by David DeFord
Like many of the youth of the times, I spent my late- and post-high school years experimenting with illegal drugs. Luckily, with serious effort, I was able to remove myself from the devastating influence of these harmful substance.
Those were the “bad old days.”
Today, many people continue to see harmful ways get high:
• gambling, or
• illicit sex.
Unfortunately, each of these methods brings the terrible side-effects of
• broken homes,
• mental illness,
• severe addiction and
• shattered lives.
These truly become deterrents to happiness.
Are there more positive ways to get high?
Some recent studies have uncovered evidence that the biblical adage: “it is better to give than to receive” carries some weight of truth.
The University of Michigan studied 423 elderly couples for five years. Those reporting that they volunteered regularly and helped people were half as likely to die.
A study reported in the Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine found that improved mental health is more closely linked to giving help than to receiving it. Quoting the publication, “What happens, it seems, is when you open your heart to other people to listen and care about them, it changes the way you look at the world and you’re happier.”
While the biological link between good deeds and improved mental health has not been determined, researchers postulate two theories:
1. stress reduction improves the immune system and therefore feelings of well-being, and
2. the same feel-good endorphins that stimulate “runners’ high” also create “helper’s high”.
Researchers and sociologists have studied members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) for decades. They want to determine the cause of their lengthened life expectancy. According to the School of Public Health at UCLA, active Mormons in the United States have a life expectancy eleven years greater than the national average.
Why does this particular group of 12 million, have such a dramatic health advantage?
Most early studies have focused on the Mormon practice of abstaining from the harmful, addictive substances of alcohol, tobacco, coffee and tea.
If I were a researcher, I would look at the volunteering practices of the church. Congregation leaders and area officers come from the rank and file of the church. None of these individuals receive monetary payment for their services. All serve on a volunteer basis. And, each member receives regular stewardships to care for and teach one another. Hundreds of millions of hours are spent each year by Mormon volunteers. Each volunteer receives all of the benefits, the “helpers’ high”, if you will.
Elderly members have the same opportunities as younger members. You can see them serving one another in nearly every community in the nation. They can be found teaching children, helping others with their family history research, and overseeing whole congregations. They have reasons to get up in the morning, and meaningful work in behalf of others.
My wife Kathy and I created a little study of our own. Three of our grandchildren stayed with us over the Memorial Day weekend. Rather having them spend time with their favorite children’s’ videos and books, we put them to work. On Saturday, we had them help us plant flowers, pick up trimmed tree limbs, and water our gardens.
The girls had the time of their lives. The two older girls commented that this was one of the best days of their lives.
Want to get a good high without negative side-effects? Want it to be legal, moral, and natural? Want to improve your mental and physical health? Want to add some meaning and purpose to your life?
"We must give more in order to get more. It is the generous giving of ourselves that produce the generous harvest." Orison Swett Marden
"In the time we have it is surely our duty to do all the good we can to all the people we can in all the ways we can." William Barclay
“One thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” Albert Schweitzer
"If you would find happiness and joy, lose your life in some noble cause. A worthy purpose must be at the center of every worthy life." Jack H. Goaslind, Jr.
"I see so many of my kind who have gone mad for want of something to do." Florence Nightingale
Standing for Something: 10 Neglected Virtues That Will Heal Our Hearts and Homes
In this national bestseller, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley, has created a classic look at the values that can change our world--and how to stand up for them. Drawing on anecdotes from his much-admired life of faith and service, as well as examples from American culture today, he examines ten virtues that have always illuminated the path to a better world: love, honesty, morality, civility, learning, forgiveness and mercy, thrift and industry, gratitude, optimism, and faith. He then shows how the two guardians of virtue--marriage and the family--can keep us on that path, even in difficult times. Standing for Something is an inspiring blueprint for what we all can do--as individuals, as a nation, and as a world community--to rediscover the values and virtues that have historically made us strong and that will lead us to a brighter future.
David DeFord has written the book you need to accomplish all that you seek in your life.
Ordinary People Can Achieve the Extraordinary-A Practical Guide to Goal Achievement will help you bust past the inevitable obstacles. In the past, you became discouraged and quit chasing your dreams.
Now, you can press past these roadblocks and reach your chosen destinations.
Order it on Amazon.com at:
- How to finally take control of your future
- How to build foundations under your dreams
- How you no longer need to “settle” for what you have
- Why living the “TV Existence” kills your dreams, and how to break free
- The best way to select your goals
- How to identify your “Great One Thing”
- How to use all of your sense to keep enthused
- How to become the success you seek
- How to deserve it
- Some simple record-keeping techniques to measure your progress
- How to talk yourself into overcoming the temptation to backslide
- How keeping a journal will help you succeed
- Resources that can help you keep your determination high
- Free e-zines to instruct and inspire you
- Discussion groups and forums that can help you
- How giving back to your community helps you deserve abundance
Are you often looking for the right quote to motivate yourself or others? Positive words of encouragement can affect our attitudes greatly. And our attitudes affect every area of our lives. In 1000 Brilliant Achievement Quotes—Advice from the World’s Wisest by David DeFord, you will find encouraging words to help you lift yourself above the ordinary.
From slugger Henry Aaron to Carl Zuckermeyer, Anne Frank to George Burns, wise people have offered wonderful and useful advice on successful living.
Author David DeFord has sifted through tens of thousands of quotes, reluctantly discarding many, in an effort to bring you the most brilliant. This volume may be used as a reference work. But you may wish to read it from cover to cover initially. Like eating hot cayenne pepper sauce, the effect of reading powerful quotes produces an accumulated potency. The more you read, the stronger the impact.
An excellent companion to his first book, Ordinary People Can Achieve the Extraordinary—A Practical Guide to Goal Achievement, these quotes will help you keep focused on reaching your dreams.
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