Giving is an act that brings intrinsic contentment. Doesn’t it feel better to give a gift than to receive one? That’s because when we make other people happy, our own happiness soars.
True winners know the value that generosity provides – it feels good and fills our life with meaning. Jenny Santi, in her article in TIME magazine entitled The Secret to Happiness is Helping Others writes,
“Scientific research provides compelling data to support the anecdotal evidence that giving is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness. Through fMRI technology, we now know that giving activates the same parts of the brain that are stimulated by food and sex. Experiments show evidence that altruism is hardwired in the brain — and it’s pleasurable. Helping others may just be the secret to living a life that is not only happier but also healthier, wealthier, more productive, and meaningful.”
Winners also know that whatever they give most will come back to them tenfold. You must attach positive feelings to your generosity, because just like gratitude, the things we rejoice about most are what we receive. Generosity and gratitude have their own energy field, which when extended outward pulls in similar energy back into our personal domain.
Generosity creates new opportunities – even for love
A few years after moving to Thailand, my friends and I started a non-profit event series called Party4Charity, which combined our passion for good music and giving back. We held several fundraising events over the years, all of which were costume parties that reflected the theme of the cause we were raising for. It was a deeply fulfilling role to take on, organizing an entertaining experience for the community while bringing everyone together for one common mission. Even more gratifying was passing over a check to the orphanage or non-profit-organization and then visiting them later to see the fruits of our efforts.
It was through one of these charity fundraisers that I met my husband Dean. Dean was on his own mission to make a difference in the community and as I got to know him, I realized he was a selfless giver. He made it his goal to contact a different charity or orphanage every three months, ask them for their wish-list, then organize a crew of friends to collectively buy whatever it was they needed (food, snacks, school supplies, etc.) and then deliver it to them together. He planned out the logistics, asked friends for help and executed mission after mission around Thailand. He called his initiative The Montecristo Project (named after his favorite book “The Count of Montecristo”), and even before we started dating, I had joined a few of these trips. Dean says that for him, giving back is simply a way of life: “There is something magical about the act of giving without asking anything in return. I love the feeling of being in a position to help others and seeing the gratitude and joy in their eyes. Selfless giving is our way of making this world a kinder, more compassionate place.”
“We make a living by what we get; but we make a life by what we give.”
~~ Winston Churchill~~