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by Jayne Johnson

One of my “20 Keys to Goal Attainment” is “Be of Service to Others.” By that I mean, helping other people to get what they want, leaving the labels of “big” and “small” out of it. Does your child need the cereal box that is high on the shelf? Getting it down for them, adding a smile for good measure, goes farther than we may realize. Does the driver in another lane need to get over a lane? You let them in and you both have a beautiful sense of joy.

These are things you do simply out of the goodness of your heart. You aren’t looking for glory or acclaim; you have no ulterior motive at all. The “motive” is simply to do something kind for another human being. That is the true meaning of being of service to others.

It’s really that simple, and the bottom-line result of such simple kindnesses is a far-reaching self-esteem, a love for oneself. The interesting thing is, when you love yourself, you then allow yourself to have what you want. Now there is a true key to a successful and happy life. When you are happy with yourself, doesn’t everything else in life go incredibly well?!

Lack of self-esteem, on the other hand, typically leads to self-punishment – and what better way to punish ourselves than by denying ourselves what we want? We are, after all, very clever Beings! We know, if only subconsciously, how to best clobber ourselves! We are judge and jury, and we impose “sentences” on ourselves with carefree abandon – “I did this so now I can’t have that.” “I must suffer for 6 months before I can even look at having that.” Ah, “justice” has been served!

The worst part of this is that we usually aren’t aware of what we are doing to ourselves. If one consciously knows one has done something harmful to another or others, one can then set about correcting it – correcting it with full awareness of the what, the why, the when, etc.

This approach is effective, everyone wins, and above all, it is a direct and clean way of handling it. Unknowingly punishing oneself leads only to frustration and suffering via serving a “term” in some mental prison one doesn’t even realize is there, and moreover, it’s a prison of one’s own creation. Unconscious self-punishment is a lose/lose context; conscious recognition of a misdeed and correcting it cleanly is a win/win context.

By being of service to others, for no other reason than to be of service, you thereby increase your love and appreciation for yourself, which results in your allowing yourself to have what you want in life. The beauty of it is, leading by example, you will be helping others to love and appreciate themselves and have what they want too. That’s win/win.