How good are you at giving?
And just how open are you to receiving?
As a lot of people around the world celebrates thanksgiving week, I am marking this special time with a series of articles.
This is the second in my series of 5 special posts for thanksgiving week.
Check out the first post here
Being based in the UK, I am not that familiar with the celebration of thanksgiving but I really love the whole concept of sharing with your loved ones and expressing your gratitude for all the goodness in your life.
From what I understand, part of this tradition of thanksgiving is to give and receive gifts.
It is therefore important to learn to give and also to receive. And the second of my series of 5 articles for thanksgiving week is all about giving and receiving – and how to become really good at both.
Do you look to help others in any way you can?
Or do you tend to look out just for yourself?
Most cultures and religions emphasise that life is all about giving. You reap what you sow, and by being generous and sharing your goodness is how you become happier.
We have a choice in how we behave towards others – we can be generous, considerate and caring to the people around us. Or we can be mean, self-centred and petty.
Every human interaction is an opportunity for giving and receiving a gift, such as love, friendship, honesty, support, thoughtfulness, generosity, humour and fun.
When you give to another, you receive the blessings of what you have given them – such as pleasure, satisfaction and joy.
What goes around comes around, and once you put the balance cycle of giving and receiving in action, you will receive as surely as you give.
Receiving is just as important as giving.
At the same time, be open to receiving. If everyone was giving, and no one was receiving, to whom would we be giving?
Recognize that by being open to receiving, you are giving the other person an opportunity to be blessed by their giving. It is a great thing to give… and to receive.
I recently heard Sadhguru Vasudev explain in one of his discourses that it was far important to receive than to give. We have all this goodness around us – and if we don’t acknowledge and accept it, what’s the very point of our existence?!
Most people are better at giving than receiving – and this thanksgiving, learn to receive openly and graciously. If someone gives you a gift or even a compliment, just say thank you.
There is so much you can do every day in terms of receiving and giving.
For example, every time you meet someone, ask yourself – what can I do for this person? A sincere compliment or even just acknowledging their presence can make a huge difference to them – and you.
Do not confuse giving compliments with flattery. Compliments should be positive, sincere and focused on achievements. For example – “You look radiant today. You must really be taking good care of yourself”.
In any situation, ask yourself – how can I help? How can I contribute here?
In the same way that bees contribute to the pollination of flowers, what can you do to help others blossom?
Here are some simple ways you can begin to contribute to the people you meet every day.
1. Just smile!
Smile – and see how others respond.
Give someone the gift of your smile and kindness. It is amazing how easily you can uplift someone with a smile.
2. Help someone lost or in some trouble.
Look for the proverbial damsel in distress. Even giving directions to a lost tourist will lift your spirits.
In our society today, it’s come to a point when we are almost too scared to even ashamed to get involved.
Remember the silent people – and why you should not be one of them.
3. Help someone just to make their life easier.
For example, next time you are in a traffic queue, give way to other motorists. Count the number of times each day that you do something for others simply to help them.
4. Make a monetary contribution to a good cause.
Nowadays there are so many worthy causes clamouring for our loose change, such as the Haiti earthquake or the Pakistan flood appeals. But you will be surprised how far a little change can go.
Know that whatever you give does ultimately make a difference. And you have a vast number of charitable organisations to choose from – do your research and choose the one that appeals the most to you.
5. Say something positive to at least 3 people every day.
This could be your neighbour, a work colleague or the newsagent.
The opportunities of brightening up someone’s day are endless once you begin to look out for them.
6. Recommend someone’s services or products.
Help other people grow through your recommendations and look for opportunities for connecting people.
A lot of business is done through personal recommendations and we all know someone who is excellent at what they do. Recommend that plumber or decorator who did such a great job for you.
Or simply get like minded people together. Hook up people who you feel may have some synergies.
7. Talk in glowing terms about someone to a third person.
Instead of gossiping and “bitching”, stop and get in to the habit of only saying positive things about other people.
I recently found myself gossiping about a neighbour to a friend and stopped myself just in time. Clearly I still have some way to go too.
The trick I have learnt is to imagine that the person being talked about can actually hear what I might say about them!
8. Acknowledge at least three people daily.
This could be by sending them a greeting card or a “thank you” note, telephoning or emailing. Perhaps an sms text message. Do something for them which you know they will appreciate.
Three people might seem like stretching it a bit, but once you get into the habit, it does get easier – and becomes fun too.
Saying thanks is for everyday, not just thanksgiving!
Remember, you are a gift bearer and a gift receiver in every relationship. And the key to creating the life you love is contribution.
Make this thanks giving week, the week when you truly begin to contribute and give.
Make contribution to others a life long mission – your life will change dramatically and your interactions with other people will become more satisfying, enjoyable and fun.
Make it Thanksgiving Day, every day!
Have a wonderful life of giving and receiving.
Now please share how you give and receive in your life
Also check out the other article in my series of 5 articles for thanksgiving:-