I have been fortunate enough to go on several mission trips in my life and they have all been incredible experiences. Upon returning home from these trips, the common result is to be on an emotional high. Your whole perspective has shifted and you now have a new understanding of the world. It is difficult to put into words, but you are simply in a joyous state. The difficult part is trying to hold onto this feeling once “normal” life takes over. Your routine sets in and that high drifts away. People with similar experiences always want to know how to hold onto this high. I think there is a simple solution.
The reason that we are on a high is because we have been giving to others the entire trip. We are on a GIVING HIGH. We are blessed with a situation focused on giving to others all day, every day. It could be anywhere from a few weeks to a few years. During that time, you are constantly serving others. It is usually in a place that is in severe need, so the people being helped are extremely grateful. This gratitude increases the high. People like to be appreciated.
During a mission trip, giving is celebrated. It is part of everyday life. Each day you are seeking new opportunities and situations to give because that is what you are there to do. In this setting, people are very vocal about their gratitude. It feels great to hear a GENUINE “Thank You!” Giving does not go unnoticed. When someone is very vocal about their gratitude, it reinforces the idea of SEEKING OUT SERVICE so that you can receive more gratitude. It creates a cycle of giving and appreciation. This does not necessarily mean that you are only serving to feel good from the gratitude but it is an added bonus that should not be ignored.
However, when you return home, it seems like American society creates a huge barrier against giving by limiting its celebration. We are almost taught to suppress those good feelings that we get when we give or serve someone because it seems prideful or self-centered. You are not allowed to enjoy the added bonus of your good deeds.
As the person receiving the gift or service, you can change this. Brag for the OTHER PERSON that did the good deed so that they are allowed to feel good without having the guilt of talking about. They cannot brag about it themselves but you can.
Allow them to bask in the GIVING HIGH by talking them up. It will make them want to do more good things for you. A great way to get someone to absolutely love you is to brag about them right in front of them. (Note: if someone is bragging about you, simply say “Thank you, that is very nice of you to say,” and keep your mouth shut. Stay humble)
This reinforces the joy that comes from helping others. This will create a win, win situation where people will serve each other and be allowed to feel good for doing it. Sounds like a great cycle. I think we were created to feel good when we give for a reason. Enjoy it.
Celebrate giving as much as you can. Brag for people.
Has someone done something nice for you recently? Is there a social situation coming up where you can talk about it? Make a note to yourself right now.