Make Every Moment Count – Vanessa Tai
Most of us are very busy people. In fact, you’re probably reading this on your smartphone, on your way to another appointment, or maybe you’re taking a 5-minute breather in between your crazy-swamped day. Time is human beings’ most precious commodity, yet we often fritter it away on things that don’t matter, for example, mindlessly scrolling through Facebook or hanging out with people whose company we don’t really enjoy (aka energy vampires).
If you’ve always had a niggling feeling that there’s something more out there, something more that you can and should be doing, may I humbly suggest doing volunteer work? Not only does serving the community help you adjust your perspective to see the bigger picture, studies have shown that volunteerism is actually beneficial for your health! In a study of 10,000 people, published in Health Psychology, researchers discovered that those who volunteered regularly were less likely to die as compared to non-volunteers.
Personally, I can testify to the benefits of being a volunteer. Over the years, I’ve done several volunteering stints, ranging from assisting the elderly on a weekly basis to one-off events like PinkDot and Slutwalk. These experiences may seem extremely varied, but there’s actually one commonality that ties them all together – I believe in the cause. And that’s what I reckon is very important to establish before you commit your time and energy to a particular cause. You need to truly believe in whatever you’re doing, or it will become all too easy to give up (which I have, on several occasions).
So what’s great about volunteering? For one, you’re getting together with a group of like-minded individuals working towards a common goal, so firm friendships are quickly made. Secondly, you will start to view your life through different lenses … that annoying email? Not so annoying anymore. Guy you’re dating blew you off? Not that important anymore, considering you have more important issues to think about. Finally, being a volunteer will allow you to grow more as a person; you start to discover facets of yourself you never knew existed, and this newfound confidence can translate to you being a better colleague, better friend, better sister, etc.
Before I sign off, I leave you with this befitting quote … “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” - Michael Althsuler