Friday, December 2, 2016

Costless Complements, Gratis Gratitude and other Gratuitous Giving

Giving is on many people’s mind this time of year. Giving is a truly a wonderful thing. In fact the old saying “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving” still rings true. For a few minutes forget about presents that can be bought at a store or online. Also, you surely are familiar with the old (but true) cliché about “the things that money cannot buy” like love, integrity, trust, etc. Those gifts are important too, but for now let’s keep things from getting too existential and abstract. Rather, let’s just consider some basic free gifts that we can give to others that are easy, clear and simple. 

Below are some examples of free yet practical gifts that you can give to make someone else’s life a just a little bit better – any time of the year. Read each example below and consider 1 or 2 ideas that are doable for you:

Praise – Praise can be a very powerful gift when given to someone who cares about your opinion and when given in a sincere and caring way. (Examples below)
  • “I’m going to make sure to let my wife know that she is a beautiful woman in my eyes”
  • “I am going to look for an opportunity to let my son know how proud I am of him”

“Random Acts of Kindness” – Just do something nice for someone for no reason at all
  • The next time I see someone struggling or stressed out at the super market or store I am going to let them go ahead of me on the line
  • I am going to clean out and reorganize my family member’s closet for them as a surprise"

The Gift of Gratitude – When expressed from the heart, a sincere thank you can be a so meaningful 
  • I am going to stop and say thank you to the security guard at my work for making me feel safe
  • I am going to tell my children thank you for just being good kids

Time & Attention – Most people love attention and it’s free to give
  • I am going to go visit my parents and just let them talk for a while 
  • I am going to sit and watch one of those shows or movies my partner loves so much and let (him/her) explain it to me.

Creativity – Kids who don’t have money often make things as gifts. This can work well for grownups too if done right
  • I am going to make my friend an awesome playlist of some of her favorite songs
  • I am going to design an interesting post on social media with my freind in mind that he/she will appreciate

Other? – Do you have another idea in this frame of mind that is not already listed?

Process as a Group:
  1. Pick one or two areas listed above and come up with your own personal idea for giving that is doable for you. Discuss your ideas
  2. Group Challenge – Pick a time when the group will meet again. Can everyone try to do one thing by then and be ready to share how it went?
  3. All Year Round Challenge – You can increase your happiness by increasing your giving spirit, all year round. What area can you work on? (Praise, Kindness, Gratitude, Time & Attention, or Creativity?)

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