The Benefits of a Generous Spirit

Sir Winston Churchill said “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

No matter how much or how little you have, you have something that you can share with others. That something has the potential to change someone’s life for the better. IF you’re willing to share.

There are many logical reasons to give. It has been proven that giving can lower your blood pressure. It reduces the stress in your life. You will experience less anxiety and giving helps keep depression at bay. It also increases self-esteem.

But here is the best reason to make a difference in the life of someone else…because you can.

Some of you reading this are saying to yourself I’d give if only I had something to give. But as I said before, you absolutely have something to give. You only need to broaden your perspective about what you have that is valuable.

During this particular time in history there are many people experiencing profound loneliness. They would love for someone to talk with. If you have a willing ear and a mouth that works then that someone could be you.

I’ll bet there is an organization in your community that is matching up willing “givers” with people who could use a bit of conversation to brighten their day. If you Google it you can find that organization. 5 or 10 minutes a day to do a little good, maybe a lot of good, maybe even save a life.

That’s just one of a million ways you can give back this very day!

Still some of you are saying I’d do that if only I had the time. As anyone who has ever heard me do a Webinar on “Using Your Time Effectively” time is just an excuse for people too busy…or lazy, to make a real excuse.

You have plenty of time to do everything that is a priority in your life. And this is a bit off topic but if you have more than a small handful of priorities in your life then you probably don’t have any real priorities.

You might be thinking I can’t “spend” time giving back because I have kids, work, homeschooling, plus tons of stuff. So DON’T SPEND time on anyone, instead “INVEST TIME” with everyone in your life.

That change of mindset will improve every relationship in your life.

The benefits of giving far outweigh whatever perceived “costs” there may be. You don’t need money to give, you don’t need some special gift or skill to give. You don’t need more time in the day to give.

You just need a willing heart and a desire to help.

Giving to others is one of the nicest things you can do….for yourself. I think you deserve it, don’t you agree?

How We Give

How we give is even more important than what we give. We, myself included, too often forget the actual definition of the word give. That definition says that to give means to “freely transfer the possession of something to someone.”

The key word there is “freely.” To me that means to expect nothing in return. Absolutely nothing.

That’s a lot harder to do than it sounds. You may think differently. You may think that you always give without expecting anything in return. But then you don’t send a holiday card to someone next year because they didn’t send you one this year.

Maybe you make a mental note of the value of the graduation gift your son or daughter received from one of your close friends. That determines the approximate value of the gift you’ll give to the kids of that friend.

In cases like that you’re not “freely” giving. You’re making a trade. Your “giving nature” is impacted by what you receive in return.

But maybe you don’t expect anything in return. Except for a bit of recognition or attention for your generous nature. If you expect to be recognized as a giver then you’re expecting something in return.

If you’re expecting something in return it’s not truly giving. Whatever you’ve given it’s certainly not “freely transferred.”

Here’s a little test for you. Do something extra for someone today. Do not let them or anyone else know you did it for them. If you’re like most people, including me, you’ll find the first half of that test far easier to accomplish than the second part. That’s because we have egos and those egos need to be fed. They are hungry little critters.

Give and then forget about it. Give and expect a healthy dose of INGRATITUDE in return. When no one acknowledges your giving then give some more.

If you’re giving solely for the purpose of giving you’ll have no problem with that. If you’re giving with the hope or intent of getting something, anything, in return then you’ll stop giving before long.

I love to think of myself as a giving person but I hate to think of myself as being taken advantage of. It seems to me as if those two thoughts are in conflict with each other.

That conflict prevents me from giving all that I could.

I’ve always heard that people who can forgive and forget have a happy life. I suspect that people who give and forget have an even happier life. So I’m going to try that. I’m guessing it won’t be easy but most things worth doing are not easy to do.

Care to join me?