Are You Keeping Score?

Every year in the United States millions of Christmas Cards are sent through the mail. My mom used to send a ton of them. Each year she would keep track of who she sent cards to and who she received cards from. 


I asked her once why she kept track of who we were receiving cards from and she said it was so she would know who to send cards to the next year. I guess I assumed we just sent the cards to our family and friends but it turns out that was only half true. The whole truth was that we sent cards to family and friends who sent cards to us. 


My dear mom was keeping score. 


Dale Carnegie said, “If you do something for someone else never remember. If someone else does something for you, never forget.” 


His point was pretty simple, don’t keep score!


If you’re giving a gift with the expectation of receiving one in return then you’re not actually “giving” a gift, you’re making a trade. If you do a favor for someone for the sole purpose of eventually receiving a favor in return then that is not a favor, that’s a barter. 


I could write a lot more on this topic but I don’t need to because someone else already did. 


To me, the bible on pure giving was written nearly ten years ago by Bob Burg and John David Mann when they wrote The Go-Giver. It is a truly amazing book, really a life-changing book if you’ll give it a chance. 


It’s a quick read, it’s a great read, it’s an impactful read, it’s a must read. Few books provide a message with the staying power of The Go-Giver and I’ve never met anyone who read it that didn’t agree. 


Now, just so you know, this is about as far away from a paid endorsement as you can get, in fact, the authors have no idea I’m writing this. I just believe this book can help you. That’s all that’s in it for me.


If you give only to get then you’ll likely never feel that you get what you deserve. It is by giving without expecting a return that we receive far more than we could ever expect. 

Don’t keep score, just give. Give freely, give purely, and you will discover that you’ve been receiving all along.

Who Really Won the Election

As the United States celebrates it’s Thanksgiving holiday this weekend all Americans have much to be thankful for. Starting with the results of the recent election. 

It doesn’t matter who got the most votes, it doesn’t matter who won the electoral college. The real winner of the election is the American people… they won because they had a choice. They won because they are free to support the winner or protest against him. There are a whole lot of places where that is just not the case.

That’s a privilege that should never be taken for granted. 

We Americans tend to take a lot for granted so here’s an idea on one of the biggest “taking” weekends of the year.

While you’re out chasing the good deals on Black Friday and helping out the American economy, keep a little cash in your pocket to give to those who can only imagine the freedom and prosperity we regularly enjoy.

Give a little back! Most Americans have so much that sometimes we forget how little it can take to make a really big difference. 

Be thankful for all you have as we begin this holiday season and do what you can to provide someone else with something to be thankful for as well. You’ll be glad you did, that much I can guarantee!

It’s Not About You

The week of April 10-16, 2016 is by Presidential Proclamation, National Volunteer Week in the United States. The proclamation says that this is the week “we celebrate the selfless individuals around our country who channel their civic virtues through volunteerism, and we encourage more people to make service an integral part of their lives.” 

In 2002 Pastor Rick Warren published a book entitled, “A Purpose Driven Life.” It was on best seller lists for years and by 2007 more than 30 million copies had been sold. There were lots of sentences in the book, many passages of Biblical Scripture were quoted and it is a great read to this very day.

Many people, including me, might say that no sentence in the book was as impactful as the very first one:

It’s not about you.

It is a book written by a Christian Pastor but it wasn’t written specifically for Christians. The advice and guidance provided in the book could be life changing for anyone who took it to heart. The book speaks to living your life on purpose for a purpose. I believe we all have at least one common purpose in life and that purpose is to add value to the world by giving something back. 

We give back because life is not all about us.

President John F. Kennedy said “For of those to whom much is given, much is required.” The inspiration for President Kennedy’s famous observation, can be found in Luke 12:48: “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”

You may not think of it this way but your ability to simply read this post demonstrates that you have been given much, at least more than some others. Despite life’s ups and downs most of us really do have a pretty wonderful life. During national volunteer week no one is asking that you give back all that you have been given, you’re only asked to share a little bit of your wonderful life.

Mahatma Gandhi said that we should “live simply so that others may simply live.” That is the essence of giving and of volunteering. Your smallest act of giving, your smallest act of kindness, and your smallest act of volunteering could potentially make a huge difference for someone else, or, it may make it possible for them to simply live.

Just because you may not see the difference doesn’t mean you didn’t make one and just because you may not personally receive thanks for your efforts doesn’t mean that someone isn’t thankful. 

The only real reason you need for making a difference is that you can. You don’t have to change the entire world to make a difference in it. You can make a difference in the world just by making a difference in the life of one other person.

Warren Buffett is quoted as saying, “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” What he meant by that is sometimes it takes a long time for a difference to be seen. You should know that today and always, the tasks you undertake for others will make a difference in their lives someday, whether you get to see it or not.

So this week we should all be planting metaphorical trees, we should water them with additional acts of volunteerism throughout the year and never forget this all important fact: it’s not about you.