What would it feel like if you gave to others? Imagine devoting a brief space of time each day to giving to others; being of service to them; sharing. With one important proviso: this is giving without expecting anything in return.
My day couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. A donor called me early in the morning and unexpectedly asked me out to lunch. Within moments, that magical call had me smiling from ear to ear, filling me with energy. Receiving is one of life’s great pleasures; of course we all like being on the receiving end. We like it that someone else thought of us, and made that clear with a warm and generous gesture. Nevertheless, not only does receiving depend on others; it also doesn’t last forever.
Whether you’re in sales, or are an entrepreneur, fundraiser, or currently a job seeker, it will be useful to know the benefits of giving to others:
1. Feeling the pleasure of giving
Think about what you feel when you give. Each individual experiences and feels it differently. Many studies show that giving makes us feel fulfilled, meaning we feel better about ourselves. We feel happy serving others and contributing, to however small an extent, to their happiness.
2. Feeling the pleasure of being of service to others
Giving means being of service to others, setting aside your own worries and concerns. Happiness comes from creating happiness in those around you. Smiling at a co-worker, hugging a family member or popping in on a friend to inquire about their health, are all examples: small gestures that generate happiness in others and, most of all, in yourself.
3. Feeling generosity without expecting anything in return
When you give, expectations and blame don’t enter into the equation. Giving is an act of generosity that is unconditional and demands nothing in exchange. We give from the heart, convinced that our generosity will be contagious and motivate others to do the same. It is a virtuous circle. As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
4. Feeling the pleasure of receiving
Giving has an infinite number of benefits, and one of them is that you’ll have a greater likelihood of receiving. When you give, your actions can become a model for others to follow. The passion of giving is contagious.
I’m convinced that small actions can make a difference and that you too can contribute, through specific gestures, in every area of your life. I suggest you put pen to paper and jot down the answer to 2 questions: How might you help by giving more to your colleagues at work, or to your family members and friends? And: How do you feel when you give to others?
Giving is like a medicine we all need. There is nothing more salubrious than giving, serving, and opening up to others so that this world can be a better place. No excuses. Your actions are an enormous step in the right direction. Bring on the magic and passion of giving!