No matter what you are trying to do this year, you must do one thing: give more than you expect to receive.
“You will only be happy if you serve other people.”
‒ John Mashni Sr. (my dad)
There is only one way to be happy, according to my dad.
For years I have tried to think my way around this singular path, but so far, all attempts have failed.
Serving other people is the only way to be happy.
I was reviewing my goals for this upcoming year a few weeks ago. I realized that if my dad’s advice is true, then I need to be more intentional about it.
“Give more to get more.”
Plus, I have been listening and following to Benjamin P. Hardy and Richie Norton in the last few months. Both of them have recently focused on giving as the way to move forward. I am so grateful for their input.
Are You Serious?
“When you give something, just for the joy of creating, it always comes back on a much larger scale.”
— Ji Lee
Giving is the key to being successful? Doesn’t that seem against everyone’s traditional advice?
What about hard work? Hustle? Brains? Energy? Sleep? Discipline?
Most people do not think about how much they are going to give this year.
Most people are not at all focused on giving.
Most people’s goals are all about how much they are going to get this year.
In fact, as the clock turned from last year to this year, I saw the tide of advice about resolutions and goals. I have even written a few articles myself.
But no one has claimed that the key to success or to fulfillment or to anything else is to give anything…
Giving is the right thing to do. And it is the next thing to do to move forward this year.
3 Reasons To Give
Giving has three specific benefits that you cannot get anywhere else.
When you give to someone, you must value that person. When you value people, you instantly connect with them.
You will always attract what you value.
If you value something, give it away.
Because you will attract other people who value that exact same thing.
Each gift is a seed.
Of course, not all seeds grow. But some do.
The only way to have growth is to plant seeds. If you stop giving, you have stopped planting seeds.
Would you rather start a forest with one seed? Or a thousand? Or just never stop planting seeds?
Now that you should give, what’s next?
Be intentional about giving.
My Yearly Goal List Now Has Giving Goals
“You can have anything you want in the world if you just help enough other people get what they want.”
— Zig Ziglar
Most people do not set goals at all, let alone for the next 12 months. They do not see the value in having specific targets.
Like many people, I set goals at the end of every year for specific areas of my life: work, family, relationships, faith, health, etc.
I did something this year that I have never done before — I set specific giving goals.
Not only did I set specific giving goals, I actually made “giving” a full area of my goals.
For me this year, giving is just as important as work, health, family, and relationships.
I used to think my giving responsibility could be met by setting up automatic deductions from my bank account or credit card — it was all about money.
But that can’t be right, can it? Giving can’t only about be about money, right?
Is money the only thing that I have to give?
Not at all.
I can give so much:
- Legal advice and assistance (I am a lawyer)
- And Money
I now have goals in all of those areas, including money.
But is giving really the answer?
No Expectation of Reward
“In a vibrant, functioning relationship, each partner tries to give more than he or she gets. That is an incredibly strong foundation for a successful and lasting partnership!”
— Brandon Ansel, from The Next Right Thing
Most people do not give anything at all — everything is a transaction.
And of those of who do give, most only give when they expect something in return.
It is rare to find people who give just to give.
How rare is the person that always gives more than he or she ever expects to receive in return?
In my experience — ultra-rare.
Giving is not about a return but about faith and trust.
— Jerome Vierling
When you give, do not expect an immediate return in exchange for your gifts.
Giving changes you. It does not guarantee a return from others. The reward is in you.
The beautiful part: your change may attract others.
Giving with the expectation of an immediate benefit or exchange is not giving at all.
So stop giving with the expectation of reward.
Give when there is a need.
Who Do I Give To?
“For where your treasure is, there is where your heart will be also”
— Jesus, Sermon on the Mount
For me, giving starts with the people I spend the most time with and grows outward from there.
- My wife — she needs my time more than anything else. I love to give it to her.
- My family — I love to give time, love, leadership, and an example of what is possible to my family.
- My friends — my friends need support, encouragement, laughter (mostly at my expense) and love.
- My relationships — I love to give honor and respect to those around me.
- My community — I love to serve my community, with both time and money.
- My employer — I love to give my employer more value than what I am paid for. Everything I touch needs to be made better and not worse. I look at my job description as the floor, and not the ceiling.
- My clients — I aim to give way more than what I am paid. And I often give away advice and high-level counsel for free.
- Aspiring writers — I will always read the work of people I know. I will subscribe to my friend’s email lists and be the first person to purchase their products.
- Artists — I love to give encouragement to artists. They need to know that their work is valuable and important. And I love to financially support as well.
Don’t think that if you can only give a little that you cannot give anything at all.
If you know someone with a blog, comment on it! Or share the link. I guarantee that they will appreciate it. And do it often — not just once.
Solve Problems with Giving More
“If you think money can’t buy happiness, you haven’t given enough away.”
— Joe Polish
I once heard a business principle that says that whenever there is a price objection from a customer, the answer is never to lower the price, but to offer a higher-priced service with double the value.
In business, the answer to give more — not to provide less value.
Let’s take the same approach with giving.
I pledge to solve problems this year by giving more and not less. Even when giving more seems like the most uncommon sense thing to do.
I have learned so much from my friend Jerome Vierling. His default setting is to give — even when someone does wrong by him. When he receives less than ideal service from a vendor, I have personally experienced him paying the vendor even more than what was agreed on.
For Jerome, it is not about paying up to the value that the vendor provided. It is about giving, period.
When you feel slighted the real solution is not to take revenge but to give even more.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
‒ Mahatma Gandhi
When I left my last job, I knew I was going to leave months before I left. I could have mentally checked out. I could have easily just done the minimum to get by.
However, I decided that I wanted to have an absolutely clear conscience when I left.
I decided to give them every single idea that I have ever had that might improve the company.
So before I left I helped to create a 50+ page report that explained every recommendation that I could think of that would improve the company.
I still have that report. I held nothing back. And when I left, I felt satisfied that I gave every ounce of my being and mindshare to that company. I held nothing back.
And I felt great. I still do.
“You will never lose when you invest in people.”
— Jerome Vierling
No matter what you are trying to do this year, you must give more than you expect to receive.
Let’s make this year the year of giving. Who is in?
Share this article if you want to spread the message of giving.
Call To Action
Thank you for reading and clapping (50 claps if you like it!) for this article. This article, in particular, is important to me.
And now my gift to you.
If you want to learn the one lesson that has changed my life more than any other, and can absolutely transform your life, eliminate frustration, and crush anxiety, then check out my free “Daily Transformation Checklist.”