Blog with Joel Brookman

Give of Yourself

Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

As I approach a half of a century on the planet, I am beginning to understand that our greatest reward is realized through the service of others. The feeling you get when you give of yourself and have an impact in the life of another is priceless. There are countless ways to do it. I thought I would share a few ideas of some rewards that I have witnessed.

Share your resources–My wife takes care of most of the charitable donations we make in the form of checks and credit card payments. I prefer to give money directly to people that I encounter. I usually keep a few $10 and $20 bills in my wallet. When I get an impulse, I’ll give them to someone that has a greater need than I do. It can be a struggling street musician, a waitress that provides amazing service, or a person at a check out counter that is a few dollars short. Last week it was buying breakfast at McDonalds for a group of soldiers in the airport. These guys are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to allow the rest of us to maintain our way of life. The least I can do is pick up an inexpensive breakfast. The response from them and others in line was worth far more than the money I spent.

Mentor someone–In my role for my firm, I have the opportunity to be a coach and mentor to many people. Knowing that something I have done had in impact in helping another to advance their career, and being present to witness their success is incredibly rewarding.

Take interest in people–Listening is an underrated skill. If you become truly interested in what people have to say, while resisting the need to give your story, people will be enamored with you. If you are single, try it on a date. In business, try it with a client. People love to be heard. I have found that women respond to this even better than men. So often women just want to vent. As men, our impulse is to solve problems. Take it from a guy with a wife and two daughters working within a group comprised of 80% women: effective listening, combined with emotional support, makes you a trusted confidant.

Bring people together–A benefit of building many relationships is that you have the opportunity to be the conduit that can connect people that mutually benefit each other. We all have things we would like to achieve and there are always people that have the expertise or the contacts to help us. I have a very dear friend that is a master at connecting people. His name is Frank Biden and he is the brother of the Vice President of the United States. As you would imagine, Frank knows everybody. The only people that don’t like Frank either don’t know him, or let their political prejudices influence their opinion of him as a person. Frank has a gift for bringing people together to form mutually beneficial connections such that whole is greater than the sum of the parts. This gift, along with his vast contacts, and his selfless nature, create a powerful combination. The ability to bring people together for mutually beneficial endeavors creates tremendous pleasure for him.

When you think about service to others, what talents or resources do you have that can help you make a difference in the life of another? Are you using those talents and resources? The suggestion for this week: try to give of yourself and notice how it feels. What you give has a miraculous way of coming back to you with dividends. Start today and let me know how it goes.

Posted by Joel Brookman in abundance, give of yourself, Go beyond what anyone expects, Gratitude, Law of Reciprocity and tagged .


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