I had a goal of being more generous this year. There are a few intentions behind this goal:
- To feel good about myself
- I recognise I have a stable foundation from which to given
- Heard that to be successful online and build community starts with giving
Essentially I was trying to get something out of it by appearing selfless (reciprocity) which is of course not the point.
Then I read Kahlil Gibran’s take on giving in The Prophet. He says:
This really struck me. Maybe I have more to give than I thought.
If not possessions, what should I give?
I’ve come up with a list of scalable ways to give of yourself and I’m sharing it with you that you might reap the benefits.
- Genuine, tactful feedback
- Quality time
- A helping hand
- An encouraging word or card
- Share your knowledge
- Give permission, patience and space to someone who needs it
- Share your network – make a value adding introduction
- Write a positive public review
- Recommend something awesome to a friend that they would like
- Share your skills – if you’re good at cooking, cook, if you’re good at drawing, draw
- Share your space – invite others over for a pot luck or a cup of tea or a games night. What you invite them for is not the point, the invitation is the gift
To give of yourself, you must invest in yourself so that you have resources to give.
How do I know when to give?
Giving is not really about what you can give – it’s about what others need. Sometimes this is specific. Other times it’s an acknowledgement that they matter – because everyone needs to feel significant.
In this case, the gift is a symbol of the thought behind the action – I thought of you and this gift represents that thought. You are important.
Here are some ways you can identify what people need:
- Listen to what they say
- Observe what they have and don’t have
- Offer something and ask if this would be helpful (try and validate)
- Reflect on your own needs and see if these relate to others
- Reflect on your own abundance and see if this is a worthwhile gift
- Copy someone else – notice how they give and try it on
- Notice how someone makes you feel special today and pay it forward
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share what I’ve learned about generosity. How can you enrich someone else’s life today by giving of yourself?