How Service Can Change Lives and Your Mind

With the holiday season upon us, it is time for leaders all around the world to emphasize the importance of service and giving. The idea of service and giving is thinking about everyone but yourself. We as people have so much to be thankful for, and having the awareness to know others are less fortunate is VERY important. Perspective is power, and as leaders we have an amazing opportunity to use it to our advantage.
How to serve others in 4 easy steps:
Having the perspective to know that others are in need is very important, and is also the first step. It  is a trait that not all leaders have, but it is something that all leaders need. Perspective, or the ability to put yourself in another person’s position, is one of the most underrated leadership qualities, but happens to be the first step in this process. It can have a great impact if it is known and channeled to produce something bigger than the leader embodying it. Having the awareness to know that the people around you are in need is important. It provides insight into the world around us, and is needed to put the next step into action. That next step is showing gratitude. 
Gratitude and appreciation is just as powerful as perspective. After pursuing perspective and realizing what other people are going through, it is important to reflect positively about the things in our lives we are blessed to have. Things like a phone, car, clean water, or even school (our ability to get an education is awesome!) are often taken for granted. You can even simplify this idea: show gratitude for your pencil, paper, shoes, and your toothbrush. It may seem odd at first, but there is at least one person around the world that is not as blessed as us. Someone put in time and energy to produce what we call our own, and the least we can do is be appreciative of the little things we have, instead of dwelling on what we do not. Gratitude goes a long way in developing ourselves, but also opens new doors and gives more opportunities to serve others. 
The third step is to know your power. As student leaders, we are the future. We have the world in the palm of our hands, and it is only a matter of time before we utilize it to our full potential. We all are growing up in a unique time: the era of cell phones, the internet, and social media is just who we are. We are the first generation to have a full understanding and skill to use it, it almost comes naturally to us. The challenge to student leaders now is this: use the tools we have to serve others and create change. Like I mentioned earlier, perspective is power, but people equals power as well. The amount of outreach our generation has is astonishing, and it is super important to be aware of this. Knowing the amount of power we have as leaders, especially in our era of technology, leads into the final step of serving others this holiday season, and that is choosing your power. 
Choosing your power is the idea of having multiple options to serve others. This is your call to action and final step.  Now that we have established perspective, gratitude, and knowing your power, all we have to do is put our knowledge into action. Whether that is donating to charity, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or simply starting a conversation with someone who needs a friend. We ALL have the ability to have a positive impact on the people around us, what are you going to do? 
 At the end of the day, serving and giving to others is a worthwhile and meaningful thing to do. It can have a tremendous impact on others, but also helps ourselves as well. Knowing that we produce good in the world is enough to spark a more positive and happier you. It is nothing but a win-win! Whatever you choose to do this holiday season- do not think it has to be crazy. No one is asking you to end war all across the world. It is the little things we can do that have the greater impact and are more powerful. Start small, and then build as you gain more confidence!
“But Justin, what happens when the holidays are over?” 
In a few weeks, the holiday season will soon be over and 2019 will be upon us; however, that does not mean our service to others should stop. As leaders, we try our best to incorporate the traits of service and giving into our daily lives. We may fail at times, but the important part is that we keep trying our best. The season of giving may be over in a month, but practicing service and giving year-round leads to a greater impact on the world around us, and also-  a happier you!