Master the Art of Giving

This is a guest article by Tess Marshalll from The Bold Life

>“Give others all that is alive in us—our interest, understanding, our knowledge, our humor, everything in us that’s good. In doing so, we enhance the sense of aliveness in others while enhancing our own. When we give, we get a “heightened vitality” of what it means to be human.” –Erich Fromm

With our changing economic times, everyone is asking for help in some form. There are as many reasons to give as there are ways to give.

Some people give for recognition. They want their names in programs, on park benches and in hospital lobbies. Others give expecting to be paid back or thanked, they give to get. Some people want a hands-on-experience and are generous with their time. Some like to give anonymously and don’t want any recognition at all.

People who truly master the art of giving give out of the goodness of their hearts with no self-serving motives. Giving becomes a blessing for the giver and receiver.

It’s human nature to believe, “When I have more I’ll give more.” If you come from this mentality you never have enough of anything to give.

Generosity is a choice that feels right and joyful. Generosity comes from believing you have enough to share.

The following are gifts we all have that can benefit others.

1. Give of Your Talents

Give someone an hour of coaching, a signed copy of your book or a golf lesson. Can you offer child care? Or do you have plumbing, painting, or landscaping skills?

Give things. Clean your home and clear out your closet of unwanted things. Give what you don’t use or need to charity. Your junk is someone else’s treasure.

2. Give blood.

Save a life. I’ve done this on several occasions; it’s a great feeling to know you are helping to save someone’s life.

3. Give of yourself.

Make someone feel loved, special and appreciated with a visit, phone call, email, text or card. Give a hand made gift. Give praise, gratitude and appreciation. This creates heart-to-heart connections.

4. Give someone a lift.

When you encounter a quotation or a good news story, pass it on with a personal “thinking of you” note. This is spirit-lifting. It can make someone’s day. Today hand written notes and cards are rare gifts.

5. Give a recommendation.

Enrich someone’s life by sharing the discovery of a great blog, book, restaurant, product or service. The message you give is “This was a great find for me and I want to share it with you.”

6. Give the gift of laughter.

Laughter brings health and happiness to others. It offers physiological, psychological and spiritual benefits. Laugh loud and laugh often with everyone.

7. Give an invitation.

Being invited to any kind of event means people want to be with you. When you invite someone into your life you are saying, “I want to spend time with you, you are important to me.

8. Give affection.

Appropriately offer a hug, a kiss on the cheek, a pat on the back, a touch on an arm or a tender look. We never lose the need for affection and acceptance. Touching heals emotional wounds.

9. Give good advice.

Ask the question, “Do you want advice or to you want me to listen.” If needed and wanted advice can be life-saving. Shared insights and wisdom is a precious gift.

10. Give encouragement.

When people are filled with doubt and fear they lack courage. When you inspire and motivate someone to act on their dreams, it can be life changing. You are making the world a better place.

11. Give without keeping score.

Real giving is expecting nothing in return. Give when you have the opportunity not because you received something and want to return the favor. Never hesitate to give because you gave last.

12. Give forgiveness.

Forgiveness offers healing to family, friends, coworkers and neighbors. Forgive yourself and others in spite of memories of unlovable times. Drop the story of what they did and what you did and the meaning you have given it.

13. Give money.

Giving stuff is easy. We usually don’t need or want it… But almost everyone likes to hang on to their money. Giving away money is more difficult because it means less for you. Give money because others need it. Give money because we’re dependent on one another.

14. Give An Act Of Kindness.

Kindness is the easiest and most abundant gift we have to give away. Buy Girl Scout cookies, always open the door for the person behind you, return your grocery cart, make cookies for your neighbor. The list is endless. Kindness brings joy to the giver, receiver and anyone witnessing the act!

15. Give love.

It’s easy to love those who love us back. Challenge yourself to give love to those who deserve it the least. Make your love unconditional. Make the world a more loving place. Everyone will reap the benefits!

Tess Marshall is the mover and shaker, at www.TheBoldLife.com, where she’ll hold you accountable for being the boldest you’ve ever been in every area of your life! What would you do if you were 10 times bolder? You can sign up for her RSS feed and receive her updates or follow her on Twitter

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  1. Not going with heavy words but lets say that you cleaned your roommates closet along with yours and he messes it up next time you see it. He has no sense of cleanliness and thus he undoes what you did for him. This is the most basic example of generosity. How to deal with such situations? You don’t mind doing things for other people but they don’t really learn anything but on the other hand relies and abuses your generosity. What do you think of generosity abuse?

  2. Ouspenskypd

    I don’t think there is such a thing as generosity abuse. Was cleaning his closet a gift or were you expecting him to change or learn from your help? When you give watch your intentions and drop your expectations. What if the next gift you gave was accepting your roommate exactly as he is?

    Richard, That is true on one level. The next level is where giving and receiving are the same. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  3. These are all great tips. At one point in my life, I have tried and done almost every one of these, except give blood, which I have on my list of things to do.

    One thing I would add to this very nice post is that the key is not to do one or all of these once or twice or three times. The key is to do all of these over, and over, and over again throughout your life. To make your life about giving and incorporate these tips as a daily part of your routine. Then you haven’t just made a difference, but you are making a difference every single day.

    .-= ´s last blog ..DONT THINK WHAT IS | Think What You Want To Be =-.

  4. A wonderful illustration of how incredibly wealthy we all truly are; just look at all each of us has to give!

    An observation: The act of giving precludes reciprocity of any kind. It’s a manifestation of the love we feel within, just bursting for a way out. True giving flows freely from the heart, with the full force of love and compassion and honest selflessness propelling it forward. Anything less is simply a disguised request for a bartered transaction.

  5. Hi Patrick, Hi Tess,

    Lovely post! This is something I’m practicing with more effort as I’ve gotten older. I’ve learned over the years that I’ve been given so much and still continue to receive so much. If I could make a tiny difference by giving my time, friendship, or some other kind of contribution, why would I not? It affirms, at least for me, that there’s a reason why I’m here.

  6. Gianpaolo,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Giving and generosity become a way of life. There is no better way to feel successful and wealthy.

    Julie, Leave it to you to set us all straight. Well said my wise friend!

    Belinda, That’s why we’re all here. Some of us just don’t know it yet…we’re here to make the world a better place every change we can and sharing who we are (love) and what we have is the best way I know.

    .-= ´s last blog ..Born To Run =-.

  7. Tess, thank you for sharing that wonderful article here on UYM.

    I cannot stress enough how important mastering the art of intention-free giving is. Beside the positive benefits you’ll give to others I guess the most precious gift you’ll receive yourself by installing in yourself a level of trust in the powers of the universe that allowed you to express your love and generosity through giving.

    By giving you receive for yourself – trust in the abundance of the universe – trust in your own powers – a knowledge of ultimate inter-connectedness – the ability to overcome scarcity- & poverty-mentality – and so much more.

    So if you are looking for the best investment in your own growth and want to really do something good for yourself – give and then give more – and make it a practice, until it becomes a habit and ultimately your character.

    Thank you again for this great reminder.

  8. Tess is one of my favorite people! She is so full of love and inspiration, as she so generously demonstrates here. Her lists are the best! All points in this one are so super and I’m going to read the whole post again after I submit this comment, to savor the love again.

    And I am really inspired, Patrick, at your words about trusting in the abundance if the universe.

    .-= ´s last blog ..Gratitude =-.

  9. This is so wonderful Tess. I love the list and especially the last one . as you say easy to give love to those close and dear to you, your friends and your internet and blogging friends. To give love unconditionally to all, as you say can be a challenge. I believe that as we come closer to giving ourself unconditional love, it is easier to open out hearts to all Namaste

    Suzie

    .-= ´s last blog ..Inspirational SABs #18 =-.

  10. Jannie, All love and happiness back at you! I believe that’s my job to love and inspire and giving fits in between. I’ve been practicing sending love and warm thoughts to those in my life that don’t deserve it for the last six 9 months. Of course doing so has changed my perception in them. Besides I’m projecting my own unworthiness on them to begin with;) Thanks for stopping by and singing my praises. Love ya more!

    Suzie,

    Yes Suzie, me too and sometimes we think that’s all we have to give is love when in fact it’s the best gift of all. You’re a shining example of loving unconditionally.

    .-= ´s last blog ..Born To Run =-.

  11. Hi Tess. Becoming authentically generous is the best gift you can give to yourself, really. And it shows your health. At one time in my life when my own love tank was empty, I was so cynical and had not much to give. But now that my situation has turned around and I love who I am and I love my life, generosity is just part of daily living. It is like all the tomatoes I have abundantly growing, I now have so much love and kindness AND tomatoes to give away, and as it all is in so much abundance I have no attachment to what I get in return. I am so grateful to be in this place. It is like Julie said, to be bursting with all this abundance is such a great way to live and such a great place to work towards to as you obviously also know. xox Wilma

    .-= ´s last blog ..Ann-Marie on ‘I don’t know’ so I say STOP =-.

  12. Wilma, You are so flippin funny…Hey that could be the name of a best seller, ” Love, Kindness and Tomatoes! I love it.. Seriously we grew acres of tomatoes on the farm and I miss them. Just don’t get that taste in the store boughten ones. But I don’t have to tell you that!

    .-= ´s last blog ..Born To Run =-.

  13. Tess, thanks for sharing your great tips on giving – this is the second time we are connecting today:-)

    As Julie has said above in the comments, just look at how much we all have to give away!

    I would like to discuss a couple of points in more detail…

    You said in tip 15 about giving away your love to challenge yourself to give love to those who deserve it the least. However how do you decide who deserves it more and who deserves it less?

    I guess the answer is that to be truly unconditionally loving, somehow we get over this feeling that love has to be earned or one has to proved themselves to be deserving. And therein lies the challenge we all face.

    It is easy to love our partner, siblings, children, parents, friends etc when they are being cordial and everything is going smoothly but what about when things are rocky?

    As Marianne Williamson says in her book “A Return to Love”, it is during such rocky timees when people really test us is the time of our greatest growth – a time for us to literally return to love:-)

    Finally, I would also add that as well as becoming really good at giving, most of us also need to learn to receive and be open to receiving. In the past I have been world class at both giving and NOT receiving. Thankfully that is changing.

    The more open you are to receiving, the more the universe can send youy way. As I say now, bring it on!

    Again, great article, Tess – and wonderful how our paths have crossed twice on the same day:-)

    .-= ´s last blog ..How to be Annoyingly Positive and Still Keep your Boring Friends! =-.

  14. I was actually thinking about trying a guest post with this very theme, but someone beat me to it. Nicely done and I like how specific you got in ways to give. I think, especially for me, we get caught up in our work and family lives that giving and serving others gets sidelined, yet that service (done willingly without expectation of reward) is such a key to feeling fulfilled in life. Thanks!

    • Jeremy, servicing others without focusing on a reward is key for getting even more from the universe than you would have asked for anyway. Oh and btw try another shot with your guest post.

  15. The bitter truth about Giving! Giving is important ! but how the others receive and respond to your giving cannot be ignored, for if it is at any stage you feel exploited and cheated, it can lead to hatred. Choose the right people to give. As you sow so shall you reap – is a phrase when equipments & fertilizer were not used. Global warming had not started. Today where, when and how you sow also matters!

  16. I love the general message of the positives in giving in your post Tess, and the creative ways of giving that seem so obvious once you mention them. I’m sure once we start exploring this sort of giving we can discover some of our own gifting strengths that we had never really thought about.

    Regarding our reasons for giving I wonder if it’s even possible to give ‘with no self-serving motives’. In a psychology class I took I remember a discussion around altruism and almost exactly that concept: can anyone purely act in this way? I don’t think we had an answer and, honestly – without wanting be to a downer – I don’t think they can. But I suspect if it was possible there would be an element of indifference, because if giving gives you joy or a sense of fulfilment then it’s possible it is the motive for giving.

    I would rather not focus on the reasons for giving and just give. As you say, give from the heart. If it becomes a habit that we give without too much analysis, is that entirely a bad thing?

  17. Very inspiring from all who contributed and continue to contribute to the discussion. It’s even more inspiring how everyone are sharing their experiences. I was wondering what the price is for giving and also the price for receiving. I will use all that I’ve received from this forum with those who are not able to access these valuable information.