give and receive flowers

How good are you at giving and receiving?

Do you look to help others in any way you can? Or do you tend to look out just for yourself?

One of the secrets of getting the life you love is to learn to give and also to receive.

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.

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.

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”.

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. Or simply get like minded people together. Hook up people who you feel may have some synergies.

In any situation, ask yourself – how can I help? How can I contribute here?

We can all strive to lead a life of contribution. Though we can’t all be like Gandhi, Mother Teresa or Nelson Mandela, we can certainly make a difference to the world in our own small way.

Nelson Mandela 3

Here are some simple ways you can begin to contribute to the people you meet every day.

1. 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.

3. Help someone for no other reason than 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. You will be surprised how far a little change can go. For example, at my local Oxfam shop in St Johns Wood High St, you can donate 99p which will buy a baby’s vest in Bosnia and for ¬£8.99 you can send a Bangladeshi child to school for 6 months.

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. Offer to put people in touch with someone who you think could help them. Recommend the plumber or decorator who did such a great job for you.

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.

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 a mobile text message. Do something for them which you know they will appreciate.

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 the week when you begin contributing and giving. Make contribution a life long mission. Your life will change dramatically and your interactions with other people will become more satisfying, enjoyable and fun.

Have a wonderful life of giving and receiving.