“You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give.” –Winston Churchill
As a business owner, I am often asked many questions, but the two questions I am most often asked are, “Why do you spend so much money and time for charitable causes?” And “How did your firm experience such phenomenal growth in such a short amount of time?”
I believe the two questions are connected; one: the cause, the other: the effect. To put it simply, BECAUSE I participate in my community and try to always GIVE more than I RECEIVE, my firm experienced phenomenal growth over a very short period of time.
Switch your outlook by focusing on how and what you can give instead of what you will receive. When you learn to give, you elevate yourself. Business opportunities and ideas will appear when you think about how you can help make other people’s lives better, easier, happier. And as you give, you will be rewarded.
I was always told by my parents to live life with an open hand. Sure the takers will take but the givers will give. If your hand is always closed trying to hold on to what you “think” is yours, no one can put anything in it; no one can gift you. What they were saying is holding on to wealth is like trying to grip sand, the tighter you try to hold on to it, the more slips through your hand.
Giving anything of yourself allows more room for you to receive. The possibilities that come to you when you give are endless. Perhaps the greatest gift is from the very act of giving, that gift is the lesson that you have more than you’ll ever need. In this respect, giving of yourself teaches you to be more thankful for what you do have, rather than focus on all the things you don’t have.
I remember in elementary school having a friend who sometimes didn’t have any lunch money. She had 5 brothers and sisters, and her family didn’t have a lot. Because she was my friend, I always shared my lunch with her. But, I would be starving by the time I got home. After a while my mom asked me if I was eating lunch at school. I confessed that I had been sharing my lunch with my friend. My mom just nodded her head; but the next day when I opened my lunch, I had an extra sandwich and an extra pickle! (I love pickles so I have to confess, I kept the extra pickle for myself but she got her sandwich!) This concept has carried through my life. If you give from your heart, you can and likely will receive blessings beyond what you could ever ask or think.
Here are a few thoughts to consider:
People are remembered not for being rich, but for what they contributed to society while they were alive. Not all of us can dramatically impact society, but we can all give something back. When you die, no one (except perhaps your heirs) will know or care that you died rich. But you can change someone’s life by giving freely of your money and time.
All the greatest wealth mentors have written about the power of giving. Napoleon Hill, Andrew Carnegie, W Clement Stone… As Confucius noted in The Analects, ‘You yourself desire rank and standing; then help others to get rank and standing. You want to turn your own merits to account; then help others to turn theirs to account.’
Giving literally makes you a magnet for whatever you give, be it money, love, time, peace, or joy. This may sound like new-age foolishness, but I have found it to be seriously true. The more you cling to wealth (just like fame or love), the more it will elude you and the less satisfied you’ll be with your current circumstance. So if you want to be wealthy, spread the wealth!
“There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom, and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else.” –Peyton Conway March
If you are religious–whether you follow Christianity, Islam, Judiasm or any other religion–you are called to give. Even if you are atheist or agnostic, the spiritual principal of giving is probably important to you.
“You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” –2 Corinthians 9:11