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?

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?

“The world truly does require your help.”

“The world truly does require your help.”

—Whoopi Goldberg, Comedian and actor

Photo from Amazon.com

Photo from Amazon.com

I have a vivid memory of my mom and my older sister Susie reading me a special book titled “We Help Mommy,” when I was about three or four years old. The gist of the book was that all family members, no matter how young or small, could do their part to improve the world around them—in my case, our home.

Some ways I could help were picking up my toys, raking leaves, washing the car with dad, setting the table, drying dishes, and of course, using that powerful torpedo-looking vacuum.

Although I now see that book as parental propaganda, I can still recall the feeling of satisfaction from a job well done, topped off with a hug or acknowledgement from my mom.

EXERCISE

Explore all the worlds in which you participate, from the small and intimate to the large and expansive.

What strengths, gifts, talents, or other contributions can you mobilize and generously offer today in your world that truly require your help?

“The heart that gives, gathers.”

“The Heart That Gives, Gathers.”

– Marianne Moore, poet and writer

Photo from freehdw.com

When I began my coaching career 20 years ago, the primary method I used to build my business was networking. Of course, this was at the early stages of the internet and social media was about a decade away from seeing its first light.

Networking, when practiced most effectively, emphasizes giving before gathering. In fact if you actually try to gather first, it most often backfires. The premise of giving is that it both feels right and often generates a desire from the other person to reciprocate in kind.

Exercise:

1. Focus, in the coming weeks, on generously contributing to members of your networks.

2. Go out of your way to meet new people, who may at some point be valuable additions to yourself and your existing network.
Don’t count on it, but also don’t be surprised when you reap the rewards of reciprocity.

You can get a copy of my Masterful Networking workbook from www.dempcoaching.com/workbooks or by emailing me.