This is a world of action and reaction, cause and effect, of karma. Our thoughts and actions can affect others just like they affect us. When you do something nice for someone, for example, that generous act of giving affects both the giver (you) and the receiver in a positively way. If your actions are questionable, produce negative energy, or are ill intended, you will create unrest and imbalance in yourself and others as well.

What you give is what you receive, and the more you give, the more you will receive.

Wouldn’t it make sense then to live a life of generosity and service instead of one of selfishness and conflict?

Any actions done to benefit others is a service provided to others. Let me give you an example. A few winters ago, I was walking down a wet and somewhat slippery underpass to my train station. At the end of the underpass, right before the stairs that lead to the train platform, there is a rest area. There, all alone, was a heavyset woman in her late twenties. By just looking at her, you could not tell that she was in any trouble (which might have been the reason why so many others walked by her before me without even paying attention). I did not notice it at first, but when I got closer, I realized she was upset and crying. I asked if everything was okay, and she said that she had tripped in the slippery underpass and hurt her ankle. It had only been a few minutes, but her ankle was already very stiff and swollen. She could not walk back through the underpass to get outside and call 911 or any family or friend.

I offered to help, went back outside, called 911, and then called my office to say that I was going to be a little late. Then, I went back to where she was and sat with her on the floor, reassuring her and keeping her company. By the time the paramedics got to the scene, she was smiling and even joking about the entire incident. Right before we parted ways, she said to me: “Maybe I needed to hurt my ankle so that I could remember the many ways in which God sends love to all of us. Thanks for giving me a little bit of love.”

A service mentality and lifestyle will create opportunities and blessings for you. A random act of kindness, a gift you offer to someone, listening to someone’s story, or having some flexibility in a time of need are all simple yet powerful ways in which you can be of service to others.

When you are compassionate and kind towards others, you feel empowered and energized. It then becomes easier to make independent decisions and stick by them, create long-lasting changes in your conditioning and in your life, and be more in touch with your inner self. Your life will become increasingly successful simply by helping others.

Having a mentality of service does not mean to be in a state of servitude. You should not feel obligated or forced to do something, nor should you feel, in any way, that what you are doing is a burden. Nothing that causes pain and suffering, punishment, or mental anguish can be considered service.

Develop a clear vision of compassion and service. Allow your mind to rid itself of attitudes or ideas that feed resentment to your inner self. A service mentality is a good mentality. It does not limit nor does it lessen you. It brings you closer to other people, allowing good karma to take effect.

The effort is usually minimal, and the benefits are countless for you and others. Continue providing service to yourself and others, and you will soon realize how much your work means to others.

Jovanka Ciares is a tri-lingual wellness expert and nutrition coach based in New York City and Los Angeles. Jovanka’s approach to mind-body wellness has earned her thousands of fans the world over and regular slots on Fox News, NPR, CBS Radio, Telemundo, The Huffington Post, and MindBodyGreen. In addition, she is the author of three books.