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Serving others begins with serving yourself. Here’s how to serve your best interests and in doing so serve the greater good

We are taught from childhood to meet expectations of others. But is this really the wisest way to serve the greater good? Read on to discover an essential life truth…

For the longest time I did not completely understand what it really meant to honour oneself. This was a concept that did not fully integrate within me as somewhere I also had this notion that doing what’s best for ourselves is, in some ways, being selfish, self-absorbed, and immature. 

In trying to be ‘nice’ to everyone, doing things that I did not want to, not paying heed to my own needs in the garb of ‘compromising’ to salvage a situation, I was perpetually dissatisfied, unhappy, and unfulfilled. 

Until it finally hit home that honouring the self is not only about valuing and treating oneself with dignity and kindness, showing respect and appreciation for oneself or pursuing one’s passions and interests, taking care of one’s physical and mental well-being, and being true to oneself and standing up for one’s beliefs… Honoring the self has a deeper meaning – that of being of greater service to everyone and everything around! 

I have learnt that one of the hardest concepts for us to grasp is that making choices that honour ourselves and our happiness is actually a tremendous service to those around us. 

Be it ending a relationship, leaving a well-paying job, saying NO to something that does not seem to ‘light a spark’ in you, choosing to do something that is insanity for others, making changes in your life that serve you, or heeding the callings within your soul, eventually leads one to offer more to the world around. It is also in a way honouring your purpose in this world, whatever that may be. 

From personal experience I know it is difficult to contribute meaningfully to our environment when one is feeling stuck, grumpy, hopeless, and frustrated. When you cannot show up for yourself fully, how can one show up for others – be it in the personal or professional space. 

What about the disruptions it may cause to the family life or workspace, one may ask? 

My question is: why would we want to be with someone that doesn’t fully and completely want to be with us and vice versa? It also creates an environment at home that isn’t the ideal condition for a growing child. From my work with families, disruptive families lead to children who become damaged adults. Breaking up a family is not always the terrible thing we’re told it is, if all the individuals involved have a better chance at creating a peaceful and calmer atmosphere conducive to growth. 

Why would one continue working in a job-role where the heart is not fully engaged? It doesn’t serve the company well and also blocks opportunity for the right employee to come into the picture. 

Doing what you think you should be doing and staying stuck where you are out of a false sense of obligation is not of service to anyone or anything. Far too many people also play it small because they think they “should be grateful” for what they have right now. Being grateful does not mean that you continue living a life of misery and unhappiness. One needs to be grateful as it creates an energy of ease that makes change easier. 

What this world needs now is more people who are stepping into their truth, showing up fully in the world, be it in their relationships and in their work, and people who are joyful, passionate, and aligned with their purpose, without the fear of shaking things up. 

What will it take for you to be that person and honour yourself so that you can be of greater service to the world around you?

Shaguffta Pattel is an Image Transformation Specialist and Progressive Parenting Coach, Shaguffta is also the PR Director at ASPIRE. Living a life of complete despair, she successfully turned her life around 180 degrees at age 38 and has never looked back since. She is now committed to helping individuals to create a life that is in alignment to their personal and professional goals.

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