It’s a completely different thing to give generously and graciously from the heart, an unconditional give with no expectation on return. Yes, it’s absolutely true that the more you give, the more you receive. But that should never be the sole reason for giving.
When I fantasize about winning millions of dollars, I think about the people I love and what kind of legacy I’d like to pass on to them - like all the awesome youth in my life and my deepest desire to gift them all with the opportunity to study abroad. The thought of it completely and utterly melts my heart. I was fortunate enough to do several study abroads through my (very long) college career and those experiences changed my life. They set me on a trajectory that wasn’t even in my consciousness at the time. I believe that every person should experience life in another country, and the younger you are when you get that chance, the better. When I picture myself sending my kids and nephews, my cousins’ kids and my friends’ kids off on an adventure that will impact the rest of their lives, the frequency of my whole body changes and I’m overwhelmed with a sense of love and gratitude. I can’t even imagine what it will feel like when I am actually able to gift them with the experience! I’ll probably start levitating!
What is your deepest desire when it comes to gracious giving? What would you give away if money was in total abundance?
Find a cause to support, if you haven’t already. Find something that is really close to you heart and really think about why it means so much to you. Then do some research and find an organization or person doing work around that cause. What are their needs and what can you do to fill those gaps? Find out what kind of giving you can do around that cause. Is it time, resources, money, hugs? Whatever the give is, do it because it means something to you, not because you’ll get a cool travel mug or tote bag. Lord knows we don’t need anymore tote bags. But do your homework though. There’s a lot of organizations out there with good intentions but terrible infrastructure and management. Which ultimately means that even though your give is heart-centered, the give might not really be going where you think it is. And if you’re not sure who to support, DM me. I can most definitely point in you a few good directions.
We give so much of ourselves. Many of us use our money to get the things we need to have an operational classroom or office. But there might also be something we are stingy on. For me, I battled for years over pens. On the first day of school, my students would walk into the classroom and find a notebook and two pens on their desk. I told them I would gift them two pens and then the rest of the year they were on their own - don’t EVEN ask me for something to write with. Did it work? Hell no. They were always asking me for pens. And I always said no - I had to stick to my word, right? Bullshit. Why did I fight that battle like it was a matter of life and death? Who knows. But I finally switched gears and put up a little jar with a sign that said: Need a pen, take one. Find a pen, give one. I would replenish this jar when it got low with either my own stock or all the pens I found on the floor at the end of every day. My life in the classroom got just the tiniest better because I decided it wasn’t worth being stingy over something like a pen for a student who needed it. I have a good friend who, every time she goes to Costco, she gets a giant thing of feminine products and boxes of snacks and water. Her generosity won the hearts of many hungry kids and girls who’s teachers wouldn’t even let them use the restroom. What are you stingy about and what would it feel like if you just gave it away instead of clung on to it? Is it pens, like me? Or is it love, compassion, paper, snacks, hugs, empathy?
Read The World’s Greatest Salesman by Og Mandino. Learn through Hafid’s eyes why generosity and giving is critical to success. This is one of the few books that I've read multiple times and every time I read it, it opens my eyes to a new understanding of what it means to be truly wealthy. For me, this book has been a serious game changer a several different points in my life. Plus, it's just a beautiful story.
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