Dear Why Team member,
I hope this weeks message finds you well and open to considering the gifts we give and get.
Stop and think for 3 seconds about the last gift you received.
What was it?
Was it wrapped?
Was it …of material value?
The title gave you insight on this week’s topic and may have already gotten you to realize that since early on, we’re trained to see gifts as something of material value, something we touch, can hold and appreciate through various feelings. As we age however, for many of us, experiences become a more desirable gift.
A recent, non-material gift I received was remembering a unique opportunity I had five years ago to see NFL Chaplain, LaMorris Crawford, of the Cincinnati Bengals, share his incredibly inspirational life story. Within his message he shared a simple, yet powerful insight. He said, "What are gifts for? - They are for giving. How would my children, from oldest to youngest feel if on Christmas morning I brought down gifts and didn't give them? They will all say in chorus, 'Daddy, why aren't you giving us your gifts?'". This of course makes a powerful point related to parenting - he then went on to convey how everything we have received in our life can be experienced and recognized as a gift - including our own lives.
It was an "Aha" moment for me.
So simple and yet so powerful!
What a way to live; seeing all that you have as a gift, your own life as a gift, and knowing that all gifts are for giving.
Have you ever considered the utility value of a dollar? That its utility is largely determined by the person who has it!?! Depending on one's current circumstances, he or she may be very grateful for a few bucks in their pocket while another may feel uncomfortable having only a few hundred dollars in their pocket. Hmm...
It makes sense that $100 to someone who has little to no food to eat would be far more valuable than say the value of $100 to someone worth millions. Wayne Dyer never hesitated to tip those who cleaned his hotel room $100.00 - and took the time to get to know them and express his gratitude for their service. He knew the $100 meant far more to them than it did to him. Did he not increase its value by giving it to them?
The challenge for many of us might be how to make the blessings of more, more of a blessing.
When we become aware that our own cups are not only full, but overflowing, is it not reasonable to want to direct that overflow into the lives of others? And when are we to become aware of our full cups? You know me well to talk about the Power of Now but think also on all the blessings you have received up until now. I’m not only speaking about material things.
You know a good joke?
Share it; share it with your cashier, with your hairdresser or your mechanic. Bring a smile that may encourage positive behaviors in others. Give out of your non-material gifts, and you’ll find it easier to give in general.
Many years ago, I read a wonderful book by Tom Rath titled, "How Full is your Bucket". His concept was simple, but powerful: we best fill our own buckets by filling the buckets of others. He implies that the more we seek to fill our own bucket directly, it can lead to a hole in the bottom, a kind of hole in our soul, a hole that can only be filled apparently by meaning and purpose.
Richard Leider, author of the bestselling book The Power of Purpose, tells us that meaning is not just a luxury, but rather a necessity with many benefits, not least of which is in our improved health and longevity.
It seems we best fill our own buckets when we are living a life that is about filling the buckets of others.
There is a story of a man who died and was given the opportunity to view both heaven and hell. In both locations he saw people surrounding a huge pot of delicious stew, each with their spoon handles too long to feed themselves. In Hell, everyone is bitter and starving, however, in Heaven, everyone is laughing, happy and full. Why?
What was the difference?
In Heaven they feed each other.
Could our own experiences of Heaven or Hell be born from our personal choices? Is your life primarily about feeding yourself, or is it primarily about feeding others?
Does your bucket feel full?
The quality of our Why determines the quality of our Life.
Consider how what you have right now might empower you to be even more for others. An encouraging word alone can have a great impact on another. Be it with time and/or with money - an investment in others cannot help but be an investment in yourself - the dividends are immeasurable. As Steven Covey shares in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, one of the habits is to keep the end in mind. How do you want to be remembered and do your current actions align with that objective? If not, why not?
Never forget that we are all rich beyond belief - often much richer than our current belief.
Recognize the abundance that is your life itself and know that you are your greatest gift to give.
Make it a great week!