Of all the secrets I have learned in the art of living a fulfilled & joyful life, the power of giving has to be one of the most potent of them all.
Never have I found such a powerful tool to transform the way you feel about yourself, others & the world.
Giving to another being, be it your time, your listening, gifts, your words of wisdom, your kindness, (or even your last rolo!), seems to hold a lasting key to an inner feeling of contentment and happiness.
It never ceases to amazes me how instant this feeling is. How fast the change happens.
Giving is quite simply the fastest way to bring a smile to someone’s face, and that smile, caused as a result of something YOU have done, cannot fail to make you feel great.
But for me this is much more scientific and deeper than just making you feel great. The feeling that comes from giving is almost an innate human need, a fundamental foundational stone of our existance. A genetic, in-built mechnism to ensure our race continues to flourish. It’s almost as if without giving, a human being is incomplete.
Just yesterday I walked past a homeless person in the street. Her head was hung low from being ignored all day, she was staring at the pavement. I had a healthy drink in my bag, and it was a hot day. I walked up to her and said “Here, this is for you, it’s full of vitamins and minerals so will give you lots of energy”. She looked at me, a bit confused, and then the inevitable smile came onto her face. I wasn’t sure if she was grateful or thought I was funny for commenting on the vitamins and minerals, but the smile came all the same. And the inevitable warm feeling in my heart of having made a difference, however small, to someone, came to me. Win win. Everyone’s a winner when we choose to give. At the very least I made her laugh, at best I made her feel seen, respected, and cared for. I will never know.
And that is the beauty of giving. You just don’t know what impact or effect you are making. You don’t know how someone is feeling at the moment you choose to give. Because people often put on a brave face to conceal their sadness or stress. You will most likely never know the effects of your acts of giving because people often don’t tell us. But the one thing that is assured, any act of giving will only ever bring good.
What is that magic that takes place when you give? Seriously, what IS that? Some magic spark that just changes everything.
Personally, I think that it is something to do with the power of choice. The act of giving is such a conscious choice to step out of your own world, into another’s world, that it almost confuses your whole system. Giving is a direct act of selflessness, that drags us out of selfishness, and re-sets us in a different direction. Re-calibration. Re-orientation.
Because if there is one thing for sure that brings “un-happiness”, it is selfishness. Prolonged lack of care for those around us, brings the opposite of contentment. We don’t know why we feel unfulfilled, we can’t put our finger on it, but we just don’t feel content.
For something so easy, and so fast acting and with such a powerfull ability to bring joy, why do we choose not to give more often? Why do we wait for birthdays and Christmas and anniversaries? Every single day brings with it hundreds of opportunities to give. Hundreds of opportunities to build that sense of contentment within ourselves. But so often we choose not to give.
Try it. Just try it. The next time you are feeling unfulfilled and a bit sad, a little bit confused as to why you are here on planet earth and what your next step should be, give someone a gift. And just see what happens. Just observe how it makes you feel. Observe the change in your thoughts. Observe the clarity of purpose that gently creeps into your heart.
The power of feeling content and fulfilled lies within your choice to give or not to give. You hold the power to give, or not.
I believe that humans are meant to give. One of the secrets, the absolute keys to happiness and contentment can be found in the simple act of giving. Every day.
I have a rule that I will give a gift to at least one person, every….single…day. It is a discipline of mine, that I have adopted over my life. Because I know that if I stop giving, I stop living to the truest potential of my life. Why would I let a day go by without taking the opportunity to surprise someone with a gift and make them happy? Why would I not do that?
Every day is a masterpiece waiting to be painted…by you. Giving of yourself in some way, to the world, each day, needs to be part of your daily plan if you truely wish to live a fulfilled life.
I will finish with a beautifull quote that has inspired me my whole life:
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give” Winston Churchill
Such pure, true words that hold the secret to living a fulfilled life.