contributing to the greater good by alicia curtis

Contributing to the Greater Good. And why that matters.

By Tasha Broomhall

Alicia Curtis

Alicia Curtis is one of Western Australia’s most inspiring social and business entrepreneurs as well as an award winning speaker, leadership facilitator and community change maker.

She is passionately driven by her purpose to ignite leaders to transform the world for the better. In 2014, she co-founded 100 Women, a collective giving circle which inspires everyday people to become powerful philanthropists. Over that time, 100 Women has granted $720,000 and impacted over 10,500 women and girls in over six different countries.

Alicia has a Masters in Business Leadership and has numerous awards to her name including the 2019 Business News 40under40 List where she placed in the top 4, 2018 EY Social Entrepreneur of the Year in the western region, Westpac’s 200 Businesses of Tomorrow in 2017 and the Westpac & Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence List in 2014.

Alicia’s leadership journey started at 12 years of age attending the first International Children’s Conference organised by the United Nations and then cofounding a children’s conference in Perth. Since then, she’s never stopped!

Alicia has written this guest post for us to share more about her work.

Opportunity To Reflect

If there were any silver linings in 2020, it would have to be the opportunity to reflect on what’s truly important to you, both personally and in society. A chance to stop, think and reflect on your goals and everyday habits.

Pre-COVID, it wasn’t hard to be caught up in the rat race chasing extrinsic goals like fame and fortune, thinking this will give us a fulfilling life. Yet research has shown us that living a meaningful and fulfilling life is driven through a focus on intrinsic goals such as developing deep relationships, taking care of your health and wellbeing, learning new things and contributing to something bigger than yourself.

Ancient Greeks to modern-day psychologists have pondered on what creates a good life. Many of these philosophers and psychologists agree an integral part of a life well lived is found in the notion of contributing to something bigger than yourself or the greater good.

what good shall i do this day on coffee cup
Photo: Natham Lemon (Unsplash)

What Exactly Is The Greater Good?

The greater good is often described as the wellbeing of the whole of humanity. When you talk about contributing to the greater good, it can often mean addressing the wicked social, economic and ecological challenges we are facing – locally, nationally and globally.

So taking on these challenges together with others can give our lives a great sense of meaning and purpose. People who are strongly connected to purpose tend to be more resilient, motivated and live more satisfying lives. So where do you start to take on the challenges of humanity? If this seems too overwhelming, here are five ways to start contributing to the greater good.

Five Ways To Contribute To The Greater Good

1 Find and build community. Discover the local community within 10 kilometres from your house and activate your role as a citizen! Explore the community centres, local council, the school your children attend or the local community groups. Your local community – your family, friends, neighbours, even your local barista, need connection and nourishment! With loneliness rates going through the roof, it’s time for us all the re-engage in our local communities.

2 Reframe your work. Researchers have found that people see their work in one of three ways, as a job, career or calling. No matter what the job or industry, we all have the opportunity to see what we do for work through these three lens and the difference it can make isstartling. A job is done only for financial reward whereas a career elicits both a financial reward and career advancement such as status and success. Yet, those who tapped into their work as a calling, connecting how their work contributed to the greater good in some way, can fuel a sense of purpose, energy and deep satisfaction.

3 Use your influence to lead. You have a voice and you have more influence than you think! What are the causes close to your heart that ignite a fire in your belly? Consider how you can step up in your contribution using your skills, networks, time and influence. You could become an ambassador, a fundraiser, a committee member or board director. Think of the influence you have and use it!

4 Tell your story. The process of both writing and sharing your story can be personally fulfilling as well as helpful to others. Reflecting on your life, the obstacles and achievements, and how they have shaped you and your life today helps you create meaning in your life. Sharing this can help others feel less alone and be a tool for social change.

5 Connect the generations. Relationships with those who are young and old can connect us in with our part in the circle of life. You can share your knowledge and experiences with younger generations as well as be inspired by older generations and learn from their wisdom. Think about how you foster these intergenerational connections in your life.

Creating joy and meaning in life can be as simple as cultivating opportunities to help others. You can also challenge yourself to consider how you can step up and play a greater role in creating the society you want, pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and making a bigger difference. The world needs people who serve a purpose beyond themselves, now more than ever!

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