1. "I don't have the time." Michelle Obama has the time to be a mother, a First Lady, the nation's advocate of service, and have fabulous arms. What's your excuse?

2. "Why do I have to volunteer? I want to watch Lost." Because if you spend your entire life not giving your time to causes greater than yourself, you will be like the lazy jerk who reads the neighbor's Sunday newspaper without paying any money. When you die and the gatekeeper of the immortal realm personally asks you--yes, YOU--what you did to contribute for the good of humanity, you will stammer out a few B.S. excuses and then fall into a sort of stupified silence. The ghost of Martin Luther King Jr. will shake his head with deep, sad disapproval and then the other ghosts of other decent human beings of this strange and wonderful afterlife will look away awkwardly as you fidget uncomfortably in your shoes. Meanwhile, all the angelic entities created since the birth of the universe will roll their eyes and snicker.

You wouldn't want that now, would you?

3. "Volunteering just feels like work. It sounds tedious and boring." You may be still stuck in your high school paradigm of volunteering where "community service" was required for x number of hours and getting those boring paper-pushing jobs at hospitals and retirement homes were your one shot of making that one B- in A.P. Calculus look a little less incriminating when you turned in those college apps.

Now, volunteering can mean pretty much anything: planting trees, biking for a cause, organizing a bake sale, throwing club events, selling handmade bracelets, traveling to another country--you name it. Volunteering should be fun, and it is if you use your imagination well enough. The sky is the limit!

4. "I won't know anybody there. It'll be weird." To get your toes wet in the volunteering pool, bring a friend along to a one-time volunteering event. Even better--make it a romantic date. Consider it a litmus test to see if your prospective romantic partner is a caring human being or a complete heartless douchebag.

5. "I don't know what I'm interested in." Are you interested in sick kids smiling and getting better? Puppies and kitties getting a nice home? Justice being served? Peace on earth? I bet you are! No need to worry yourself with the little details--just jump right into something and go from there.

6. "I want to sleep in on my weekends." Don't we all? Volunteer at night. Volunteer in the afternoon. Volunteer every other week. I personally volunteer three out of my four Sundays in a month so I can have at least one Sunday in the month to be completely lazy and all about me.

7. "I'm a selfsh, self-absorbed person with ulterior motives. I never give!" Here's a little known secret: volunteering is just about the most selfish thing you can do for yourself. Giving makes you happier, healthier, and have more friends. It makes you live longer and makes you feel more rich. It may also help you with professional networking and make you look good on your resume. So start scheming and start giving--you'll be surprised by how good it feels!

Here are some great resources to get those altruistic juices buzzing for your next volunteering rockstar adventure:

Happy fourth of July, and happy volunteering for the rest of your life!

P.S. Team Intent has 12 more days to get as many clicks of support as possible on our intent to clean up our local beaches! As of this moment, we have 48 clicks of support; if we can get a total of 90 clicks that would be awesome. If you haven't done so already, please support our intent here.

Our beach clean-up day is on Saturday, July 18 at Dockwelier Beach in Southern California between 10AM and noon. We highly encourage all of you Southern California Intenters to join us!

Author's Bio: 

Intent.com is a premier wellness site and supportive social network where like-minded individuals can connect and support each others' intentions. Founded by Deepak Chopra's daughter Mallika Chopra, Intent.com aims to be the most trusted and comprehensive wellness destination featuring a supportive community of members, blogs from top wellness experts and curated online content relating to Personal, Social, Global and Spiritual wellness.