When I say the word service, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? My own answers surprised because of how many negative associations I had with the word. I found myself saying things like doing what others want me to do; giving more than I get in return in order to be perceived as a “good” person; doing things for free because it is the right thing to do; and finally, I viewed service as something I did for another because I was paid to do it. My old view of service was narrow and misguided because it was based on the belief of service being about duty and obligation rather than an act of love and contribution. In fact I would argue that the quickest way to success is to see service as an act of creativity and a way to make a contribution to society.
Service is not about giving with no end in sight; service is all about giving from a place of overflow. It requires you to be in sync with your spirit in order to understand what you naturally do from a place of love, joy, and enthusiasm. I know this idea may seem puzzling at first glance; after all, creativity is often associated with being fun, bold, daring and inventive; service, in the sense of making a contribution, brings up words like serious, formal, credentials, and outside approval. They seem to contradict each other at first glance, because one comes from within and the other appears to be based on external approval. But look again; you make a contribution to society when you are operating in alignment with the love and joy that is within you. This is where all creativity comes from. When you are right with yourself, you are creating from a place of love. You are contributing to society in a positive way by connecting with others at the soul level, and that is powerful. For example, some are blessed with the ability to communicate and create positive changes in society through the use of language or music. Think about the author who writes a book because she decided to listen to her creative urge and it ends of having a profound effect on many. The book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert comes to mind as I type this sentence.
For those of you out there who insist you are not creative, the truth is we are all blessed with creativity. Think about what you naturally excel at. What gets you excited and energized? This is your creativity in action. It has nothing to do with being a good painter, sculptor or dancer—although you may be creative in this sense. It is really about being unapologetically yourself by acting in alignment with your deepest truth because it brings you joy. The act of honoring yourself by using your creativity uplifts others, and that is service at its finest.