In The Compassionate Life, Marc Ian Barasch argues that fulfilment comes from kindness and compassion toward others. Barasch writes, "The trick that’s no trick at all works as advertised: Amaze Your Friends and Confound Your Enemies. The instructions are basic. When your heart feels empty, try filling up somebody else’s. What’s in it for you? Nothing but love’s infinite debt."

To enhance your personal fulfilment, consider how you might fill up the hearts of those most in need around you. Here are some of the ideas Barasch mentions:

  • volunteering at a home for adults with intellectual disabilities
  • helping out at a local family assistance center
  • filling in a shift at a homeless shelter
  • visiting the people and places you fear, such as Alzheimer’s patients, prisoners, people who are homeless, with the intention to simply listen to them and learn from them
  • putting yourself in the other’s shoes by doing a Zen Peacemaker Order’s "street retreat" where participants spend a week living on the street -- begging for money; finding food, shelter, and bathrooms; and gathering twice a day for meditation; or by doing a meditation in which you take your competitor’s position when facing a difficult business decision
  • striving to see only others’ highest and holiest potential, their best parts and capabilities – and in cases of uncertainty, giving others the benefit of the doubt
  • Tonglen meditation -- Open to the idea of feeling another's (or others') pain. Breathe in their suffering – their feelings of pain, rage, frustration, etc. Notice your own inner freedom. Breathe out loving-kindness.