In the past I have used a framework to help people get clear on how they can employ their unique gifts to contribute during times of disaster or chaos. For example, if there is a fire in your area and you are skilled at cooking you can make meals for the fire victims or if you are highly networked you can raise money or get supplies. There are many many ways we can help during times of need. Due to disasters feeling out of our control most understandably people tend to get overwhelmed and shut down. Knowing what you are good at can guide you to identify how you can help. During a disaster, ask yourself:
- Who is being affected? What do they need? (the best thing is to find a way to ask them versus what you think they need – social media can help you find people to ask)
- Who is already helping and how can I support them? (check out organizations that are local to the area and have good reputations)
- Are goods and supplies needed? Can I send things or money to support? Do I have resources that can help? (temporary housing, clothing, etc.)
- Who are the key influencers who can make a change now and in the future? (government, legal, community, etc.)
- Is there any hands on help that is needed? (building structures, cooking, healthcare, etc.)
We all know the basis of what we are good at and it is a great starting point if you want to take action now. If you want to explore your interests and strengths more in-depth I wrote Vekita Full Potential, which helps you gain clarity around career choices, but is highly applicable to all other aspects of how you want to design your life, including giving back. Visit ignitingfp.com for more information.
There are many ways to create positive change in the world. Some people may choose social impact careers that have positive effects on individuals or society and others may choose to contribute outside of work through volunteering or donating money to causes they care about (this too can contribute to substantial impact). It can even be starting a company that generates employment for your community or doing random acts of kindness like buying a stranger coffee. Elizabeth Hopper from U.C. Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center discovered research is showing that being kind and giving to others can make our lives feel more meaningful. So as you make others happy, in turn you are also increasing your happiness.
How do you want to make a difference in the world?
I want to leave my mark on the world by (taking an action/set goal)___________________________.
This is important to me because
(connect to values)___________________________.
I will do this by
(taking an action)___________________________.
This comes from the Vekita Full Potential Guidebook – vekitapd.com