This Guest Blog Post is from Kelly and Lauren, hosts and creators of the Millennial Minimalists Podcast. They recently interviewed Jacqueline Way on their podcast and were inspired to test out the giving effect. Listen to their podcast ‘How to Be Happy Every Day with Jacqueline Way’. Who are the Millennia Minimalists? Millennial Minimalists is a podcast on living simply. Kelly and Lauren are two Canadian millennials and minimalists on a mission to inspire you to remove life’s excess and live a simpler, more intentional every day. After learning that the average person lives 1000 months, they became driven to adopt a minimalist lifestyle and start every day with a plan. Follow them on their journeys as they share their experiences and help you design your best life.
One of the biggest benefits of adopting a minimalist lifestyle is that it inspires us to live happier every day. By removing the excess in our lives (whether physical or mental) we can live with greater intention and make room to pursue purposes bigger than ourselves. During our interview with Jacqueline Way, the Founder and Executive Director of 365give, we not only learned that giving back guarantees a boost of happiness, but it can also be simple and fun.
While living minimalist lifestyles has encouraged us to live more sustainably and make time for the important people in our lives, our conversation with Jacqueline inspired us to make more room for giving back. As part of our mission to help others feel happier every day, we decided to take on a one-week giving challenge and share the ways we can collectively give back to the world; whether to another person, an animal, or the planet.
For six of of our seven days we performed acts of giving that were easy to incorporate into our daily routines. We would buy a colleague a coffee, walk a friend’s dog, and enjoy morning java in a reusable mug. Other acts of giving were as simple as giving a friend a hug and purposely opening doors for others.
To fulfill our last give of the seven days, together we devoted a workday morning to help prepare breakfast for the homeless at a local community church. Undoubtedly, we both left that morning feeling happier, but we also walked away with important lessons. For example, a fellow volunteer had mentioned her dedication to preparing these breakfasts because her father was once homeless. But what she did reveal is that she was mainly giving for her own happiness. She said, “it’s actually for me… I do this for me.”
This interaction displays the great happiness we gain when we give, and the opportunity we have to give back in ways that are most meaningful to us. By performing acts of giving that tap into our values and interests we may also be more successful at achieving them.
Also, noteworthy, another volunteer wore a shirt with a tagline that read, “slow down.” We both felt it was fitting for the reflective headspace we were in that morning, but it was also a great reminder for us to make more time to stop and reflect, and fittingly, give back.
Today, as we continue to take on this challenge for 365+ days, we have become inspired to incorporate giving back into our daily routines and acting on ways that are most meaningful to us. We hope that our experiences and reflections will inspire you and others to start making room for daily gives and reaping the benefits of a true “helper’s high” every, single, day.
We have combined our week of actionable daily gives below to inspire you to start giving back today!