person tending to their garden

Your Result

Put your values into the world by supporting causes you believe in

To be happier, consider a habit that will help you put your values into the world by supporting causes you believe in.

Why this aim is likely to make you happier

When we’re caught up in our day-to-day routines, it’s easy to lose track of how we’re spending our time, energy, and money. We all have demands on those resources, and often we don’t prioritize investments that put our values out into the world. 

But when we mindfully invest time, energy, and money in the causes that are important to us, we know we’re enacting our values in the world in a concrete and meaningful way. It can foster a sense of community and help us feel like we’re supporting something larger than ourselves. Also, action is often an antidote to anxiety. When we’re feeling overwhelmed by the news, we often feel better when we take action to do what we can, in our own individual ways, to address the pain of the world.

Aims you might consider

Schedule a regular Empower Hour—set aside time to do research, contact representatives, volunteer, or share resources

Set up an automatic monthly donation to a trusted organization that furthers a cause you believe in

Set aside one day per month to volunteer in your community, or donate skills to a cause that’s important to you

Consider an identity you’d like to cultivate and identify three actions you can take every week to support that identity. For example, if you’re passionate about the environment, you might compost your food scraps, pick up trash while you walk your dog, reduce your food waste, and sign a petition to protect a local green space

Consider whether your work life and home life reflect your current values

Know Yourself Better

Self-knowledge is an essential aspect of happiness, because we can create a happy life only on the foundation of our own nature, our own values, and our own interests. 

As you consider ways to put your values into the world by supporting causes you believe in​​, ask yourself:

  • Write your personal manifesto. What are the rules, mottos, or values you want to guide your life?
  • What organizations do the work that most reflect your values?
  • How do you stay informed and updated about the issues you care about?
  •  Do you prefer to collaborate with others, or do work by yourself, to further your values?

A few notes of caution…

  • Don’t worry about starting small. Even the smallest actions add up over time. If you can’t afford to make a big donation, a small recurring donation can still have a big impact.

    Consider your Tendency. Learn whether you’re an Obliger, Questioner, Upholder, or Rebel by taking the free Four Tendencies Quiz.

    • If you’re an Obliger, joining a group can offer the outer accountability you need. 
    • If you’re a Questioner, remember your “why.”
    • If you’re an Upholder, put your Empower Hour or volunteering time on the calendar.
    • If you’re a Rebel, consider how your actions support your identity.