How do you behave when no one is looking and you don’t get “extra credit”? While some people make a big show of their kindness and generosity in public, others do incredibly good works behind the scenes.
One such friend comes to mind. He is a truly amazing human being. Everyone knows it, but not because he tells them. I’ll call him EveryMan, since every man and woman could learn a few things from him.
Well, I’ve known EveryMan for a long time. I met him volunteering for my MBA alumni club. I was giving a speech and he was making club announcements in his role as President. He became club president not as a resume enhancer, but for what he could give back to the school.
As time went on, we became friends. One day over lunch, this successful executive slipped in that – oh, by the way – he provides scholarships to two inner city young men, so that they can attend private school. “I want them to have opportunities like I’ve had,” he told me. As I looked at him, this poised businessman suddenly had transformed into a slightly shy and awkward adolescent who had just gotten “caught” doing something good.
“They even write to me and they’re doing great,” he said. A big smile spread across his face – like a proud parent.
We went on with our lunch and conversation. I never looked at EveryMan the same way again. I bet his parents are proud.
Each of us contributes in different ways. EveryMan gives scholarships. Debbie walks to raise money to find a cure. Ellen spends her “extra” money buying supplies for the kids in her elementary school class.
So what will you do? Donate food to your local food pantry. Volunteer in your community. Share encouragement with a friend. It all counts. You count. So go out and do something.
How do you treat people who can no longer give you something important? Are they relegated to a dusty shelf somewhere or do elevate them to an even higher status?
Which approach you take might just predict how healthy you will be during your lifetime. Researchers from Temple University found that individuals who view people at replaceable as the latest and greatest device are likely to suffer from a variety of health problems even if they live a so-called “healthy” life.
Embracing and finding the continuing value in each person’s life can be a priceless elixir. Drink up.
Many believe that who they are is what they do – Student, Stay-at-Home Mom, Investment Banker, Entrepreneur – and form their sense of self-worth based on this “identity.”
Yet this is a limiting and even unhealthy way to live. At some point, you will graduate, your children will grow up and move out of your home, and you will retire from your job and with it your described role and function in life.
So consider looking at yourself another way – what personal qualities do you possess that encompass all of your roles. Things like integrity, curiosity, enthusiasm, and compassion. Underneath you are a complete and perfect human being. So why not start there.
Have a great day,
Some people believe that if they don’t “discover” the solution all on their own, they are diminished and have failed. Not only is this attitude self-defeating, it’s actually arrogant. By not allowing others to help you, you cheat them of the good feelings they would receive from making a contribution.
So who would enjoy helping you today? Make the most of their assistance. And of course, show your appreciation with a kind word, hug, or even thank you gift. Choose whatever is appropriate for the situation and the relationship.
Have a great day,
Generosity is a wonderful thing. You can do it anywhere and anytime, using lots of money or none at all. The key is what is in your heart – giving without expecting anything in return. When you do, things you never thought possible can show up when you least expect them – and that’s half the fun, right?
So be generous – early and often. In the process, you will expand your opportunities, capacity, and many, many, other terrific things.
Have a great day,
I was chatting with someone this week and she was questioning why others don’t seem to want to help her. The more we chatted, the clearer it became to both of us that her approach made her appear risky. It wasn’t something massive or even super obvious, it was little things – from not responding in a timely manner to asking for too much too soon. Also, there were a few missing “thank yous” here and there.
So the next time you ask someone to help you, ask yourself: “Am I making myself ‘risky’ to the other person?” If you think you are, you likely are. Adjust your approach accordingly and move ahead.
Have a great day,
I am a big believer in gratitude. If a person can’t find things to feel grateful for, life often becomes an endless slog. I understand that.
While feeling gratitude is essential, it’s incomplete. Feeling gratitude impacts you alone, while expressing gratitude impacts both you and the other person. It takes compassion, courage, and care to share appreciation and the impact is far reaching – in ways you can’t even begin to imagine.
So express gratitude sincerely, specifically, and concretely – and often!!!
Many people talk about the power of big data and while this is true, it only tells one side of the story. Small data, or looking at an individual, can help you create value immediately. When you focus on appreciating, acknowledging, and/or improving the life of the person in front of you – you can have an impact right now. What’s more, the positive influence you have on that one individual can ripple out in ways you can even foresee. So what are you waiting for? Act now.
Enjoy your day,
If someone asked you the question,”How valuable are you?” – what would you say? Would you list off your degrees, jobs, and accomplishments?
While these have their place, there is something more. Your worth is a combination of things you can easily measure (like your compensation) AND your attitude and behavior. In today’s world, opportunities are given to those who display both competence and warmth. Competence will open a door and warmth make others want you to stay.
How do you show competence and warmth in your life?
Have a wonderful weekend,
I was with a group of friends recently. There was a lot of complaining about the state of the world, how big the problems are, and the impossible nature change. As I was about to get sucked into this vortex of negativity, I made myself pause and say a few things. “Guys,” I said. “Could we go down a different track? My mentor says this again and again, ‘Who is right in front of you? Help that person!’ This might not seem like a big deal, it is. Start with one and go from there.”
While there might have been some eye rolls, I felt better – and it was a reminder to me that when I feel I can’t make a difference, it’s just not true. See the person in front of you and smile and wave, say thank you, or go out for coffee and listen more than you speak.
Enjoy the day,