“The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others.”

“The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others.”

—Homer, ancient Greek author of The Iliad and the Odyssey

Image from Unsplash by Kate Townsend

How often do you go out to eat? How often are your restaurant meals served by a waitperson?

What is your normal tip percentage for OK, good, or exceptional service?

In our early dating years, my wife Wendy was a waitress at a Friendly Restaurant outside of Philadelphia. Given this experience, she has always had a special place in her heart for kindhearted and caring servers who bring their authentic selves to their role, to make our dining experience special.

During our 40th anniversary dinner, she shared the story of a young waiter who really impressed her with his authenticity and character. Beyond her usual substantial tip, she handed him an extra 25 dollars to more fully acknowledge her delight in his service. This brought on a flood of tear from the young man.

EXERCISE:

Where might your current and future small charitable acts be even more precious to others than you realize? Where might an even more generous heart make a significant difference in your world today?

Being a giver is not good for a 100-yard dash

“Being a giver is not good for a 100-yard dash, but it’s valuable in a marathon.”

—Adam Grant, in Give and Take

How familiar are you with the difference between a finite and infinite game?

In his book, Finite and Infinite Games, author James P. Carse describes finite games – such as sports – as activities in which participants obey rules, recognize boundaries, and announce winners and losers.

Infinite games, on the other hand, can have known and unknown players, and a key objective is having the will and resources to keep the game going.

To what degree do you play the long game by being a giver within your various communities? If all people stopped keeping score and playing only to win, how might the world be a far kinder and richly abundant place?

EXERCISE:

Consider watching Simon Sinek’s video The Infinite Game, to explore how this concept might apply to your personal and professional worlds.

Also consider reading Sinek’s article titled, The Finite and Infinite Game in Work and Life

It doesn’t make any sense

“It doesn’t make any sense to make a key and then run around looking for a lock to open.”

—Seth Godin, American Author

Image of a hand holding a single key

Image from Unsplash by CMDR Shane

The Giving Pledge is a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to giving back. You can learn more about this remarkable commitment to philanthropy and the causes they support by visiting givingpledge.org.

If you happen to not currently be on the list of the ultra-wealthy, I suggest you consider the Impact Pledge. There, we can all participate in a highly specific project by publicly committing our resources – especially time and energy – to a worthy mission to better our world. In such a way we can all participate in the design of a “key” solution that opens the doors of our most daunting local and world issues.

EXERCISE:

Consider visiting the Impact Pledge site to see how you might become a critical key to bettering our world.

We are mere journeymen

“We are mere journeymen, planting seeds for someone else to harvest.”

—Wallace Thurman, 20th Century African-American Novelist

Image of two men in a wheat field

Image from Unsplash by Warren Wong

For virtually all people alive today, the standard of living and the quality of life has improved exponentially over the past few decades, and particularly in the last two centuries.

If you have ever interviewed your parents, grandparents, or even looked back over your own life, things have improved in countless ways.

Consider the idea that all the people known and unknown to you have been farmers planting and cultivating the seeds we all get to harvest each day.

EXERCISE:

Who in your world can and will you thank and acknowledge for all the abundance we experience today?

Where and how are you currently planting the seeds of a better world to benefit the lives of other’s for future generations?

Life is an echo. What you give, you get

“Life is an echo. What you give, you get.”

—Author Unknown

Image of Echo Dot 3

Image of Echo Dot 3 from Amazon.com

If you keep up with technology, you know that Amazon recently launched the third generation of the Echo Dot. For less than $50.00, we can all tap into the virtually unlimited collective knowledge of mankind.

A frequently cited source of answers to our inquiries is Wikipedia – the free online encyclopedia created and edited by volunteers around the world. It is because of these individual and collective contributions that we all reap the benefit/echoes of others throughout the world.

EXERCISE:

What are the things in life you most desire? How would more generously sharing these resources echo back to you even more of what you seek?

You can’t pour from an empty cup

“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first.”

—Author Unknown

Image of hands holding a coffee cup

Image from Unsplash by Sabri Tuzcu

In his book, Give and Take, author Adam Grant points out that in many situations, the givers of the world are more successful and fulfilled.

There is, however, a particular exception to his observation. He makes a clear distinction between two types of givers, which he calls “Selfless,” and “Otherish.”

A critical difference between the two is that Selfless givers give to the point of being an empty cup, while Otherish givers put on their own oxygen mask before assisting others.

EXERCISE:

Where in your life are you running on or near empty?

What Otherish strategies can you use to retain some reserves for yourself, so that you can continue your generous and contributory efforts?

Friday Review Giving

FRIDAY REVIEW: GIVING

What are your thoughts and practices about Giving? Here are a few giving-related posts you may have missed. Click the links to read the full messages.

 

“The Heart That Gives, Gathers.”

 

 

 

 

 

“The world truly does require your help.”

 

 

 

“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”

 

 

 

He Who Trims Himself

“He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away.”

—Raymond Hull, Canadian Playwright and Lecturer

Image of a person whittling on a piece of wood

Image from Unsplash by Nathan Lemon

In the best selling book, Give and Take by University of Pennsylvania professor, Adam Grant, we learn the pros and cons of being a “giver.”

Grant divides givers into two groups:

The first group have high other-interest and low self-interest. This can work against their giving nature; they burn out, or as put in today’s quote, whittle themselves away.

Conversely, the group Grant calls “other-ish,” maintain high self-interest along with high other-interest. This keeps them on an even keel and provides optimal results for themselves and others.

EXERCISE:

How can you more fully maintain your own self-interest and well-being while generously contributing to others in your professional and personal worlds?

Things you do for yourself

“The things you do for yourself are gone when you are gone, but the things you do for others remain as your legacy.”

—Kalu Ndukwe Kalu, former NFL Defensive End

Image of hands, one giving a flower to the other

Image from Unsplash by Evan Kirby

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak at an Optimist Club meeting here in southeast Michigan. Part of their meeting was given to announcements about a half-dozen public service and fundraising projects with which the group is involved.

It was inspiring to see how engaged, enthusiastic, and full of life the club members were as they put others first. They are clearly building a legacy through their passionate, contributory efforts.

EXERCISE:

Who in either your personal or professional worlds could benefit most from what you have to give? How will you both feel when you do?

Feel free to let me know what happens if you choose to take on this exercise.

Seek and you shall find

“Seek and you shall find.”

-The Bible, from the Gospel of Matthew

Image from dpselfhelp.com

Image from dpselfhelp.com

When I explore possible quotes for The Quotable Coach series, I always consider impact, imagery, cleverness, and word length. Today’s quote from the Bible hit the mark on numerous fronts.

What are you looking for? Are things like success, peace of mind, balance, love, job satisfaction, and extraordinary relationships on your list?

If, for some reason, your greatest desires appear out of reach or elusive, consider the strategies you employ. One twist that often works magic is to give what you are seeking in order to find more of it for yourself.

EXERCISE:

Where and how can (and will) you passionately offer and generously share what you most sincerely desire?