S is for Service

Sections of this topic

    My hope for you as 2010 comes to an end is that you will be inspired to be of even more service to others in 2011. Here are three quotes that have inspired me this year and hope that these reflections encourage all of us into leading a more service-focused upcoming year.

    Happiness consists in giving and in serving others.

    Henry Drummond

    Two main focuses that I had for my 2010 goals was giving and gratitude. I knew that if I kept these as a priority for my year, it would bring me and those I connect with more happiness. According to Cami Walker (author mentioned below) this is her formula for success too. “Giving mindfully and being actively grateful for all I am receiving has become a part of my daily spiritual practice.” Here are two ways that I practiced giving and gratitude.

    The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

    Mahatma Gandhi

    Giving. Around Thanksgiving I found out about this amazing woman Cami Walker and how she is being of service to others. Her book 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change your Life and her website www.29Gifts.org explains how she is giving to others. She found out that in her 30’s she was diagnosed with MS and soon her health and life was falling apart. A spiritual teacher encouraged her in the midst of this madness to stop focusing on herself and to give to others – 29 gifts in 29 days. Once Cami was ready to do this, it transformed her life. Her health, relationships and outlook on life improved. She continued her mission and gave gifts for a year straight, setting up the website and writing the book.

    To challenge our family to remember that the holiday season is about giving, our family did the 29 days of giving challenge together starting Dec. 1. At least one of us as family would give a gift to someone each day. We are keeping a video blog of our giving. Some of the favorite gifts that we did included:

    • my husband spending 2 hours snow-blowing (we live in Minnesota and have gotten a ton of snow already) three neighbors driveways (which his snow-blower broke after he was done)
    • myself volunteering in my son’s first grade classroom teaching them how to write a book and then giving each of the students one of my books as they shared with me their special books they made
    • my older son, Gavin (age 6), sharing with a classmate about how God is good when his classmate said that God only makes things worse in his life
    • my middle son, Grant (age 4), giving compliments and making special pictures for others
    • my youngest son, Garrett (age 14 months), giving joy to others with his excitement learning how to walk
    • a special thank you to our letter carrier for all of his daily service

    Today is December 29 – our last day of giving as a family. This entry is my gift to you today. And I want to say a special thank you to Linda Ferguson, co-host of this blog, for all the wonderful posts she has given all of us this year!

    Do what you love, give it back in the form of service, and you will do more than succeed. You will triumph.

    – Oprah

    Gratitude. Sept. 13 is the day I started Project GratOtude a challenge to encourage others to increase gratitude in their lives and as a way for me to give back in the form of service of something that I love doing and learning about. The first four months of the challenge have been special, highlights include:

    • The 300+ members who have joined the community from around the world and the dedicated members of the Dream Team also being of service to the project
    • The inspirational resources, gratitude-related products and free gifts donated to our community
    • Eight recorded interviews with experts on gratitude. One of the gifts of gratitude include the gift of education, in which our very own Carter McNamara is our expert. Carter has been in service to all of us for many years as he is the one who created the FREE management library in which millions of us are all benefiting from. You can listen to the 25-minute interview with him by clicking on the link below.


    Share with us how you’ve been of service in 2010 and how you plan to do so in 2011!

    For more resources, see our Library topic Spirituality in the Workplace.


    Janae Bower is an inspirational speaker, award-winning author and training consultant. She founded Finding IT, a company that specializes in personal and professional development getting to the heart of what matters most. She started Project GratOtude, a movement to increase gratitude in people’s lives.