Several months ago I wrote about one of my five secrets to finding joy in your life journey. It was about being present and how hard it is to be present with all the fancy electronics available to us. Just as difficult is another one of my secrets, focus on the giving. We are coming into a time of year that concentrates on the giving, or at least on the asking. We will get tons of requests because it is the season of giving. And of course we are coming up onto the end of our tax year, with more reasons to give. But none of this implies focus on the giving. (If you missed reading about the first secret, click here.)
Do you ever take the time to stop and really focus on what am I giving and to whom? What percent of my gross income do I give? I have a dear friend I quote often. She said once, “The more George (her husband) makes the more I can give!” Is money the only way to give?
Focusing on the giving implies so much more than just money. A thank you is giving, asking with a please is giving, sharing a hug or a smile is giving. I spend a lot of time talking with people I will never meet. Many of them work in small cubicles with a headset. And most are not speaking their native language. I do not want those jobs, do you? So every call I find a reason to make them smile! Of course when I get a laugh I am really happy.
Receiving is so much better than giving. Try it sometime. Just give for the sake of giving. Yes, for some pledging to your house of worship, school, museum or symphony are most essential, and thinking in the sense of a certain percentage is good. But just giving a little extra in any form every day is best.
Focus on the giving and you will master joy in your life journey!