Thursday, September 6, 2012

Giving is Good for You -- and Good for Business

As a child I remember hearing, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." I was so disappointed, because I really loved getting gifts! But during the past 25 years I have had the privilege of spending time with thousands of successful people, and I've discovered they have one thing in common: They are constantly giving.
A major stumbling block to peace of mind and maximum productivity is simply having too much! People we love or respect give us gifts we don't need or want. Many of the items we use are made so well that they won't wear out, even when we wish they would. Technology dictates that perfectly good products are soon worthless in the context in which we want to use them. Think about it. Homeless shelters would be thrilled with those linens you've stuffed in the closet. Many non-profit organizations would be delighted to have that dot matrix printer buried in the supply room. And that flower vase, which you never use, would be great for the local rummage fundraiser. Have you ever sat impatiently in a hospital waiting room and the only thing you could find to read was a two-year-old issue of Field and Stream - yet your office is scattered with unread magazines?
You can also give of yourself. Donating your talents to help people in trouble is a great way to put your own troubles in perspective. What is so amazing is that you can do something you enjoy. Consider these possibilities:
o Stop by your local school and offer to tutor a student 2 hours a week.
o Create some posters for an organization that's planning a public event.
o Write an article for the newsletter of your favorite charity.
o Provide your product or service to someone deserving who can't pay for it.
o Build a handicapped ramp for an accident victim.
o Get the oil changed in a car for a single parent.
o Take a cancer patient to chemotherapy.
o Make a donation to the local blood bank.
Be a catalyst for teaching "the art of giving" to others. Whether you give your time to orchestrate an office clean-out day or serve as a volunteer in a tutoring program, everyone will win and you'll feel better too.

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