6 Easy Ways To Develop A Lifestyle Of Giving And Generosity
Many people, especially when it comes to relationships, see themselves as givers. They provide for the house, raise the kids, prepare the meals…
However, many of them don’t know how to give. In fact, they’re merely exchanging favors; “You do this for me” and “I’ll do that for you”.
Very few people genuinely give away without expecting something in return. And while nothing is wrong about getting back, if everything you give is about getting, you’re likely going to lead a fearful life.
You’ll be always questioning, “Am I getting enough back?”.
This type of thinking creates feelings of anger and resentment when you feel shortchanged.
“Love is generally confused with dependence; but in point of fact, you can love only in proportion to your capacity for independence.” - Rollo May - Man’s Search for Himself
Genuine giving is not just altruistic, it also makes you feel better. Learning how to give takes a great deal of practice to achieve. You also need to be independent to be able to give. In fact, we came to this world totally dependent on our parents for survival. As we grow up we learn how to take care of ourselves. Yet, many people never learn how to be independent and give to others. They remain frightened that no one will come to relieve their hanger for money, love, praise, and so on.
With an approach of neediness, we have little to give. If we can’t love ourselves, how much love can we give to others? We become helpless, unfulfilled and most of all frightened. Frightened we might lose someone we’re dependent on for our survival. And in general, unless we get something back, we feel used.
The truth is, when we give from a place of love, rather than from a place of expectation, usually, more will come back to us that we could imagine. Below are things to start giving:
1. Give away thanks.
Start by thanking the people presently in your life. Grab a paper and write down all the contributions each one of them made to you. Whether they brought you pleasure or caused you pain, every contribution is a win if you’ve learned something from it. Thank these people the next time you meet them or write them a note or an email.
For those who caused you pain, sit down on a comfortable chair, close your eyes and visualize them in front of you. Tell them that you wish them all the good. Thank them for the experiences and lessons they have given you. Keep doing this until you feel the negative emotions leaving. Keep in mind that you’re doing this, firstly, for yourself. When you remain angry at someone else, you’re only hurting yourself.
2. Give away information.
We go through hardships and challenges to learn. And for some reason, it doesn’t seem fair to give others help and save them the struggle. However, challenges in life, don’t just teach a lesson, it changes you and helps you grow as a person, something you can’t do it for anyone else. Giving information away is especially beneficial to you. Your contribution in this life will be greatly magnified and you usually get help back, even if it wasn’t from those you helped.
3. Give away praise.
We usually find it difficult to praise the ones closest to us, even though they deserve it more than anyone else.
Praising the people in our lives, not only strengthen the relationship but also help you release the negative, such as any anger or resentment toward that person, and opens up the door for love.
4. Give away time.
Time is one of our precious resources. We never seem to have enough of it. This makes it one of the most precious gifts. You can give away your time by listening to a friend’s problem, volunteering, reading a book to a child, offering to babysit or pet-sit... giving your time away can help take you out of your problems and make you a more loving and nurturing person. Keep in mind that what you’re doing counts and is going to make a difference.
5. Give away money.
Money can be a huge confrontation for most of us. And no matter how secure and wealthy we become, fear about money often persists. In fact, security is not having money, it’s realizing you can do without it. This is why one of the best antidotes to money-related fears, is to let go of money. And this is why giving money away can make you feel richer. It can set you free to enjoy and to invest in yourself and others. This doesn’t mean to away all of your money and finds yourself broke-balance is the key.
6. Give away love.
The "give aways" mentioned above is a form of love. However, love can take many other forms such as accepting someone the way he is, trusting someone or allowing someone to learn and grow without feeling frightened we might not approve of the change.
Reminding yourself that you count, will enhance your ability to give. And like any other skill, giving is going to take practice. You need to acknowledge that you’re life is already abundant. Only when you’re aware that you have, that you can freely give away. Look for blessings around you and start writing them every day in your journal.
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making me happy.
I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and, as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live.
I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got to hold up for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” - George Bernard Shaw