Being Generous In Your Everyday Life

The one question that will build a habit of generosity.

Photo by    Cameron Clark   .

Photo by Cameron Clark.

Generosity is a habit, and one that is first developed by noticing opportunities to add good to the lives of others.

If you want your subconscious to be working on identifying ways to be more generous while you go about your daily routine, ask yourself the question (out loud), "How can I add good to the lives of others this week?"

You may be surprised at the opportunities to make life easier for someone that seem to pop up out of nowhere. These didn't really come out of nowhere, you're just training yourself to notice them more often by asking yourself this simple question and allowing your brain to get to work.

Originally published May 2013

Being Generous When You Think You Can't and Why It Matters

Wedding at    Amangiri   . Photo by    Cameron Clark   .

Wedding at Amangiri. Photo by Cameron Clark.

Generous people change the world. Not because of what or how much they give, but because they are doers and see possibilities where others don't. 

There's a quote I love that says, "If you won't be generous with $10, you won't be generous with $10,000."

It's true. 

If you don't build up the muscle of generosity when it seems you don't have as much financially to give, that habit won't suddenly materialize when you have more.

If you're not used to giving or if it feels intimidating, it's okay. Just remember that nothing changes if nothing changes. Make a commitment to start small. Donate $1 from every sale you make this year, starting today. 

Smaller amounts do still make a difference to organizations, but more importantly, the act gets you in the habit of giving and begins to change you into a more generous person.

The phrase "give back" is often used in relation to generosity, but I'd encourage you to adopt a "give as you go" mantra instead. The world needs you and your commitment to an optimism that things can get better, now.

The Power of Gift Giving

We're now in the middle of December as well as in the middle of a season of generosity. It is my favorite time of year for this reason.

Yet for all of the cozy decor, hot cocoa, sufganiyot, and cheer, the holiday season often gets a bad rap. Rather, the gifts associated with the holidays get a bad rap. It's popular to paint the holiday focus on gifts as materialistic, but I believe that is a cynical, glass half-empty perspective.

Gifts celebrate a spirit of generosity. The very nature of giving a gift requires thinking of other people before ourselves and taking the time to select something we know the other person will enjoy.

Thoughtful gifting forces a shift from merely talking about the things we hold to be important to actually showing it through acts of generosity.

Isn't this what the holidays are about? Celebrating love by actively showing it?

Originally published December 2011