The past few days, for a number of reasons, I’ve found myself thinking about the topic of generosity. So, I’m wondering, have you been thinking about ‘generosity’? If you haven’t been, maybe you should. Because in our busy lives its easy to get so caught up in thinking about what we want to (or ‘deserve to’ as so many commercials remind us) get, that it’s easy to forget about the many, many, many things that each of us has to give. Like time. The time it takes, as a leader, a coach (or a spouse or parent or friend) to sit down and actually listen. To ask and find out why something unexpected happened. To help someone figure out a creative solution or the next small step to take. And although it might seem like a lot to give at the time, when you look back on it, the fifteen or thirty minutes or one hour you spend will seem so small to you, but so large to the person you’ve helped!
Another thing that each of us can give generously of is the answer of ‘yes’. In fact, saying ‘yes’ is one of the practices that I use to help me consciously practice generosity. Here’s why. Often, when something is asked of us, our first impulse is to say ‘no’. Perhaps because it seems like it will take too much of our time, isn’t something that we’d think of doing, or isn’t convenient for us. What if instead of saying ‘no’, though, we said ‘yes’! And then did it! From simply making a conscious decision to say ‘yes’ instead of no, I’ve been given wonderful opportunities to experience things I’d never imagined (like swimming in the Amazon River with pink dolphins), to travel to amazing places and to learn how to do all kinds of things that have helped me in unexpected ways – and in ways that turned out to be much more than the help that I gave! For me, saying ‘yes’ helps make generosity conscious, and a habit!
So, those are some of my thoughts on generosity. I’d love to hear yours. And if you haven’t thought about ‘generosity’ in a while, now is a good time to start! Because every little bit of generosity helps people improve the world!