good will leave you more fulfilled and just might lead to more goodness.
I have found that by committing to this approach, individuals are able to get the most out of service while also giving the most they have to offer. In fact, following The Five Commitments in everything we do in life would likely prove to be incredibly useful—but at least try to apply it to your service. Check out The Five Commitments to learn more about them and for tips on how to implement them.
I wish you all a wonderful holiday season filled with love, laughs and service.