Volunteering as a Path to Greater Happiness

The day (and evening) have gotten away from me. So for Monday’s post, I leave you a quote to ponder from Gretchen Rubin. It’s her “Second Splendid Truth”:

One of the best ways to make yourself happy is to make someone else happy;

One of the best ways to make someone else happy is to be happy yourself.

-Gretchen Rubin

via The Happiness Project: Volunteer. Give Pro Bono. Help Others. It’s the Right Thing to Do, and It Will Boost Your Happiness..

I plan to write some this month about the other paradox of giving of oneself to the wider community for the purpose of refilling your Happiness bank while wearing the “Full-time Mommy” hat at the same time.

I do find that volunteering my time brings me happiness. But I tend to jump in with both feet and allow volunteering to be yet another thing keeping me from meeting my basic needs for Self Care (adequate sleep, proper diet, exercise). Then I get burned out and have to start from scratch again. (But then, it seems like I prioritize pretty much everything over Self Care…)

As usual, this balance seems a difficult one to strike.

4 Replies to “Volunteering as a Path to Greater Happiness”

  1. I’ve learned a lot from your blog, and one thing I learned was that making changes doesn’t have to be time consuming. In your marriage month, one of your resolutions was to greet your husband with a big hug after work. This means a lot, but doesn’t really add more to your to-do list, right? Maybe, at this busy point in both of our lives, with young children at home, volunteering can be approached with the same attitude. What kind of volunteering can you do that doesn’t add more to your already busy day? I’m writing this comment as much to focus myself on this task as to give you new ideas. I’m thinking of very small, random acts of kindness to friends and neighbors, instead of cooking a whole meal for someone or teaching Sunday school.


    1. That’s a very interesting idea, Lisa. My friend Zoie (at TouchstoneZ) did a random acts of kindness month in March. Perhaps that could be a route for me for Service Month.


  2. “Only a life lived for others is a life worth while.” – Albert Einstein

    I try to think of this quote daily in order to remember that helping others is truly the most satisfying part of living.


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