“The only real happy people are those who have learned how to serve.” – Rick Warren
It’s no secret that when you bring joy to others, you also bring joy to yourself. The notion of kindness leading to happiness is not new. Writers, philosophers, and religious thinkers have made the connection for centuries. Studies today show the same results, that when you serve others, you are infusing happiness into yourself as well.
Research reveals that being generous and considerate makes people happy. It’s as simple as that! And when you are able to do this as a couple, it increases your relational “happiness meter” as well. Today, we want to share ways you can add value to others, and in turn boost the happiness in your relationship as well.
Make a list of kind acts you can share
Make a list of at least 50 new actions you can do together that will bring you above and beyond the acts of kindness you are already doing. Because believe it or not, you are likely already doing acts of kindness even if you don’t realize it! This list should be dedicated to new actions.
These acts don’t need to be huge, you can keep it small and specific. For example, instead of writing “bring flowers to someone,” note who you will bring flowers to. The list does not obligate you, so fill it up! Work your way through the list as you are able. Making a list together will raise your mindfulness of shared kindness, and open the door to discovery of countless acts you might have otherwise neglected.
Try shared service in secret
There’s something about doing good for someone when only the two of you know that brings your spirits together and brings you joy. Years ago, we were challenged to perform a random act of kindness for a person we knew was in need, but to keep it a secret. This was a fun adventure for us as a couple.
Even to this day, only the two of us know about it! It was our first act of shared service in secret and we call it the “Triple-S.” And we’ve been honing our service skills on it ever since. Try performing a secret act of kindness, and note how you feel afterwards. The results are sure to be rewarding.
Vary your kind acts
Research makes it clear that helping others on a regular basis makes people happy for an extended period. But here’s what you might not know: when you vary your acts of kindness it will make an enormous difference in your happiness. Because if we don’t vary our goodwill, it becomes just another item on our to-do list.
When you repeat the same acts of kindness over and over, it can eventually become tedious and detract from your happiness, rather than add to it. So try to avoid falling into a rut when practicing kindness. Keep it fresh. Vary what you do.
Become Marriage Mentors
If you want to learn something – then teach it. We’ve been teaching for decades, so this we know is true! Years ago, we started pairing up new couples with mentor couples. We called it Marriage Mentoring. It didn’t take long until we were running out of mentor couples so we began recruiting them from area churches. Soon after, this turned into a live training program, then a video curriculum, and now an online training called the Marriage Mentoring Academy. To date, we’ve trained over a quarter million couples!
A day doesn’t go by that we don’t hear from a Marriage Mentor couple. And they all inevitably say the same thing: “I think we get more out of this experience than the couple we are mentoring.” This is so common we call it the boomerang effect. Marriage Mentoring is perhaps the most important and effective way a couple can add value to others. And the boomerang effect of blessing and happiness mentor couples experience is immeasurable.
As a partnership, two people can serve others better than they could as separate individuals. So don’t neglect the increased value of shared service and collaborative acts of kindness. When you do, you will be doubly blessed.
Do you and your spouse serve together? How has adding value to others affected your own life?