Nomadic Lifestyle Tips

Let Them Get The Best of You

I’m learning the more ‘together’ people think you are, (surprise!) the more they want you to help them. Even though I don’t feel very together, I don’t mind. I’m a big fan of offering support, advice, or bear hugs when needed (especially if it involves actually hugging bears).

Hilary & Koala

But being open to helping also means people WILL ask for help. And as the weeks progress, I find myself bombarded with e-mails, Facebook messages, texts, and phone calls.

Honestly, sometimes I’m terrified to see what requests await me. I’ll spend a good portion of some days just replying to various calls-to-action.

I try my best to figure out what I can do (if anything) to help the situations at hand. It can be downright exhausting. And sometimes even when I consent, commit, and deliver, appreciation is low.

But I do it anyway. And you should too.

Be helpful. And do it with as much gusto and energy as possible.

Hilary Stonehenge

Why?

Because regardless of whatever make-believe competition we create for ourselves, the only sure thing is we will all be dead someday. And Jewel said it best. “In the end, only kindness matters.”

At one point in my life I didn’t realize how much TIME and EFFORT it took for someone to provide me with the information and help I wanted. I’ve inconvenienced A LOT of very nice people to help me get to this level. I still inconvenience people. It’s part of life. But it’s important I complete the circle.

I want to be the person remembered for being helpful and kind. I want to be the role model and mentor that shapes other role models and mentors. Our society needs that.

Hilary & Girlscouts

So let others get the best of you. But don’t let them take all of you.

The hard thing with managing commitment to community, support, favors, and ‘small requests’ is that they can EASILY turn into BIG time consuming projects. And if you aren’t careful, you’ll be left with no time or energy for yourself. So while it’s important to commit to your word, there’s a balance to ensure you don’t over-commit, even just in small favors.

So how do you determine what’s right for you?

There are no guarantees, but you can try using my method to determine what works for you.

Hilary & Fiji child

1. Do the deeds you’re excited about.

You will feel the most return when you have your own philanthropic motivation. Have a hankering to feed the hungry? Want to read to underprivileged children? Travel to other countries to share smiles? Do it.

Hilary & Beqa Children

Those are typically the most recognizable and rewarding community-building experiences. The harder ones are the little requests generated on a day-to-day or weekly basis. Or, if you have an inbox like mine, hourly. And most likely, someone you don’t know will be approaching you about these favors. So make sure you…

2. Choose wisely when fulfilling favors not of your making.

Before agreeing ask:

How much time will this take?

Do you have the time to commit and give yourself fully?

Have you ever been in this person’s position? If so, do you wish someone would have thrown you a bone? Or was it better you learned on your own?

If you never EVER saw a return favor from this person, would you be satisfied you did this?

Is there someone else you know who would be a better match?

Would doing this favor take away from progressing your own life? Or just inconvenience you?

If, when analyzing your answers, it looks like all you’re sacrificing is time, it’s probably a good idea to contribute. Help someone else climb the ladder in a way you would want to be helped. But before you do…

3. Release expectations.

The worst feeling is expecting someone to provide a level of appreciation and not receiving it. If you can’t commit without feeling you should get something in return, don’t do it. Otherwise you will end up frustrated and potentially harboring anger towards said person. And that’s not fair. And recognize…

4. If you really just don’t want to do it, just say no.

Our time and love are the two most valuable things we can give someone. And if you can’t give them willingly, you shouldn’t. That’s not giving someone your best; that’s giving someone what you deem ‘just enough,’ and that’s debilitating to all parties.

Choose what you commit to wisely. Commit wholeheartedly. Walk away without expectations. And remember…

5. At SOME point you will need SOMEONE’S undivided attention and help at a time that is CERTAINLY inconvenient for them.

You will never know what they are sacrificing to give you that help. But you will still need it. And wouldn’t you want them to give their all?

japan-1

Pass it on.

8 Comments

  • Reply

    Troy S.

    March 1, 2014

    Garth Brooks sang- “There’s two dates in time
    That they’ll carve on your stone
    And everyone knows what they mean
    What’s more important
    Is the time that is known
    In that little dash there in between”

    Derek Sivers said, “No more yes. It’s either HELL YEAH! or no.”
    I try to live by that too.

    PS- Who is the Japanese girl in the final picture holding the sign? I feel like I know her from somewhere.

    • Reply

      Hilary

      March 12, 2014

      Haha, got to love Garth Brooks! All wise words! I’m so glad you’re on board. :)

      And I actually have never met the Japanese girl holding the sign. She sent me that photo when I was competing for the Tourism Australia contest. I’ve never met her, but I adore her. But I feel that way about a lot of people.

      • Reply

        Troy S.

        March 16, 2014

        I thought she was a girl that works at Anime Ramen in Las Vegas, in Chinatown.

        • Reply

          Hilary

          March 20, 2014

          No, she actually lives in Japan. :)

  • Reply

    Britt Skrabanek

    March 5, 2014

    Beautifully put, Hilary! “In the end, only kindness matters” is one of my favorite Jewel lines. And, that kindness absolutely extends to ourselves, which many of us lose sight of. Saying no when something isn’t connecting fully with our hearts is crucial for our well-being. It’s hard, but worth it.

    • Reply

      Hilary

      March 12, 2014

      Thanks, Britt! It’s definitely one of my favorites! She’s pretty much a philosophical and lyrical genius.

      And I’m so glad you agree! How have you shown yourself kindness when it was necessary for your well-being?

  • Reply

    Brittany

    March 16, 2014

    I love that Japan sign ;) #JapanLuvsHilary and this a great post! You have grown and become much more wiser! I wholeheartedly agree with you! Even though I am still helpful, I’ve gotten picker with experience because you’re right why should you help someone if they’re not gonna appreciate it! (It’s called being taken advantage of!) The biggest setbacks are usually some of life’s best lesson that you’ll never forget!!

    • Reply

      Hilary

      March 20, 2014

      I love that Japan sign TOO! Some awesome chick living in Japan sent it to me ;).

      And thank you! I’m glad the post resonated with you! Here’s to spending time with the people worth our time!

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About Me

About Me

Hey fellow adventurers, my name is Hilary! After being rejected from grad school, I took off on a solo journey around the world. Now I constantly challenge myself to take on new experiences. This blog documents my journeys from Europe to Fiji, swimming with sharks and living with tribes, to becoming an accidental beauty queen and working for one of the top national media outlets. If you like what you're reading, please subscribe! Here's to the next great adventure!

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