Giving cultivates a beautiful attitude, it does not have to be the starting place of a beautiful attitude.
For various reasons, much like many of you reading this, I found it difficult to enjoy the holiday season for many years. I struggled with depression, anger, bitterness, and a host of other nasty emotions.
In October 2015, I left a job most would classify as “secure” and “stable” to focus on building my business, which had grown exponentially from January 2015 through October 2015. One of the goals I had when I went full-time entrepreneur was to be a giver. I was raised by my parents to never brag or be boastful, and I we shouldn’t brag or gloat about our finances, but this is to spell out how I overcame a negative period in my life.
My wife and I committed to give away a portion of our income to our church and other needs as they arose. For the first time in many years, not only am I able to give my family time during this season, but I am also able to provide for them in a much more efficient manner, but I am also able to give to others. If you are wondering, “How can I make a difference in someone else’s life this holiday season”, I would love to share with you one way: Give. Giving cultivates a beautiful attitude, it does not have to be the starting place of a beautiful attitude. Giving brings a tremendous amount of joy into our lives.
Give joyfully. Give freely. If you are a typical “Scrooge”, like I was, giving opens your heart. It changes your attitude and puts life in perspective. I write this knowing some do not celebrate or believe in this season, but for the majority, it applies. Giving changed my life and I love it!
Here are five ways we can be difference makers by giving:
1.) Pay off someone’s bill at a department store (lay-a-way): You know what it is like to pinch pennies and wonder where your next dime will come from, right? Think about the single mom who has been pulling double shifts since July to provide for her children. Think about the widow who buys gifts for her family, even though she is on a fixed income. You paying off a lay-a-way bill, or department store bill will have a tremendously positive impact on their life.
2.) Pay for someone’s meal in the fast food drive-thru: Unless it is a stretch limo full of people, you will likely only drop $10-$15. It’s not a tremendous investment and the look on the cashier’s face, well, it’s going to be priceless.
3.) Do some investigative work and provide for a child: Most communities offer some type of initiative where people in the community can adopt a child and ensure he/she receives gifts during Christmas. Most of us know of a family in need, locally, and if we work it right, we can make a tremendous impact on their lives.
4.) Be intentional about being positive: Our world is screwed up. Agreed? There’s so much wrong with it all. Why not kick it up a notch and be a part of what is “right” with our world? Some have jars where they put money in when they swear, maybe we can do the same with negative words. When you hear someone who is down, having a bad day (life), be encouraging. There is tremendous power in the spoken word. Encouraging someone else with our words does not cost a dime.
5.) Volunteer for a local charitable cause: This is easy as it requires zero financial investment, just some of your time. That’s it. You know, we live in a society in which the focus is often on our own individual needs, our own individual goals, so why not change it a bit during this month?
Other than the volunteer effort mentioned, or even encouraging someone you are talking with, the bonus in it all is to give anonymously. When you do this, there is a tremendous amount of internal gratification that arises. I recently wrote an article about giving for my own blog, you can check it out here.
Has anyone be generous with you? Be generous with others. Start a movement. Start a tradition.
Pay it forward.