“Ideas, bread, and books are all the same. They’re better when they are shared.”
—Seth Godin, American author/business executive
Image from DrSeuss..com
Two popular holiday stories we all know quite well are A Christmas Carol, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Both stories portray their main character as selfish and self-centered, focusing only on what’s in it for themselves.
As Adam Grant demonstrates in his well-researched book, Give and Take, these characters are definitely takers. They may win in some situations, but lose in the long run.
Where and with whom can you generously share your ideas, bread, and books, to have the happiest of holidays and a more richly rewarding new year?
“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.
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?
“Live Simply, Love Generously, Speak Truthfully, Breathe Deeply, Do Your Best. Leave everything else to the powers above you.”
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?
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, not by retaliation, but by example.”
—John Foster, 18th Century Irish Politician
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?
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, don’t want it—give it.”
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:
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?
“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
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.
Where and how can you serve others so that you both lose and find yourself in the experience?
“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
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.
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.”
– 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.
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?