Author, Consultant, Executive Coach - Helping people and organizations grow into desired results

Friday, 21 November 2008

Give the gift of change this year

The holiday season is fast approaching!

Depending on your global orientation that may mean snuggling up by the fire as the snow falls outside or, as here in Australia where it's Christmas in summertime, heading down to the beach.

Either way, odds are that you face that annual dilemma: "what presents should I get everyone...?!"

If you're reading this blog, you're doing pretty well. No, I don't mean you have impeccable taste in your consumption of online content (clearly that's a given). What I mean is you're literate in both words and technology, you've got yourself in front of a computer and chances are you may even be sipping a tasty beverage as you ponder my musings.

Give the gift of change

So really, most of us have it really good. But in this season of giving, rather than sending people more stuff they don't need, why not give a gift that'll make a change for the better? The fantastic Oxfam Unwrapped online giftshops make it easy to give gifts that make a difference. A regional online shop isavailable in each of over a dozen countries worldwide including Australia, Canada, the UK, Hong Kong and Germany.

A couple of other worthwhile causes are can be found at the Support UNICEF worldwide site and of course for our furry friends there's the RSPCA (or the local version in your country).

So what's the brain angle on all this? Two things: studies show that the more people participate in meaningful activities, the happier they are and the more purposeful their lives feel, while pure pleasure-seeking behaviours (like stuffing yourself with food at the Xmas dinner table) actually do not contribute to overall lasting happiness. And when Buddhist monks meditate with a focus on compassionate and postive feelings toward others, the same centres of the brain light up as do when people experience happiness.

Bottom line: you feel good, doing good.

This year do some good for the yourself and the world...and give Santa the day off - you know he'd love it down the beach!

Photo credit: Ken Duncan (visit his site)

Happy holidays, let's do something great and change the world for the better.

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