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Why Generosity Makes You A Better Person
If you’d asked me a few months ago whether I thought I was a generous person, I probably would have said that I didn’t think so. I was challenged by one of my mentors to take a note of my generosity on a weekly basis and to report back via email what I noticed.
Now I’m not totally selfish but I did think I leaned toward being a bit self-centred. At the end of every week I sat down to do my report and found some interesting facts, some of which were:
- I gave a copy of one of my books to each member of a group of 40 odd people at a business seminar for free
- Spent a full day helping my husband re-arrange boxes and tidy up our garage when I had planned to be working all day on my business
- I videoed a friend doing a short presentation on the spur of the moment without being asked
- Provided mentoring to a friend around a job opportunity
- Provided mentoring to another friend about whether to stay employed or set up a business
- Spent a day mentoring at a business conference and gave away 7 books
- Paid for parking for contractors who assisted me at an event I put on
- Paid airfares for my 90 year-old parents to go to Canada for a month as well as going myself to chauffeur them around and generally make sure they’re ok
Now, none of these actions were taken thinking about being generous. And yet, I’ve had many people tell me how generous I’ve been in these actions. Spending the time to think about generosity has changed my view of myself as a person. And the more I think about it, the more I can see many more examples of generosity in my life.
One of the benefits of understanding yourself better is it allow you to stop beating yourself up thinking as I had that I was perhaps a bit self-centred. I have done my fair share of donating to charities, and I proudly support the B1G1 Business for Good program. Being generous isn’t necessarily about that type of giving, although that in itself does make you feel good knowing you are making a massive difference in other people’s lives.
It is so often the little things. It’s taking the time to talk to someone when they need someone to talk to even though you’re flat out busy with heaps of things to do. It’s about giving without any thought of what’s in it for me, but rather giving because it’s what you want to do.
Take the time to talk to your family, friends, work mates, employees, suppliers, customers or clients and you will find ways to do just that little something which in itself is insignificant but in its own way being generous and greatly appreciated by the recipient.
Now you might say that this is all about the law of reciprocity which states that if I do something for you, you will feel a need to return the favour at some time in the future.
For me, generosity is about giving without any thought of receiving in return. It’s about a deep-seated urge to help others. When you’ve helped someone else in some way, you can’t help but feel good about it. That’s what generosity is about.
I challenge you to think about your actions at the end of the week and start to write down your acts of generosity. You might surprise yourself, like I did.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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