Wednesday, November 24, 2010

How to put yourself in a good mood

The following is a portion of Dr. Zimmerman's latest "Tuesday Tip".  To subscribe to his free weekly tips, sign up here 

This story helped me start off my day right, I hope it does the same for you. 

Bill Lee is one of my role models when it comes to serving others. Bill says, "Based on my experience ... the best and least expensive cure for depression is to be proactive about doing something for someone who is worse off than you are." And Bill knows what he's talking about.

But let me tell who Bill Lee is. He's one of eight members of an elite group known as "Master Speakers International," eight professional speakers who are tops in their field and a household name to millions. I've had the privilege of being one of those eight members for the last twelve years, and those seven other people have blessed my life and my career in ways I never could have imagined.

Bill taught me that one of the best ways to stop complaining is to start serving others. Eleven years ago, Bill was introduced to mission work at an orphanage in Mexico. Since then, in addition to his full-time speaking and consulting business, Bill has made 50 trips to Mexico to work with the orphaned and abandoned children of Casa Hogar La Familia ... all at his own expense.

As Bill puts it, "I can't possibly say enough about the personal benefits of giving service to others. I have learned so much about happiness from a group of 30 children who have no material things whatsoever." No toys. No electronics. No brand-name clothing. In fact, each child has a cubby hole in their dorm room that is 15 inches wide and 36 inches high that contains 100% of everything they own.

"And I tell you this," Bill continues, "these same children are enormously happy. They almost never fight ... cry ... or complain. I never return from a mission trip that I am not amazed ... compared to other nations in the world ... how rich we are in this country ... and how much time we spend complaining that we don't have even MORE."

Because most of these children have been abandoned by their parents ... virtually all of them have good reasons to be bitter and selfish. Yet they're not. They are amazingly generous in their service to others.

Take Arturo, for example. Bill has seen him grow from age 5 to his present age of 16. Arturo is the second oldest of four children ... all of whom have lived at La Familia virtually all of their lives. And like the other children, Arturo has no personal possessions.

During one of the mission trips Bill led to La Familia, one of his team mates gave Arturo a straw hat he had purchased to wear while in Mexico. On the last day of our mission trip, they bought a large cake and had a big birthday party for all of the children who were celebrating birthdays during that particular month. One of the birthday boys was named Cesar.

During the celebration, Arturo came running over to the man who had given him the hat and was rattling off a mile a minute in Spanish. The man didn't speak any Spanish, so he asked Bill what Arturo was saying. Bill told him that Arturo wanted permission to give his hat to Cesar as a birthday present.

You have to understand ... Arturo loved that hat. He wore it every minute of the day. He even slept in the hat. After all, that straw hat represented 100% of everything Arturo owned in this world, yet he wanted to give it to Cesar as a gift.

As Bill finished his commentary, he said, "Living a life that includes being of service to others ... is always more beneficial to the giver ... than it is to the recipient." You learn to practice an attitude of gratitude when you're serving others and you just naturally stop the complaining habit.

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