I’d go as far as to say that over three quarters of the people that hire me to be their Life Coach express this desire in some way, shape, or form.
It may manifest as values such as significance, connection or wanting to leave a legacy, but at its core is the desire to feel like our life means something positive.
And that seldom comes from doing things for ourselves, but from helping others. I strongly believe we are hard-wired to want to help others even if some people do a great job of overriding their wiring for much of the time.
Cocaine or Compassion?
Did you know that the effect on your brain when acting altruistically and compassionately toward another person, is almost identical to that of taking drugs such as amphetamine and cocaine?
Maybe not quite as intense, but brain imaging has shown that both deliver a dopamine rush to the area of the brain called the nucleus accumbens. And that results in a feeling of pleasure and a sense of well-being.
Last week I shipped a case of 60 copies of How To Be Rich and Happy to a charity in Michigan called the North Kent Community Services. I always get a buzz when I send books off because I know that each copy has the potential for helping somebody change their lives for the better.
Unfortunately, the books in question never made it to Rockford, Mi. What turned up was an empty sealed box. Presumably somewhere between Florida and Michigan somebody had opened the box, removed the books and sent the packaging on its merry way.
What happened when I got the phone call to tell me about the books being stolen was a huge dopamine crash. The good feeling I’d had when sending the books had been blown away by the feeling that it was all for naught.
The charity in question had zero budget and as such the woman I was dealing with had generously paid for shipping out of her own pocket. I felt bad for her, so I took another case to the Post Office and paid for shipping from the How To Be Rich and Happy account and all is good.
They deal with thousands of people smack bang in the middle of the core group that we want to get the books to, and they believe the book can make a positive impact in their clients lives.
To be able to do that in time for the holidays would be fantastic. However, there is the tiny issue of shipping costs. Every case costs about $20 to ship and we simply don’t have the money to do it.
Actually that’s not technically true, we do have the money, but if we used it it would mean we can’t order the next print run because it’s earmarked for that.
Today I’m offering you the chance of a dopamine rush without the necessity of buying illicit substances, putting your health at risk, or generating an addiction.
I’m also offering you the opportunity to make a real difference in peoples lives, right here, right now.
At the moment we are offering a free copy of How To Be Rich and Happy with every order placed. It has gone really well and we are down to our last 60 or so books, but I want to sweeten the deal by committing that the money from the next 10 sales will go directly to pay for shipping to the United Church Outreach Ministry.
In other words, if you buy today you not only get a really great book (he says modestly), but you get another to give as a gift, and best of all, you personally place 60 other books into the hands of less fortunate people.
Trust me, your nucleus accumbens will love you for it!
If you already have the book or genuinely can’t afford it (and if you really, really can’t, why aren’t you e-mailing me and requesting a free copy?) you can still help us greatly by tweeting about this or posting a link on Facebook.