Giving! Do you practice it on a regular basis? When I say “giving” . . . as a part of a Perfect Day strategy does your mind immediately run to $$$? Sometimes, our minds think about swiping a debit card or (in the past) writing a check. Simple, right? Wrong!
Giving can cause us to feel better about ourselves, but giving is not about us. So, here’s my question: Have you given or have you truly given? It’s easy to attach a dollar sign to giving and then, sadly, think about writing it off on our taxes! While that true, that’s not really the type of giving that leads to more Perfect Days.
Where It All Begins
Giving begins when we understand, “It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ―Mother Teresa
Often, I ask myself, “What is the one thing I can give to someone even before I begin my day?” Who needs to feel encouraged or understood? It’s easy: You can give the gift of care and love and really yourself, and you don’t have to open your wallet for this one.
It has been said that it takes 14 positive comments to erase mentally one negative comment! The person at the coffee shop working so she or he can finish up college without excessive student loans sure could use your, “Thank you,” a nice tip, and “I hope you have a good day” comment.
The other thing that I have realized as I’ve grown older is that many at Christmas feel lonely or forgotten. You can reduce anyone’s anxiety or sorrow by stopping for a moment to listen instead for rushing on. CEOs and leaders are famous for passing employees in hallways saying, “Hello. How are you?” while walking quickly by. Ever had that happen to you? Most of us have!
The Greatest Gifts are Wrapped in Love
Maybe you can’t stop and talk to everyone, but you can take a couple of minutes to do simple, random acts of benevolence. These are the things that we think of as “insignificant” or “no big deal” but they are incredibly important.
I struggle with keeping pace with caring, myself; I know how easy it is to get into a habit of giving without really giving!
I have a large family that has grown over these past couple of years; and if I didn’t practice what I “preach,” I could fall into the trap of working too much, rushing more than I should, and overlooking what matters most—the very things that take our imperfect days and turn them into Perfect.
Remember, you don’t need a “perfect” cup of coffee to say, “Thank you.”
Let giving to others become a routine and not something you feel you must do. When I give my time and energy to others, I just feel better — about myself and my community, but I also know I’m making a difference for good by developing a lifestyle that makes a difference in this broken world. So, have you just given, or have you truly given?
Steps to a Better Life Story
This Christmas try stepping outside of your box by finding a way to give to something that’s greater than yourself. Find ways to—
• Strengthen Your Core Express gratitude and thankfulness to others. Measure your life NOT in terms of your net worth but your net worthiness.
• Experience quality time with your loved ones—your family and friends.
• Contribute your time, money, and most of all yourself to causes and needs that are greater than yourself.
• Financial Take time to plan to save for the future. Be a good steward of what you have been given today so it and more will be with you tomorrow.
A couple of years ago, one of my daughters asked, “Do we really have to give gifts this Christmas? Can we just be together?” My answer was: “Yes!” That’s the essence of giving!
Remember two things: Giving really is the goal of this season—the gift that was given to us and the gift we give to others.
Second: Perfect Days are not perfect. You will need to recall this as you go through the holiday season. They are perfect because we learn how to live through each moment by taking what is imperfect and seeing the potential for growth and abundance.
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About The Author: Cokie Berenyi
Cokie Berenyi has been in financial services and serving the needs of individual and institutional clients and entrepreneurs since 1996. Mother, author, business owner, financial “samurai” and Perfect Day engineer, Cokie loves food, wine, travel, stray dogs, goat cheese, tennis, and alpine mountaineering.
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