Johnny offers participation by reading the paragraph during class but is monotone. Sally writes the paper for the assignment but scowls the whole time. Jenny gets all six lessons of Reading Plus completed. However, she grumbles under her breath that she hates the article topics. Harry sits in the back of class and doesn’t hit a lick at anything. How broad are their scopes?

Bill finishes a work project in record time, but it is lackluster in the eyes of his boss. Sue clocks in and puts in her time but is rude to the customers. Jack mops the floor, but he does it because he wants to leave the place that he despises. How broad are their scopes?

A Broader Scope Provides Hope

So what on earth do I mean by how broad are their scopes? Their scopes of participation. Are they only participating in their educational or professional lives? Are they only going to work or class, going home, getting a shower, eating supper, waking up and repeating the cycle? Some may not even have the luxury of all parts of this cycle. If this is the case, they need to broaden the focus of their scopes to include various forms of participation.

In the last blog post entitled How to Find Peace of Mind and Happiness, I discussed how one must have a balance of peace in three areas of life–professional, personal, and physical. The same is also true in regard to participation. In a professional or educational sense, we participate to fulfill our duties. We might have projects, assignments, or production to meet. Typically, we do our job to the best of our abilities. A person participates in the workplace and classroom as a team player to accomplish the common good for the company or business. We begin a career striving to meet the needs of the boss, the company, and ourselves.

Good Intentions Become Stale

A person begins a career or educational endeavor conversing with colleagues and taking advice from them with open arms in order to get better. The person never takes offense to anything and never talks behind other’s backs. There is peace, love and harmony.

Then it happens! The new wears off. That honeymoon phase has gone. The work seems monotonous and people begin to get on our nerves. People begin to talk about one another. Participation is there, but it isn’t near the quality that it once was. What happened??? Why do we do we get in slumps?

We have quit taking time in the areas of personal and physical participation. We are pouring all of our efforts into only one of the big three. Our scope is so narrow that all we see are our professional or educational lives. What does the personal and physical side need to look like in order to rid ourselves of the negative outlook with our professional or educational participation?

Personal Participation

Join a group of like-minded people, partaking in good conversation–conversation not pertaining to work or education.

Revival Comes During Participation

Such a group might be a church group if you are a spiritual person. There are various happenings in the church and this is a way to participate for personal well-being. There are classes on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights. Potlucks for the congregation are a regular activity. Joining a team of people who visit the sick within the church is also something that others appreciate. Oftentimes there are book studies to strengthen relationships among the congregation or husband and wife. The world is your oyster!

Enthusiasts Unite

If that is not your cup of tea, find others who share your hobbies and interests. My interest is the outdoors. Join such a group on social media and connect with people in your area to plan a kayaking trip. Touch base with other fishing enthusiasts to plan a day of wetting a line and catching your limit of fish. The possibilities are endless. Orchestrate your date with friends, related to things that you are passionate about.

Appreciation for the Elderly

Recently I took a group of teenagers to the nursing home. Many teens were reluctant participate in this type of task. I heard so many different comments.

The smell of the nursing home freaks me out.

I don’t know what to say to people I don’t know.

Old people scare me.

Everyone overcame their fears and apprehensions that day and some awesome connections were formed. Many of the nursing home residents do not have visitors all year. Our young people were filling that void. The kids and elderly harmonized their vocals to serenade the nursing home staff. We painted their finger nails. We played cow patty bingo. During these fun games, I noticed the elderly still have such a competitive spirit. 🙂 The day was a memorable one for all involved. Regular participation, for adults and youth alike, builds personal character and meaning in life. At the end of the day, the students were asking if we could come back the following day. I was glad they did because I felt the same way. 🙂

Cherish Children

Youth outreach comes in many different forms. Volunteer your time to coach a sports team. There is not a more humbling experience than taking on a role as “coach”. Many youth programs are under-served and would gladly welcome new individuals. Kids appreciate our time and attention. Many kids turn to coaches and sports if they do not get the attention at home. Other kids just like the extra-curricular opportunities.

Volunteer your time at a daycare. Any new faces who enter a daycare get a flock of little ones wanting attention. Just being a hero is young people’s eyes is enough to revive someone who is in a slump.

Helping the Sick and Underprivileged is a Privilege

One way to participate in this regard is to raise money for a trustworthy cause. I have a special place in my heart for the work that St. Jude Children’s Hospital embodies, so I personally donate, but I also share the great work they are doing in regard to children’s cancer research and the accommodations they provide for families. There are tons of causes and foundations. Consider donating and participate in getting the word out about the cause you support.

I also like to participate with a place called JOY ministries. They lead missions to help those who need food. JOY ministries also has outreach to emergency areas that have been impacted by natural disasters. One big project they recently led was raising funds for a new home for a family who had taken on extra children in their house after the parents tragically lost their lives. Their overall mission matches my passions.

Another way to participate is to sponsor a child for Christmas. My heart breaks for those family’s and children who do not have anything for Christmas. While this won’t cover all of the underprivileged children out there, at least it makes a difference to someone.

If our output at work is dwindling or our attitude stinks, personal participation like this type of outreach will make us enthusiastic to go into work or interact with others. We will be excited to share great news. It might just reinvigorate us in all areas of life.

Physical Participation

As mentioned in the article entitled How to Find Peace of Mind and Happiness, I said our physical life was as simple as breaking a sweat and moving.

Exercise with Others

As time goes on and exercise becomes easier, it is sometimes good to up the ante. Participate in an exercise class. Seeing other individuals working hard beside us is a great motivator. It pushes a person to strive for a few more reps.

Walk/Run for Extra Fun

If running is your passion, join a run/walk 5k. These are usually more laid back and just a way to interact with other people in a leisurely run/walk pace. Sometimes this is a change up from the tread mill that sometimes feels like a hamster on a wheel. If these get too easy, then there are always 10k races, half marathons, and marathons to satisfy the urge for an extra challenge and to share in the experience with others.

Run/Exercise Events

Those who want more adventure should try a try a triathlon or obstacle race like the tough mudder. These offer some variation in approaches and require that the participant be in ultra fitness and cardiovascular shape. A guy I work with did numerous races of different types I mentioned just to keep fresh interest and to have a goal in mind.

Of course these are all just suggestions. Every person is different in his/her approach and what someone may be comfortable with. Some may be satisfied with the previous mantra I mentioned of just breaking a sweat and moving. Regardless of preference, simply participate in something. Should you decide to exercise solo, I highly recommend a fitness tracker like the one at this link. A person can exercise alone but still enjoy challenges with friends, calorie tracking, heart rate monitoring, sleep tracking, and a whole plethora of other features. When I purchased mine, it completely changed my whole mindset of physical participation.

In conclusion, it is all about balance. We must participate in our professional, personal, and physical lives. We should never become so consumed in our professional or educational lives that we neglect participating in our personal and physical lives. If we do, we run the risk of simply being miserable individuals who are just mediocre at best. How broad is your scope of participation? Once your scope is focused and clear, it is time to reach your targets and goals. Ready. Aim. Fire!