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Course developed: March 2015
Bonus Lecture added: April 2015
Perhaps you feel like there is more to life but not sure what. You would like to find a way that enriches you physically and emotionally, and gives more purpose and meaning to your life. Maybe you've thought about wanting to make a difference but see the overwhelming number of issues in our world and think why bother? Is it worth my time and energy?
In this course you will discover just how beneficial it is to you and extremely worthwhile of your time and effort. Not only that but this world needs you to - you are a unique expression on this earth – and you need to for yourself. It doesn't matter your age, your income level, your status, your abilities or disabilities – everyone can make a difference and as a result have better health, more happiness, and greater meaning and purpose.
By learning how making a difference is beneficial to you, you will not only be inspired to take action but also be able to inspire others with what you learn.
You will also learn some surprising facts from research. For example, if volunteering is your way of making a difference, how many hours do you need to volunteer to see the physical and emotional benefits? Are there times when making a difference is detrimental to your well-being?
We'll also look at some examples of ordinary people involved with making a difference. There are also exercises to personalize your learning and put what you learn into practice!
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|Section 1: Well-Being|
Introduction to what this course will cover, whether it's right for you, why I created it, and what to do if you have questions
Discover how your immune system, cells, cholesterol levels, heart, blood pressure, pain levels and longevity are affected from making a difference.
In this lesson we'll cover how depression, stress, anxiety, and happiness levels are all affected when you do good in the world. Learn what to spend money on to make you happier, and how toddlers can use treats to be happier. Find out what question to ask to have more fulfillment in your life. Also, discover how relationships with others are affected when you take actions to change the world.
|Lecture 4||1 page|
This exercise will help you uncover what truly brings you happiness and/or a sense of fulfillment.
In this lesson you'll learn what situations and circumstances to avoid when making a difference because they can be detrimental to your well-being
|Section 2: Purpose and Creating Change|
Learn how to put your values into action to have more purpose in your life. We'll also look at some case examples of young people doing just that. Find how out to make your mark in the world and take on 'Jean's Challenge' to put your learning into real action.
In this lesson we'll start with a case example of someone who is creating change on an area of importance to her. Also discover how you can pass on a better world to future generations, and how your actions can have far-reaching effects.
Discover how you can inspire others to act, be a role-model for others, and how you can attract the kind of people you want in your lives. Throughout this lesson we'll look at real life case examples to understand these concepts in action...and maybe give you some ideas of what you would like to do!
|Section 3: Conclusion|
Let's look at the main points you learned in this course and find answers to frequently asked questions
How to find charitable work that aligns with your passion; how to evaluate an organization; where to find ideas of actions to make a difference.
I have a Master's Degree in Educational Psychology, and have had extensive experience in both local and global initiatives to help change the world. I have been fortunate to have lived, worked, and volunteered in South Africa, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Palestine, Jordan, Albania, and Kosovo. While overseas I worked at a human rights organization, in a summer day camp, in an orphanage, in refugee camps, and in schools. I also worked as a post-war mental health worker, set up a solidarity children's program, taught training seminars to teachers and parents, and served as a peace activist.
These experiences led me to develop a few initiatives. At a university where I have been a Psychology Instructor, Counsellor, and Program Advisor, I set up a Global Education Fund. Since its inception in 2002, 67 educational projects have been supported in 32 countries. I also established a volunteer abroad program in South Africa that ran successfully for three years, and then set up a non-profit organization in Canada that partnered with an amazing South African group working in a very impoverished rural area. We raised funds to build homes, and put in a borehole and a large water tank so a community garden could be established.
Because of my international efforts I was chosen as a 'Global Hero' by Verge Magazine, and nominated for the Lewis Perinbaum Award in International Development.
At home in Canada I tried to build community in my neighbourhood by starting neighbour get-togethers, shared my large garden where neighbours could plant, organized a neighbour volunteer event, and started annual Christmas carolling at a senior's nursing home in our neighbourhood.
I have been a speaker at various events, including at Rotary Clubs, the United Nations Association of Canada, the University of Alberta International Week, Grant MacEwan University's Global Awareness Week, and various organizations and churches.