Do You Want Success? Successful People Strive to Help Others

help others

Story:  How can we help others? During the depression, one community in North America was having a particularly difficult time. How were they going to feed their families? Where would their next meal come from? How would they survive? The bartering system is a great way to reach out and help. Consider the community that bonded together during the depression and created a food bartering system.  Each family had a family member that planted a line of vegetables. Each neighbor helped with planting, harvesting, and picking. When the vegetables were picked, each household received a portion of the vegetables from the other gardens.. This was a common practice in rural communities and families for years. This is how this community survived the depression years. This is how they tried to help others
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Moral of the Story: When these families pooled their resources, they were all helped. Think about the implications in today’s society. Perhaps we are not in dire economic straits anymore. Maybe we are not scrounging for food. And perhaps we are not putting money in shoe boxes. At the same time, take some time to ponder on what can happen when business people bond together to help one another. When one is helped, all are helped. When we help others, everyone is helped.

Quotes on Helping Everyone:

 Anne Frank: How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~

The world lost a real gem when Anne Frank was taken to a concentration camp. What wisdom she had at the tender age of fifteen. Think about how the world would be different if we all stepped out to help the poor, the disenfranchised, and the suffering. The impact would be enormous, powerful, and positive. She truly strove to help others.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: The happiest people I have known have been those who gave themselves no concern about their own souls, but did their uttermost to mitigate the miseries of others.”

I do believe we need to self nurture in order to achieve balance. Giving, giving, giving, and more giving can result in burnout. At the same time, true happiness does come in the form of possessing an altruistic nature. Consider the work of Albert Schweitzer who devoted his life to bring health and happiness to South Africa. Think about the life mission of Billy Graham who as pointed thousands in the direction of salvation. Mother Teresa’s work among the dying in India has brought such great comfort. All three experienced hardships and frustrations along the way. Happiness is not about the absence of challenges. It’s about saying ‘I fought the good fight. I stood strong in the face of battle. And my life has made a difference in the world.’ I have tried to help others

Kahlil Gibran I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy.”


Is life all joy? Don’t we all have hardships, challenges, and frustrations in the tapestry of our stories? Don’t we all walk the bridges of sadness, grief, joy, and happiness? It’s a blend of all of these elements. Yet, life is all joy when we see the good in those challenges, those times of grief and frustration. “All things work together for those who love the Lord.”

Practical application to your life: Consider the work of Dr. Patch Adams. His early life was marked by the emotional absence of his father, who served in the Korean war. His father’s mental state was affected by his war time experiences. He remained unable to connect with his family in a healthy way. After his father died in Germany, Adams came back to the United States with his mother and his brother.

During his high school years, Dr. Adams was deeply affected by institutional injustice which made him a target for bullies at school. He subsequently became actively suicidal. He was hospitalized three times in one year for depression and suicidal proclivities. He chose to live and to devote the rest of his life to helping others, providing hope, and fighting social injustice. He made the commitment to help others.

Adams believes that the health of the individual cannot be separated from the health of the family, the community, and the world. His mission is to promote vitality in all three areas.

After I had finished the original draft of my first book, Recovering from Depression, Anxiety, and Psychosis, I sent it to Dr. Adams. He called me one Saturday morning and left the following message. “I just received your book. I regret to say that I may not have the time to read it, because I travel over 300 days out of each year. I’m glad you overcame your mental illness. I know I’m happy I overcame mine.”

I also received a post card from him with the following message. “Thank you for sending me you book – I wish you a lot of luck. The country is so troubled. I’ve just posted a blog saying depression is not a disease. I think of depression as a symptom of loneliness.”

So what do you plan on doing to bring health to yourself, to your family, and to the world? What is your calling? Dr. Adams goes around the world encouraging the development of community awareness. That is not an option for most of us. How can you impact your community? How can you help others.

Exercise to develop community involvement.

Think of five to ten ways you can help your community. Devise an action plan for each idea.

Community Development                             Action Plan

From Barbara Altman, author, presenter, and motivational speaker. For speaking engagements, feel free to contact me at or at 314-962-5324.

If you know of someone who wants to build a happy, success filled life or if someone you know is suffering from major depression, showing signs of depression, is manic depressive, or is looking for how to deal with depression please subscribe to Barb’s blog. She has advice on such topics as, coping with depression, teen depression, anxiety and depression, depression in children,  and other types of depression disorders. You can visit her website at


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