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Generosity And The 'Why'

Generosity is not limited or bound by how much money, or how many possessions we may have – it is often given as time.

Generosity is an attitude, followed up by an action. A valuable lesson was brought to my attention a couple of years ago, as my Rover Scout Crew and I were helping to clean up properties in Kaiapoi, a northern suburb that was hit hard by the Christchurch Earthquakes.

We met a wide variety of people from all sorts of situations and backgrounds through this, all pulled together to help out local residents. I was truly inspired by a digger driver who was always the first to arrive and the last to leave each day. It turned out that his house in Rolleston, South Canterbury, had been condemned, and because he couldn’t do anything about his house, he thought he might as well help others where he could make a difference.

There was also another lovely lady from Auckland who I was working alongside that didn’t have any family or friends in Canterbury, but flew down for a few days just so that she could do something to help.

Pick Your Attitude

This was a huge contrast to some of the guys that were brought in to help, but not by choice. The difference in productivity, attention to detail, initiative, focus, and stick-ability was amazing. And the difference was the ‘why’.

Those of us that were out there by choice were focused on helping others, providing manpower that would otherwise have taken homeowners weeks to clean up, and offering extra help if they needed it, and a friendly smile to the poor homeowner whose property we were strewn across.

The guys that weren’t out there by choice tended to focus on their own situation, how hard the work was, grumbling about why they had to be there, and how much they could get away with NOT doing.

So the next time your motivation is flagging, or your focus needs adjusting, just remember WHY you are doing it. What made you want to begin this task or goal in the first place? Whether it’s in your business, at the gym, or in the community, your WHY is the best motivator you will ever need.

Boost Your Motivation

To boost motivation, display your WHY in your office, on the fridge, on your treadmill, or by your bed.

If your ‘why’ is to make more money, convert this thought into what you will do or have with the increased income – turn it from just bits of paper into a physical thing – whether its a picture of a someone learning to play the violin, or a trip to Disneyland with your family. Let it empower, inspire and motivate you to continue the journey, even though sometimes it may have its ups and downs.

13 Generous Ideas

  1. Give smiles away generously.

  2. Sponsor a charity, community event, local person, or overseas child.

  3. Donate your expertise through advice or mentoring.

  4. Become an organ donor – you could save or improve several lives.

  5. Donate business goods or services to a fundraiser.

  6. Buy fundraising chocolates or raffle tickets.

  7. Donate clothing or household items that you don’t use or need anymore.

  8. Become a board member of a charity or non-profit organisation.

  9. Help a friend or neighbour with a task that they struggle with.

  10. Volunteer at a local event.

  11. Take on a student for a day or a week's work experience.

  12. Donate blood - you could save a life.

  13. Think of ways to make someone’s life easier, and act on it.


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