There is enormous power in giving to others with no expectation of receiving anything in return. Practiced givers understand this and give almost instinctually of time, talent, and treasure. When you witness someone who truly gives from the heart, it is truly something to experience. With that in mind, here are a few quotes to inspire the spirit of giving.
“Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.” –Jim Rohn
Don’t get me wrong. It’s important to work hard on your job. It will help you stand out, get noticed, and advance your career.
But, if you stop there, you’ll miss out. Working on yourself pays far better than a salary. When you work on your own personal development, you start an almost magical process. Your capabilities expand with each new skill and that sets you up for new opportunities that you likely can’t even imagine.
I recently shared this advice during an interview with the Columbus Dispatch, a news organization in Columbus, Ohio and wanted to share it with you.
Take advantage of the magic of personal development, of working harder on yourself than on your job. You’ll be glad you did.
I want you to remember Thanksgiving dinner as it was in your childhood. If you’re not from the United States, or you didn’t celebrate the holiday, then you may need to suspend reality and make it up. If you had awful Thanksgivings, you may want to imagine the one you wanted.
Okay, try it. Now close your eyes and imagine early Thanksgiving dinners in your home.
“Thanksgiving opens the windows of opportunity for ideas to flow your way.” -Jim Rohn
When I think about the Thanksgiving of my childhood…
The laughter permeates the room. My sister’s voice is unmistakable, but I can’t hear what she’s saying. My brother is playing the piano, not the classical pieces his teacher wants him to play, but some rock song. My other sisters are playing a game. The TV is on in the living room. There are a few friends visiting and, as often is the case, a few that have nowhere else to go.
Our home, I’ve decided, was built on a secret geological magnetic force. Perhaps that’s why the military has testing grounds nearby. It must be some top-secret location because the magnet attracts all sorts of people to our home. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to who. Not the same age. Gender. Race. I suppose that one commonality is that they are all searching to belong somewhere, anywhere.
It’s rare that I’m so silent. I’m not usually an observer here, but a full-on participant. I guess when you’re imagining everything, then you aren’t watching yourself. This little exercise has me thinking, though, about many things in my past. I personally choose to think about the positive. Any negativity is something I choose to erase. Or, better yet, like an old cassette tape, I just record right over it.
As I open my eyes, I’m transported back to today.
How do you experience the spirit of Thanksgiving? How do you get all the lessons you can from the time with your family?
I think of 3 things: let go, fill up, give away:
Let go of the negative. Most of the gratitude exercises I read about don’t start here, but this is what works for me. I can’t be grateful for something if the voice in my head is whining about something else. Literally I imagine things disappearing, minimizing, or flying away.
Know that any negative experiences of the past happened for a reason: to build character, to make you who you are, or for you to just realize how things are better now.
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” -Hermann Hesse
Every business wants to develop a stellar reputation. Over time, that positive sentiment not only earns repeat business, but also eventually earns trust. Customer service is vitally important to establish and grow that trust. Every interaction with you or your brand offers the incredible opportunity to build a relationship and fortify your position.
In the social media age, your business reputation can catapult you to a beloved partner or sink you to nothing in almost no time flat.
Last year, I was at lunch with an extraordinary networker. Almost everyone passing our table would stop and say hello. I don’t think there was a single person in the restaurant who didn’t know her. It wasn’t superficial either. I watched with great respect for her ability to recall details of the person’s family. She would ask questions about health issues, about family members, about friends.
It’s no wonder that people call her for connections. Her list of friends seems to have no end.
“Language designed to impress builds a gulf. Language to express builds a bridge.” -Jim Rohn
Fast forward to a different day, a different scene, and a different person. This time I was observing a business meeting. One of the men had an incredible ability to build rapport. He was reaching people on an emotional level. His ability to quickly build trust was amazing. Two people would argue and he would synthesize the arguments and find common ground between them.
Both of these people are bridge builders. They are able to build connections with people. Because of that, they radiate positivity, success, and confidence.
Contrast this with people who are divisive and negative. They seem to repel people and not even know it. Instead of building bridges, they create gulfs. Many people say not to discuss politics or religion because the topics can be divisive. I have never followed this advice and find it easy to discuss sensitive topics. Why? Because I am genuinely interested in people’s beliefs and opinions. That’s how I learn. The key is to do it with respect and to borrow techniques from the world’s greatest bridge builders.
“Got it,” you think, “negative versus positive.” Not so fast.
Driving Others Away
Some people who build gulfs are actually unknowingly repelling people in a different way.