The Easiest Way to Get is to Give
I will be honest with you. This is probably one of the toughest posts I have ever had to write. I have been thinking about it for months but hadn’t found a way to put it into words. It crosses the line on a few societal constructs, which might be uncomfortable for some people. Despite this, I have decided to take a risk and just throw it out there, to see what happens.
I am a big lover of giving. Not just because it makes me feel good – although that’s a great win – but because it also a very good tool for getting a lot of good things to happen in return. Although it might seem counter-intuitive to give things to others if you actually want to get somewhere, a pay-it-forward approach is an incredible strategy for both personal and commercial success.
I have to confess that I deliberately give, in order to succeed with my own goals and the projects I am working on. I admit, it is how I advise others to behave, too. Why? Because it works so much better than doing things the traditional way. If I want to get somewhere, meet someone, build something, my first instinct is always to ask how I can give in the direction to make that happen. This might sound very calculating and cynical, but I just don’t see it like that.
The great thing is, that if I give and nothing happens in return, I don’t mind at all. I really enjoy giving in the first place! That is the awesome thing about this approach. You succeed when you both give and receive, but importantly, you succeed even if you fail to receive. Where else can you succeed when you fail? This is such an incredible mindset for removing the fear of failure that it takes you to places you would never normally go. It allows you to be so much braver, take much greater risks, and go out and do great things in the world. It is a failure-free approach to life!
Every human being on the planet needs help in some way. Rich, poor, young, old – it doesn’t really matter – they all need something. The way I see it, if there is need everywhere and I can help in some way, why wouldn’t I focus on meeting individual needs that are symbiotic with my own? Our time on this earth is finite, yet there are 7 billion people in the world in need – so why not match up your giving with those who can give something to you? It’s a win-win situation.
If I had an infinite number of hours left in this life I would be more than happy to wander around in random directions giving to anyone and everyone I meet. As many who know me personally will testify, I try to give unconditionally to anyone I do meet. This post is not about selective giving. I don’t believe in that. This post is about spending more of your time and effort in places where your giving will be more effective in helping you to achieve your life purpose.
If you don’t believe that ‘giving first’ really improves your life, try just one small thing. Whenever you encounter anyone, smile the first smile. The more you smile at people, the more they will smile back, and the more improved your interactions with them will be. Is it wrong to smile at people if you know it will improve the outcome of the conversation? I don’t think so.
So much in our society today is built on taking – it is a competitive business. But in contrast, giving is a relatively uncompetitive market. If everyone in the world gave generously in partnership with those who could give generously to them in return, I guarantee that the world would be a better place.
If you think that giving leaves you with less, and subjects you to poverty, you are just not being smart enough. The return can massively outweigh the investment – whether you give time, money, advice, skills, property, support, shelter or food. Think about all that you have to offer, and you’ll realise that you have plenty to give without feeling the pinch.
You can give generously throughout your whole life and really get some huge benefits. Giving in a sustainable way will actually help you to give more in the long term. The more you give in a way that allows things to come back to you, the more resources you have to give in the future. It is just plain common sense.
I warn you in advance, though, that this approach is so powerful that it takes a lot of self-reflection to ensure you are doing it for the right reasons. Using this approach for the wrong reasons is a ticket to a different kind of life. It might seem good in the short term, but in the long term will lead to a lot of personal damage. Living out of alignment with your values and who you are is just not a good place to be.
So, I suggest that you consider responsibly ignoring the crowd and the ‘usual’ ways to give. Instead, think about how you can give to get yourself somewhere really remarkable. Think about how you can give in a way that grows your own ability to give more.
It should not be about how you get there. It’s how you give, to get there. That philosophy changed my life. It can change yours too. (click to tweet)
I would love to know what you think about this. If you have experiences or thoughts to share, just ‘Speak Your Mind’ below.