This blog is about the best way we can be kind to ourselves. And, in my opinion, the best way to do that is to be useful.
I’ve been obsessed lately with what it means to be kind to ourselves, and it struck me as I read Darius Foroux’s blog ‘The Purpose Of Life Is Not Happiness: It’s Usefulness’ that perhaps one of the best ways of being kind to ourselves is, in fact, to be useful to ourselves.
When you think about usefulness, I’m guessing that your first thoughts will be centered around doing things for others.
Certainly being useful to those and the world around us is of huge importance and has a philanthropic quality not to be denied, however that is not what this blog is about.
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful...
The American philosopher; Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote that ‘the purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. It is not the length of life, but the depth.’
If being useful is the purpose of life, and our everyday actions are, largely, about striving to lead a purposeful existence–that is what we all want isn’t it; to lead a life that has meaning–then we must look inwards at how we can be useful to ourselves before we can look outwards.
By assessing our needs first we are, it goes without saying, doing ourselves a kindness.
Kindness to you is kindness to me, and kindness to me is kindness to you
Rick Hanson; a neuropsychologist, wrote about how kindness to you is kindness to me, and kindness to me is kindness to you in his article for Psychology Today.
The takeaway principle from this novel idea is not only the cyclical nature of kindness but that in order to have the capacity to be kind to others you must also be kind to yourself.
Treating ourselves with kindness is at its core a way of respecting ourselves.
What better way to be respectful of ourselves–all we have been, presently are and will be–than to do things that are of use to us now and in preparation for our futures?
Why be useful to ourselves?
When we do things that are useful to us as individuals–say by taking ten minutes in the morning to mediate or creating tomorrow’s to-do list the night before–we feel productive, accomplished, of value, and perhaps even successful.
All feelings that make us feel fundamentally good about ourselves.
In other words, we have listened to and respected our needs and translated those into actions that will help us achieve the desired outcome.
We get a sense of fulfillment that, in turn, makes us happy.
Usefulness = Kindness
If, then, these useful actions make us feel good about ourselves is this not one way of being kind to ourselves?
And to take this one step further, if we can be useful to ourselves with the result being of a positive change or forwards motion in our circumstances, then surely usefulness is one of the very best ways of being kind to ourselves?
Being useful to ourselves individually can actually be the antidote to procrastination and self-destruction.
Each and every act we do that is of use to us in some way, no matter how big or small, translates to positive progression in our lives.
So, being useful to ourselves is being kind to ourselves, and brings us closer to leading a meaningful and purposeful life.
Give usefulness a go and see how much lighter you’ll feel. Be kind to yourself by being useful to yourself.
Post by Eva Fenn
Eva Fenn is a professional writer for hire specializing in article and report writing, blog posts, copywriting, and B2C writing. With her expert knowledge and experience, she creates engaging content designed to boost search-engine visibility and attract visitors within the fields of lifestyle and mental and physical wellness. Eva has a passion for organic, sustainable and cruelty-free living, and when not writing you can find her putting pen to paper in an attempt to write her first novel, practicing yoga or walking with her husband and dogs in the scenic Yorkshire Dales.