If you've been feeling aimless lately and getting that feeling of what's the point, a great way to combat it is to help others.

4 Ways You Can Improve Others’ Lives

If you've been feeling aimless lately and getting that feeling of what's the point, a great way to combat it is to help others.

If you’ve been feeling aimless lately and getting that feeling of what’s the point, a great way to combat it is to help others.

This can take you out of your head and your comfort zone, help you appreciate what you have in your own life, and give you a new perspective. It also just feels good to do something nice for someone else. Below are a few ways that you can turn that vague sense of meaningless into something truly life-changing for someone else.

Help Someone Go to College

Do you know a young person with college potential who doesn’t have any adults around them who can help them navigate the application process? Or maybe you know someone more in the nontraditional student age range who would like to get a degree but isn’t quite sure what will be involved or where to start. Choosing a college and getting into one can seem impenetrable if it isn’t something you or people close to you know a lot about, but getting a degree can make a real difference in a person’s career satisfaction and earning power.

Whatever the person’s age; you can help them research the colleges that might suit them based on their ambitions. You can also help them in preparing applications and narrowing down their choices. Perhaps the most helpful thing of all you can do is become a cosigner for student loan responsibility. This won’t be right for everyone, but if you have a clear understanding with the individual about their financial responsibilities or you’re in a position to cover those costs if the student does default, this can help them take out enough money in loans to cover their education and living expenses.

Get Involved

There are an enormous number of ways you can improve things by helping out in your community, whether community here means your city, your neighborhood, or a particular group, such as the people with whom you share a hobby or religious beliefs. Sometimes, this can mean volunteering in a particular position that requires your help. Other times, it can mean identifying a need and taking the lead on fixing a problem. Maybe your neighborhood needs a park for the local kids to play in, but no one is doing anything about it. You could find out what city department you need to talk to about creating a park and work to get support within your neighborhood for this project. Whatever form this involvement takes, try to understand what people want and help them achieve it.


It seems like a simple enough thing, but you would be surprised at how many just need someone to listen to them and how powerful this can be. Both the process and the effects will vary based on who you are listening to. Maybe as a parent, you’ll realize that it’s been a while since you really paid attention to what your children are saying. Making an effort to do so again can change your relationship for the better. This is true as well for others you are close to, including friends and family members. Listening more carefully to work colleagues and other acquaintances can help build your relationship with them.

Listening to strangers can have many different positive benefits for you and them as well. This might occur in several different capacities. Maybe you’ll just listen more carefully to what the person in the check-out line with you is saying. On the other hand, perhaps you have a job in a field such as teaching, healthcare, or law enforcement where shifting the way that you genuinely listen to what people are saying to you can have a profound effect in your professional life on the impact you make on others.

Cultivate Empathy

Empathy is a word that people often fling around without really thinking more deeply about what it means. Saying that you’re an empathetic person can make you feel good about yourself, but what would showing genuine empathy entail? If you are behaving in an empathetic way, you’re making an effort to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. This can mean understanding why the other person makes choices or has beliefs that you might disagree with. There’s an element of recognizing our common humanity in empathy. Having empathy is often the first step toward figuring out how best to help another individual.

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