The Joy of Giving

In a sense, giving is the best way to experience the feeling of contentment. It’s a way of saying to yourself, “I have more than I need to be happy.” It’s a way of practicing the concept of abundance. Imagine your day, your workplace as a banquet or a pot-luck dinner, filled with wonderful and perhaps not-so wonderful things. The question is – what do you have to offer? You know you’re going to enjoy many different dishes. What would you like to bring to the feast? No matter the individual quality of the contribution, the sum of the whole at a pot-luck is almost always a happy, spirited affair.


My coaching clients tell me of worrying about not being good enough. A frequent challenge teams face is a feeling of unspoken internal competition, an unconscious measuring and competing against people on the same team. The joy of giving is one of the surest methods of overcoming these traps. Even if on the face of it you don’t yet believe “I have something to give,” know that there’s a wiser part of you, sometimes difficult to access, who knows this to be true. And nothing will help you to believe something quicker than acting like you already believe it. For example, volunteering for Hospice has proven for many people to be an effective way of dealing with their personal grief over losing a loved one, either literally through a death or metaphorically with a relationship ending.


How can you most joyfully give? Look at what you’re drawn to. Would you prefer to give your energy, your monetary wealth or a combination of the two? Do you prefer formal volunteering and philanthropy or every day ‘guerilla’ giving? Do you prefer to give in a strategic way for maximum positive impact and social change? Or do you prefer to give in a way in which you have the most connection, can see and be part of the positive change?


If you’re in a place where the giving pains you – something about it is forced, or you know you’ll be too worried about the money you pass along, or already feel the emptiness before you’ve given, you may not be ready to give. In this case, the best option may be to spend some time looking at what you need in your life that you’re not getting in as compassionate a way as possible. But if you’re even wavering a little bit, ponder what Peyton Conway March says, “There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life – the happiness, freedom, and peace of mind – are always attained by giving them to someone else.” Give giving a try in small ways – it’s the small daily gifts that make all the difference.


Explore this idea more fully in Quixote Consulting’s charity-based team building activities:

Military Salute – Teams build care packages to be given to soldiers stationed overseas.

Charity Wheelchair Build – Charity Wheelchair Build gets your team building wheelchairs to help disabled people stay independent in this charity team building activity.

Charity Roller Coaster –Design and build the world’s most exciting roller coaster and help kids learn about science.

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