Selfless acts

I suppose that most psychologists would argue that there is no such thing as true ‘selfless giving’ but I can think of one or two people I know that are extremely generous in mind and deed and who I would be inclined to call them ‘selfless’. To be clear, my definition of a ‘selfless giver’ is one who gives (or does) for others without any expectation of something in return.  To test the psychologists line of argument, let’s imagine a situation where you did a good deed for someone, without them even knowing it was you. What could the possible benefits be for you in return?

  • Pleasure in doing the action itself (it was a fun act)?
  • The inner joy of knowing you had done something good.
  • The possibility of looking good in the eyes of others?
  • Enjoying the smile or ‘thank you’ from the receiver, even if it is not aimed at you personally?
  • The deep knowledge and self-satisfaction of knowing that you made a difference, made something better for someone else?

I am running out of benefits for this situation and it makes me wonder that even if the reward is one or more of the above, then I would still think of them as being selfless in their actions.

I believe us humans have a collective advantage when individuals voluntarily help one another, without thought of something in return. I guess it must be programmed into us in one way or another.  And because of this I think it is important that we try and encourage it further in ourselves, to be on the look out for opportunities to help others without expecting something back. There’s too much emphasis on gloom and doom and ‘what’s in it for me’ in our media that I think we should not be fooled by it. If we try and focus on the small stuff that makes a difference in our immediate neighbourhood, not just in times of disaster but also in good times too, everyone feels better and has more fun.

Have a good week


2018-10-18T07:41:56+00:000 Comments

About the Author:

Harley is a dynamic 'we can do this' kind of person with a successful track record of working for a wide variety of companies in all kinds of sectors. From very small family run businesses right through to giant multi-nationals. Over the last thirty five years Harley has built a reputation for inspiring those around him to rout out and tackle the core problems facing their organizations. Armed with a wide range of pragmatic tools that he has developed over the years, Harley is able to help his clients bring about long-term, sustainable solutions, while having fun at the same time. Harley is a motivational 'people person' who is nonetheless tough on efficiency and delivery. Apart from being well known for his highly entertaining and motivational speeches, Harley is also a blogger and author of four books; 'The Change Manager's Handbook', 'Transition', 'Inspirational Leadership’ and ‘Making a Difference’.

Leave A Comment