I firmly believe that we are all born with a kind, giving heart. We start our lives with an innocent perception that the world can be anything we want it to be. It is said that we control our circumstances, but too many young children become a victim to their environment — they are not taught the lessons of life and how to cope. As those children grow older, they lack a sense of compassion and trust. But we shouldn’t be so quick to blame them.
It reminds me of a saying my father had: “When the son swears, slap the father.” He had a keen sense of judgement and a patience in understanding the truth of a situation. If our society has changed that much, it is up to us to “unteach” these youth that position, and introduce them all life truly has to offer.
My father also taught me that we are all here to do something, to give our gifts and God-given talents to the world. He firmly believed that developing a spirit of gratitude would make a difference in your life. The more you contribute, the more life takes on an entirely new meaning. When you give more of yourself, you are destined to receive more in return. However, it must be done with a kind, unselfish heart expecting nothing in return and that’s when but true fulfillment happens.
“Your rewards in life are in direct proportion to your service.”
As a leader, you set the example. When I use the word “leader”, I’m not talking about position, rank or authority; that is not a leader, but rather a manager. When I say “leader”, I am referring to one who influences. To the person who has the ability to elicit greatness out of others. In other words, they always put others before themselves in an effort to create more leaders.
To contribute as a leader requires more than just your responsibilities within your career. You also have a responsibility to be a contributor to life and not withhold the gift you have been given. As hard as you work to empower others, you understand that giving back actually empowers you. It’s that drive that leads to happiness. And if you truly influence others, they too will model your behavior and realize that giving thanks creates power. It is within the ability to look beyond your own needs and recognize where you can make an impact that provide unmatched rewards in life.
“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
— Henry David Thoreau
Think of it as a circle. We are all there to pass our gift to the person on our right, and once they receive it, they pass their gift on to the next person. This momentum continues and positive change starts occurring because there are so many people keeping the flow going. However, all it takes is someone to receive — and not giving back to break that momentum. Too many people today are stopping the flow, and holding back as a result of their selfishness. They believe what is theirs is theirs and it is not their responsibility to be giving. In their mind, they earned it — as should everyone else.
Until you consider being giving an obligation, you will continue to put it off. If you want to see the results of your efforts, you must start now. Expand the circle of momentum by stepping in with your arms open and passing something on. Put ego aside, become more vulnerable and express the greatest gift you have, and that is gratitude.You cannot evade your own greatness, give without expectation because life contributes back to you when you are generous with your gift. The more you give, the more your get.
When you focus on gratitude, it expands. If you make it a part of your life, think of the influence you have as a leader to pass that gift on to so many others. Don’t hold back, what you give will always come back to you tenfold. Commit to being a contributor and you will experience happiness for the rest of your life.