“There’s got to be more beyond merely existing and going through the daily grind of life…”

Back in my early twenties, living in one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, I pretty much thought I had it all – a wonderful boyfriend, a great job, an amazing apartment, and lots of fun friends.

We were living out our youth to its fullest which to us at the time meant partying the night away at least 4 times a week.

After a while, though most of us would not outright admit it, we would find ourselves waking up in the morning feeling hollow and wondering “Is this is it?! Is this ALL there is?!”

Yet, as the night falls, we would go about our usual routine as the alluring party scene had become a vortex that was nearly impossible to get out of.

Soon enough, that feeling of emptiness became a palpable ton of bricks that weighed us down and it became impossible for us to continue to shrug the feeling off.

We kept desperately yearning for something more…something more substantial. And it was then we finally accepted that we really had to do something. It became clear to us that it wasn’t going away until we do.

My salvation came unexpectedly as if the Universe had heard my plea for help and decided to cut me a break…

A friend whom I just met at the time (who since has become one of my very best friends), asked if I would be willing to help out in starting up a chapter of a non-profit organization and give back to the community we’re living in.

I said “yes!” in a heartbeat. As I had done a number of volunteer work back in school and thoroughly enjoyed it, I jumped at the opportunity to get back to giving back every chance I get.

This unexpected opportunity turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened in my life.

Read more: There’s Got to be More to Life

As soon as I started to get back to volunteering, the emptiness disappeared and was quickly replaced with joy. Knowing that my time and efforts made others’ lives a little better was such a great blessing and in my opinion – priceless.

Though I continued to have an active social life, I no longer felt as if I was merely existing, living out a predictable routine.

Serving others made me realize that we’re all in this together.

It became clear that despite our various backgrounds, ideas, religions, ethnicities, and so forth, we’re all essentially one.

In other words, regardless of our differences, we are all human beings who are all connected and created to help each other.

Whilst there’s certainly nothing ‘wrong’ with acquiring success and enjoying the finer things in life, it’s also crucial to realize that no amount of money or material goods can outweigh the value of love, compassion, and kindness that we sincerely give to others.

In order to live a life that matters, we need to look beyond serving our own needs and start serving others.

It’s important for us to acknowledge what a blessed life we already have and pay it forward – be it to our significant other, family members, friends, or even strangers.

Most of all, keep in mind that our efforts do not need to be time-consuming and extravagant.

It can be as simple as giving sincere smiles to people you come across throughout the day, doing random acts of kindness on a regular basis, or giving your loved ones your undivided attention whenever you’re with them (no distractions from gadgets, please).

You’ll find that when you extend love, compassion, and kindness to those around you, it’ll make its way back to you exponentially. And life as you know it becomes much more joyful and meaningful.

Read more: 5 Worthwhile Ways to Give Back

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