Making a positive difference in the world and extending a helping hand to those in need can be done in many different ways, large and small. It doesn’t take huge, grand gestures to make a significant difference in someone else’s life. Helping out can begin with the smallest, most mindful gestures with your everyday life, and extend to bigger and more significant impacts you can make to those around you — as well as the world around you, too.
So how, exactly, can you best help those in need? Are you looking for inspiration, or perhaps wondering whether steps you’ve already considered can make a difference? Is this the beginning of a more emotionally rewarding journey and a more positive life in which you want to take more active efforts to help those in need? If so, here are 13 helpful steps you can take to make a positive difference in so many ways.
Step 1: Make a Donation
A lot of charitable organizations will always need monetary donation, so you can always research the best places to put your money when you’re ready to donate. You have the option of setting up a regular donation, such as a set monthly amount, or maybe you’d just like to make a one-off donation with some spare money you have. There is no amount too little when it comes to a donation, so don’t feel any pressure to keep up with a monthly donation if you can’t afford it; always stick within your own means and what you can afford, as every cent is always appreciated and can make a difference.
You also have the option to make donations to educational institutions whose work is dedicated to helping others or developing positive career paths, such as universities which offer healthcare studies like nurse practitioner programs, or those which might need funding for key research that is aiming to help others in medical ways, or a variety of other ways.
Step 2: Think Differently Around the Holidays or Certain Occasions
The holidays throw into sharp relief those people who may be in desperate need. It could simply be company during the holidays, or maybe those who don’t have a roof over their heads or access to a hot meal. Instead of concentrating on your own celebrations throughout the year and your own gift-gifting, you could perhaps switch your time and energy into helping those in need around the holidays, like volunteering with charities who are trying to offer meals for those in need or offering your time to those who perhaps don’t have anyone else and need company.
Another idea is perhaps keeping back the money you would spend on gifts and donating it to charity instead; or, asking those in your life who would buy you an advantage to donate the money to a charitable cause instead.
Step 3: Stop to Teach
You can teach others in your life in many different ways. On a bigger scale, maybe you would like to actually go into a career of teaching to help those who need educational assistance, those who want to better their lives or if you simply have a key skill you would like to share with others who want to learn. Teaching is a valuable tool which can change the lives of others for the better, so wanting to help others through a career in teaching is an admirable goal. Whether it’s in-school teaching, being a private tutor, or helping with online courses dedicated to further learning like nurse practitioner programs, there’s always a place for those who want to help others by teaching.
Step 4: Make a Career Out of Helping Others
Leading on from step 3, there are many other career opportunities you can seek in which you will be dedicating your time to helping others. A key example of this is a career in healthcare or medicine, wherein you will be working with and treating those patients in need daily, like through roles such as nurse practitioner programs or care-based positions.
If you want to not only help others in your personal time but in a career dedicated to compassionate time, too, then making a career out of helping others can be a rewarding move.
Step 5: Look for Other Ways You Can Help at Work
Helping others in your career doesn’t have to mean directly with the people your job role focuses on, like patients. It could also mean helping those you work with, too. If your colleagues need a helping hand in any way, make sure you’re taking the time to help them should they need it — even if they don’t openly ask for it.
Being understanding and compassionate with colleagues who may need help can be a great way to create a more positive work environment. It may be that you have a colleague who is working full time or also trying to better themselves with online learning courses like nurse practitioner programs, in which case they are feeling overworked or may need you to cover a shift so that they can study.
Always be open to helping out others when you can, if you can cover shifts, offer advice or even just listen if a colleague needs to talk.
Step 6: Dedicate Your Spare Time to Helping Others
Outside of work, you may want to take extra time researching ways you can best help others. Instead of spending your downtime wasting valuable hours with pastimes which no longer bring you fulfilment, or mind-numbing tasks that you want to avoid, instead, focus your energies on ways you can help others, and always look for new opportunities to do so. Even if it’s simply an hour out of your day to help others instead of sitting at home doing nothing.
Step 7: Undertake Voluntary or Charity Work
A good example of how you can use your spare time to help others is by undertaking unpaid voluntary work or charity work. There will always be a need for people who can offer a helping hand, especially charitable organizations which are struggling for manpower.
Therefore, think about your own schedule and the best times you can undertake voluntary or charity work, whether if it’s a few evenings a week, on your days off or at the weekend.
Step 8: Spend Time Out from Your Normal Life to Dedicate to Good Causes
It may be that a few evenings a week aren’t enough, or you’re not getting much satisfaction from trying to fit in voluntary hours around your full-time job. If that’s the case, maybe you want to take a large, dedicated amount of time out of your normal life to dedicate entirely to a good cause.
A good example of this could be taking a year out of work or studying to travel to another country or location to live and work for charitable causes and help out.
Or, if you’re undertaking studies to further your own career, like with online learning or with compassionate career choices like healthcare or nurse practitioner programs, then maybe you’d like to leave your full-time job and study on the road, whilst living in a place that allows you to be on the doorstep of those causes you most care about, like nature work or humanitarian causes.
Step 9: Be More Compassionate in Everything You Do
Helping others can start very small, and in the simplest ways. You can simply aim to be more kind, compassionate and understanding in everything you do, in your daily life. Smile at someone on the street or hold the door open for someone. Offer to buy your colleague’s coffee for them if they need a little pick-me-up at the minute. Offer to give a lift to a friend or colleague who is otherwise waiting for public transport. Lend your ear to someone who might want to speak to you.
All these are examples of how you can be more observant and compassionate in your everyday life, and make small, positive differences in the lives of others.
Step 10: Make More Time for Others
Lending your time to others is a good way you can help those in need, and doing it off your own bat is even more important for those who may struggle to ask for help openly, or to openly want to talk about any situation they may need help with.
You may need to be more objective and mindful about your everyday routine regarding how much time you give to other people. Perhaps you’ve realized you haven’t seen a certain friend or family member in a while because you’ve been busy, but you realize that they may need to see or speak to you. So make time for situations such as that if you can.
Maybe you want to step this up a notch and make more time for others regarding career progression. Maybe you’d like to undertake further study or qualifications which allow you to explore a new role which will enable you to make more time for others, such as stepping up a medical or nursing qualification and becoming a more dedicated family nurse through nurse practitioner programs so that you can work with more people.
Step 11: Think Differently About Gifts
Gift-giving is one area that can be a key example of how money and time can be wasted. Although, of course, it’s always the thought that counts when it comes to gifts, there are certain gifts that may not be useful to others. If you take the time to step back and think more about gifts, you may be in a position to help those around you better. Maybe it could be a homemade gift that would have more meaning to someone in your life than a generic store-bought gift. Maybe you’ve noticed something they’re really in need of, whether in their home or personal life, which they would never ask for, but would make a huge difference if they received it as a gift.
Step 12: Care for Your Own Health and Wellbeing
Helping those in need can also mean helping yourself, too. Being more compassionate to those in need also means knowing when you may need more positive inner thoughts and support, and also when you might be in a position where you need help (such as needing to relax more, needing to take a break from work or simply requiring downtime by yourself without the pressures of others).
Not only that but caring for your own health and wellbeing means that you’re always in a better position to help others and be there for others in your life. If your own health and wellbeing is neglected, this could turn to your own struggles and low mood, which means you’re in less of a good position to be there for other people in your life who may need support.
So take a step back and always help yourself when you’re in need, too. Pay attention to when you might feel overworked, too, like within demanding careers such as healthcare or nurse practitioner programs.
Step 13: Pay More Attention to Those Around You
Simply being more observant can mean you’re more in tune to those unspoken signs that somebody might require help. You can do this in your everyday life, but it’s also important to do this within those job roles where you’re responsible for the care of others, too, such as being a doctor or a nurse within nurse practitioner programs. This is because patients may not always say what they’re feeling, so being attuned to when they may need extra care and support can be key.
Final Thoughts about Helping Those in Need
How many of these steps have you already implemented in your life, or thought about implementing? Are there any which you didn’t expect, or which served as good inspiration for you going forward? Remember, there’s never a set quota to fill when it comes to helping those in need and positivity. All that matters is that the intent is there and that you care enough to want to make a difference. Whether it’s trying to listen more, trying to volunteer more or make big career changes to those roles that will help those in need, like nurse practitioner programs, it’s always going to make a difference no matter what you do, big or small.
She is a content writer & editor for more than 12 years. She usually writes about technology news, country news, arts & science, travel & automobiles. She used to test the product and write reviews for popular magazines.