To give a full answer, I'd need an opportunity to dialog back and forth more than this Question section allows.
For example, I would like to ask how you mean 'improving the lives of others.' Could you be more specific, and give examples?
In my experience, I cannot raise the happiness level of others, as happiness is always each person's own responsibility. One's level of happiness arises from the way of responding to life.
I can and do reach out to neighbors and people on the street, acknowledge them, show interest, give a helping hand when needed. Without trying to be an example, my own behavior gives an example of another way to respond to challenges.
Bettering my own life comes as an outgrowth of my inner work. When I 'look to the roots' of my issues such as boredom, discontent or distress, there is always a choice to let go of old habits and thought patterns and discover a fresh approach. Yes, I consciously look inside each day, and make adjustments!
It is a great question.