Giving is in the air every holiday season, but this year I find myself digging deeper into WHY we give. Is it because we want to be seen as a “good person”? Or is it an outpouring of the abundance we feel we personally live in?
Many of our clients are surprised by our teaching that being generous is a fundamental part of managing your money well. This is because most people believe, as we once did, that when they feel financially secure enough, they will start giving generously. I’m here to tell you that that time never comes. No matter the income level, most people don’t feel comfortable giving away their time or money. But don’t lose heart! The great part about this is that it actually works the other way around. Consistent generosity leads to wealth. You don’t have to wait for one to have the other! I’ll give you an example from my own life.
After a year of talking about it, we finally took the plunge and got involved volunteering with a foster care agency in north Austin. Each week, we babysit a sibling group of five and give some hard working foster parents some much needed relief. You’d think that we gain so much by being around these kids, and you’d be right. But the real value is getting to see the foster parents in action. They have selflessly volunteered 24 hours, 7 days a week to take in these kids. They are the superheroes of this story, not us.
Watching them not only gives me enormous hope for humanity but it makes the resources I have seem larger than they did before. By giving our time and money, we basically get a passport to be around “next level” people who put our giving into perspective. Just by being in their presences, we are challenged to push our generosity to new heights. That is a huge benefit that I think is mostly missed in around the conversation of giving. Combine that opportunity with getting to be around the irrepressible spirits of those sweet, tenacious, funny kids, and our time with them becomes a source of invaluable wealth. The more time I spend with them, the harder I want to work to make sure they have the things they need to keep going.
In 2016, we gave away more of our time and money than ever before and we are more financially and spiritually wealthy than we have ever been. I’ve seen the correlation in enough of our clients to know that this is not coincidence. I would hope you’ll take some time this Christmas season to reflect on how your generosity and sense of wealth are related. Share with us how you will take your generosity game to the next level so we can cheer you on!