The more I observe individuals whom I consider to be successful in their endeavors and lives, the more I realize that they are very “active givers.” I have come to realize that a major part of the process of achieving success and living the kind of life we dream of is to give things away. Most of our society has this all wrong. Many people think that in order to get what you want, you have to take it. There is a universal truth, however, that says in order to get what you want, you have to give. When you give, you get. What you sow, you shall reap. If this is true, then what is it that we have to give?
The definition of “active givers” is not necessarily that they are individuals who are generous in giving money to causes. But let’s take a moment to be clear on this. Supporting organizations and worthy causes with our money is wonderful and should be applauded. Giving of our financial resources is encouraged all throughout the Bible, so we know that this is a necessary and wonderful thing to do. This is even a goal that the Dave Ramsey organization encourages everyone to reach…..Baby Step #7 is to “Build wealth and give!” What today’s blog talks about is giving away things that are even more valuable than our money and other personal treasures.
I recently read an article by Chris Widener that talks about seven things we must give to others if we want to achieve success. I want to share Chris’ perspective on what it is that must be given away:
Give Others Your Honesty: Unfortunately, the world in which we live has a simple rule that many people follow: Lie when you have to.
This practice can certainly bring much material wealth, but also makes us spiritually poor as people. To achieve success is to become wealthy not only in terms of what we gain in material items, but also in character. To be truly successful, one has to attain their goals and maintain a high moral standard and character that are a blessing to others. Ed McMahon said, “Honesty is the single most important factor having a direct bearing on the final success of an individual, corporation, or product.” How about you? Are you honest in all things? In all things and at all times, give others your honesty.
Give Others Your Respect: Oftentimes, we give people respect based on their status in life, what they have done, or what they have accomplished. We access whether someone is “worthy” of our respect, based on what they have achieved or who they might know.
Think about this. Maybe we should have a higher standard that gives respect simply based on someone being themselves. Respect people for not what they have done, or for who they are related to, or for what they can do for us. Instead, respect people for who they are as individuals.
What do you think would happen in our world, in our places of employment, and in our families if we started with respect rather than making people earn it? It is likely that most people would live up to the respect that we give them.
Give Others Your Vulnerability: We are taught from childhood to “be strong.” And most definitely, we need to be strong individuals. However, the most successful people I have known were those who were humble and admitted having some flaws. One thing that attracts people to others is the sense of vulnerability and imperfection. Most of the time, when you show your vulnerability and imperfections, people are drawn to you. Your relationships will normally become deeper and more meaningful.
Give Others Your Care: How many individuals do we know who live a life of not caring? Do these people make people happy and are they themselves happy? Can a person really be successful by “looking out for number one” and “winning through intimidation.” I am confident that we know the answers to these questions. I think of individuals whom I have known very early in my career who exhibited a “winning through intimidation” approach to their jobs and others. Guess what happened? A number of these folks have passed on and left memories with many persons who knew them as being selfish and uncaring. What a tragic outcome to the final chapter that was written for the lives of persons that I/we have known over the past. The lesson here for all of us is that the real sign of success is caring about others. Take the time to show people you care. Listen to them. Empathize with them. Lastly, love them.
Give Others Your Passion: Being passionate about something is an admirable trait to have. The world needs more passionate people rather than those who “live in a daily bubble.” Living each day in our fast paced world can tire all of us out and lead to a life of complacency. Giving your passion to others not only fires them up, but creates new energy for yourself. If you share your energy and passion (inspiration) with others, you normally find the energy comes back to you.
Give Others Your Experience: We all have areas in which we excel and have specific strengths. Most of the time, they are areas in which we have the most experience. One of the ways we can make our lives more meaningful, and be of the greatest help to others, is to give them knowledge through our experiences. Sharing the good experiences and the bad ones is a “gold mine” that needs to be mined…… particularly as we get older. This includes stories of successes and our mistakes. Whatever it is, we can be of service to others by sharing with them stories of the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Give Others Your Help: Zig Ziglar said, “If we help others get what they want, we will in turn get what we want.” This is also a major principle of successful negotiating techniques. If we want to be successful, we should consider ourselves servants of other people. Be thinking about how we can help others achieve their goals. This is a tested and true path which leads to greatness and success, not only in business, but in life.
“Never give with the motive of having your giving returned.”
Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University