Generosity is something you’re born with, I honestly believe. It has nothing at all to do with how much money you have, how well connected you are, or whether or not you believe that giving to others is optional. It does have everything to do with knowing that sharing your time, money, knowledge, and resources with others, especially if they have done the same thing for you is the right thing to do on a regular basis.
Here is something I began notice as my business began to grow and I was surrounded my more and more successful people:
People who are more successful are generally more generous to those around them.
It turns out I am not the only person to feel this way. Seth Godin discusses something he refers to as the Generosity Boomerang. It goes like this:
“Success makes you happy. Happiness permits you to be generous.
In fact, it actually works like this:
Generosity makes you happy. Happy people are more likely to be successful.”
Godin goes on to say in another post that we seek to be around people in our life who are open, generous, and connected.
“Open to new ideas, leaning forward, exploring the edges, impatient with the status quo… In a hurry to make something worth making.
Generous when given the opportunity (or restless to find the opportunity when not).”
When I spend time with people who do not seem to have a generous bone in their body I am always tempted to start a discussion on the topic with them. Many are just getting started with their businesses and would argue that they simply can’t afford to be generous right now, but fully intend to when they are earning more money.
Generosity is all about gratitude, and understanding that when we are grateful for what we already have in our lives we are given even more.
Just as I believed I could not volunteer for charities and other organizations back when I was a classroom teacher and also in real estate, this is just wrong thinking. You always have enough time and money to serve others, both those you know and whom are helping you and those you may never meet because they live half way around the world. Generosity is a trait worth developing, if you were not born with it.
What do you think about generosity – is it a trait we are born with, or must it be developed?