As I sat there listening to my latest acquaintance who had seemingly found me at random, I started to feel a little dizzy. It wasn’t anything they were doing. In fact, they were probably one of the coolest people I had met recently. It was the distinct realization, that their circumstances were so much like my own that it felt almost supernatural.
Helping others can be a powerful way to learn about yourself, get a deeper understanding of what you know, and build empathy.
Learn About Yourself
The view from the outside of someone scarily like yourself but on a different path can be extremely enlightening. Like that one episode of Seinfeld when Jerry and friends bump into their bizzaro world selves on the street one day. You will find the people who come to you for help are a good reflection of where you are in life. Read between the lines and you might make a profound discovery about yourself. The added perspective helps you see things in yourself that you may not have considered otherwise.
Get a Deeper Understanding of What You Know
It’s amazing how much you learn about where you are in life and how much you have yet to truly understand when you commit to helping others. Learning is a continuous process and nothing helps solidify some of your own life lessons than helping someone else get through the same kind of situations. When you are returning to information you have learned to provide someone else help you have to recall that information. Memory recall is a really powerful way to build and evaluate your understanding of the knowledge you already have. You also have a tendency to find gaps in what you thought you already knew.
Build Compassion and Empathy
Helping other people can be a great way to step outside of your own drama and build compassion and empathy. It also just feels good to truly be able to help someone in need. To become a better person, develop a strong ability to understand others. When you set out to assist someone with their own challenges you are learning to think selflessly and be a part of someone else’s story. In doing so you are contributing in some small way to make the world a better place. Learn to let people into your life and spend a little time helping someone else who is walking familiar territory.
Growth Through Helping Others Grow
The world is a much smaller place than we think it is, when we learn to help others we learn about ourselves. As we apply our knowledge and understanding of something to someone else’s cause we challenge our minds to call up past lessons and in doing so reinforce our expertise in that area. The more we step out of our life story and begin to help others, the more we begin to deepen our ability to be connected and present.
If you are living and breathing, you have probably overcome many diverse challenges. Try applying that experience into the world and find someone who needs you right now. Help someone through an obstacle, or simply listen. It will mean a lot to the person you are helping and is instrumental to your own personal development.