I think generosity is one of the most attractive of all personal qualities and one of the strongest drivers of a life that is brimming with sizzle and vitality.
What is generosity?
Many people’s first thought is that it implies money, giving it to others in need. That’s definitely a major aspect, but generosity is much more than simply donating money. It’s being generous with our resources, our time, knowledge, expertise, and perhaps most importantly, being generous with our spirit.
Generosity is about kindness, about being fully present and alive for others. If I’m with someone who gives me their full attention when we’re speaking, for example, I feel truly heard. It creates a virtuous circle of positive energy that we pass between us. It makes me want to give back to them in all sorts of ways: my own attention, my time, my support for a project or a monetary donation.
There are innumerable ways to be generous but the cornerstone is to approach every encounter in a spirit of open-hearted readiness to give of ourselves.
What can I give?
It’s the difference between going into the world thinking, ‘What can I get?’ and ‘What can I give?’ If this sounds a little bit New Age, let me tell you, I’ve seen enough to believe that it’s true what they say about what goes around comes around. There is a strong correlation between giving more and receiving more.
If you’re a grasper or a taker, in the end people notice and they don’t respond well. The opposite is also true. At its most basic, this is the principle on which networking is built. If we give, give and give some more without expectation, the most wonderful things happen.
Sometimes, when I advocate that a client practices generosity, I encounter resistance. The client tells me they fear that being generous will lead to people demanding more of them. They don’t want to be taken advantage of. Or sometimes their core belief that money is always in short supply means they are resistant to giving even very small sums.
It’s always useful to check our assumptions around any of the strategies we’re exploring on our journey to sizzling success. If something feels uncomfortable, pay more attention, not less. Explore what’s bothering you. Push yourself a little to experiment with what I’m proposing. See what happens and how it makes you feel.
Generosity rewards you
Generosity will reward you in thousands of ways. They add up to the difference between a thin and grudging existence and a sparkling openness to the world.
In my opinion, generosity is a sub-set of happiness, as being generous adds to our own happiness. While the smile, the giggle, the ‘thank you’ from the receiver of our generosity is always good to receive, just giving generously without expectation fills our own hearts and adds something – a feel good factor – to our quality of life. I like that.
ACTION: What are your thoughts on generosity? Is it something you regularly practice in your life? I’d love to hear your thoughts, so how about commenting below?