Volunteering skills

Everybody has something they can do better or more easily than other people, some talent or skill they were born with or they have developed. And skills are something that you can give, either by using it to help an individual or a group or by teaching it to others.

Since our childhood, we have learned so much from others. Passing on your skills is a gift to repay those who taught us so much.

For example, Mary Kom, the five-time World Amateur Boxing champion and Olympic Bronze winner, has opened a boxing academy in her hometown, Manipur India. The Academy provides free training, boarding and lodging to deserving students. 

While Michael Phelps, the American swimer and the most decorated Olympian of all time, has set up the Michael Phelps Foundation which promotes water safety and encourages swimming among the youth.

Sharing skills also gives back to you. The more you share your skills with others, the more you enhance them. You might also learn new skills.

You might think you have no skills to share but there are always something you enjoy doing or that you are good at that could benefit others.

For example: If you have good computer skills, you can offer to teach them to group of senior citizens or volunteer your skills at an NGO to better manage their systems or help train their staff.

The rewards that come from involvement are not the reason for your contribution. However, when you give unconditionally, the power of giving kicks in – you end up receiving as much as you gave, if not more. Sometimes the rewards are tangible, as when you learn new skills or build your network. Sometimes they are intangible, as when you gain inner satisfaction and happiness from your contribution

You best develop your skills by practicing. Adults too often forget how they acquired many of their skills and believe that, once they pass a certain age, they are “too old” to learn anything new.

Regardless of your age, each day you have an opportunity to enhance your skills. And this can include your skills for giving wisely.

“What new skills do you want to develop?” Is an exercise that might help you identify a new skill you want to learn.

To develop new skills, ask yourself:

  • What am I most passionate about?
  • What skills could I learn in order to be able to pursue these passions?
  • How can I acquire these skills?
  • What support will I need?
  • Will I be able to ask for this support?
  • Will I commit to learning these skills today – right now?

If your answer to the last question is “Yes,” write a contract with yourself right now. Select the date when you will start, and choose who you will tell about your commitment.




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