For the last few weeks, I have posted highlights from the book Wellbeing by Tom Rath. Below are highlights from the fifth and final area.
Thriving Community Wellbeing is about what we do to give back to our community
- Choosing the community you live in
- Physical safely and low crime
- Areas that are a good fit for your personality, family, interests and personal pursuits
- Availability of recreational activities of interest to you
- Social offerings
- Community involvement and being part of organizations
- Context to connect with a wider network of friends or acquaintances
- Helps to have a default to service opportunities
- At the highest end of the Community Wellbeing continuum is giving back to society. This may be what differentiates an exceptional life form a good one.
- People with thriving Community Wellbeing say that the greatest contribution they had made in their life is the impact they have had on another person, group or community.
- Donating money result is a greater return for our wellbeing that buying material goods for ourselves.
- When we donate our time, we get a “helper’s high” and feel stronger, more energetic, and more motivated after helping others even in the smallest ways.
- When we see how we can make a difference, this gives us greater confidence in our own ability to create change in other areas of our lives.
- Welldoing, over the course of our lives:
- Promotes deeper social interaction
- Enhanced meaning and purpose
- A more active lifestyle
- Keeping us from being too preoccupied with ourselves or getting into harmful emotional states
- Increases longevity
- Reduces stress and negative emotions
- People who make significant contributions to community organizations usually have an emotional tie to the organization’s mission or cause.
- People with high Community Wellbeing make their interests known, particularly in their workplace and church. Therefore, they are more likely to be called upon to get involved.
- People who are engaged in their careers are 20%-30% more likely to give back to their community.
People with high Community Wellbeing feel safe and secure where they live. They take pride in their community, and they believe it is headed in the right direction. This often results in their wanting to give back and make a lasting contribution to society. People with thriving Community Wellbeing have identified areas where they can contribute to their community based on their own strengths and passions. They tell others about these interests to connect with the right groups and causes. Their contributions may start small, but over time, it leads to more involvement and has a profound impact on their community. The efforts of people with thriving Community Wellbeing are what create communities we cannot imagine living without.
Three Recommendations for Boosting Community Wellbeing:
- Identify how you can contribute to your community based on your personal mission.
- Tell people about your passions and interests to they can connect you with relevant groups and causes.
- Opt in to a community group or event. Even if you start small, start now.
Setting Positive Defaults
- Any time you help your short-term self work with your long-term self, you have an opportunity.
- Intentionally choose to spend more time with the people you enjoy most.
- Engage your strengths as much as possible.
- Structure your finances to minimize the worry caused by debt.
- Make exercise a standard part of your routine.
- Make healthier decisions in the supermarket so you don’t have to trust yourself when you have a craving a few days later.
- Make commitments to community, religious, or volunteer groups, knowing that you will follow through once you’ve signed up in advance.
- Through these daily choices, you create stronger friendships, families, workplaces and communities.