Live Simply Love Generously

“Live Simply, Love Generously, Speak Truthfully, Breathe Deeply, Do Your Best. Leave everything else to the powers above you.”

—Author Unknown

Image of a field of red tulips

Life is complicated.

Or is it?

It seems the rules of the game are as long and laborious as the new tax code or other governmental regulations.

Far too often, we find our heads spinning and our spirits crushed by the overwhelming effort to sort through the complexities.

Who doesn’t crave far greater peace of mind, simplicity, and tranquility in our rat-race world?

EXERCISE:

Consider the five fundamental touch points in today’s quote as guides to inform your daily efforts to lead a far happier and satisfying life.

What would be possible if we all did this, and left the rest to the powers above?

Confront Improper Conduct

“Confront improper conduct, not by retaliation, but by example.”

—John Foster, 18th Century Irish Politician

Image of a gift tag saying "generosity is..."

Image from Flickr by Stewardship-TransformingGenerosity

Mainstream and social media are having a field day given the domestic and international conflicts that abound.

Confrontation is at epidemic levels, with no end in sight. It is clear that whatever we resist persists, and seems to be getting even worse.

Instead of retaliation and fighting fire with fire, what if we all consistently demonstrated only the most honorable, ethical, and moral character traits in all our personal and professional interactions?

EXERCISE:

Where and with whom would setting a good example improve your situation and perhaps improve the conduct of everyone concerned?

To Have What You Want

“To have what you want, don’t want it—give it.”

-Author Unknown

Image from Flickr by Alvanman

Image from Flickr by Alvanman

A dozen years ago The Secret was all the rage. Wherever you looked in bookstores, on the internet, and on Oprah, everyone wanted to master the secret to a happier life. Many also referred to it as the Law of Attraction, which is inherent in phrases like, “what you think about comes about.”

Today’s quote puts a bit of spin on this idea in that it suggests we simply need to give what we want to get.

Consider this list of the things most people want, and perhaps add a few of your own:

Love Respect Praise Trust
Loyalty Joy Happiness Pleasure
Wealth Adventure Achievement Acknowledgement
Health Peace Friendship Encouragement

EXERCISE:

How and where can you get far more of what you want by generously giving it to others? With whom could you begin this practice today?

Lose Yourself in Service

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

—Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Independence Leader

Image from blog.bcwinstitute.org

Image from blog.bcwinstitute.org

We’ve all heard statements such as “givers gain,” and “shift your life from success to significance.”

But how do we do it?

Today’s quote challenges us to lose ourselves in a good way, to find our flow and purpose, what we might call our true north.

When I ‘give,’ I grow and feel I’m living a more expansive and true life. When I ‘get,’ I feel good too, but it’s not the same experience or at the same level.

EXERCISE:

Where and how can you serve others so that you both lose and find yourself in the experience?

“One of the sanest, surest and…”

“One of the sanest, surest and most generous joys of life comes from being happy over the good fortune of others.”

—Robert A. Heinlein, American Science Fiction Author

Photo from Flickr by Barbara Mazz

Photo from Flickr by Barbara Mazz

Do you like Chinese food? I do.

I must admit that in addition to enjoying the wide variety of tastes, textures, and aromas of Chinese food, I also enjoy the little ritual at the end of the meal. Yes, I very much look forward to opening my fortune cookie.

Imagine, for a moment, that all your future fortune cookies are “good fortune” cookies, and that not only do you get benefit from the one intended specifically for you, but you also get a boost of happiness from those of your dining companions.

EXERCISE:

How can you bolster your own life satisfaction by experiencing the added joy and fulfillment through the good fortune of others?

“Always give without remembering. Always receive without forgetting.”

“Always give without remembering. Always receive without forgetting.”

– Brian Tracy, motivational speaker and author

Generosity and gratitude are powerful forces. They help us live happier lives. Unfortunately, the wisdom of Brian Tracy’s quote is not always heeded, and people often do what I call “keeping score.” Put simply, this means that “I’ll give you one if you give me one.”

Under this “giving must equal getting” rule, it’s easy for a person to feel that the equation is unbalanced. The process of giving and receiving grinds to a halt, with potential anger and resentment as a result.

Exercise:

Answer the following questions:

How will you operate from a place of abundance and generosity today and in the future?

How will you go out of your way to acknowledge the small and large acts of kindness people offer today and in the future?