Blog with Joel Brookman


Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

I recently moved and my wife decided to replace the majority of our furniture. An acquaintance mentioned that she knew a nice man with four daughters and limited means. We asked if he would be interested in two bedrooms worth of furniture. He proceeded to come and pick up everything. We called him a again after we realized we had a few additional items. When he arrived for the second load he told us how excited his girls were. They looked forward to going to sleep each night and they even took turns sleeping in the top bunk. I think I got as much from the exchange as his family did. The feeling of appreciation for doing something nice for others is priceless.

I have said many times that the happiest people are those that are in service to others. To me, the most rewarding part of giving is witnessing the impact of your generosity. As you take in the satisfaction and realize how amazing it feels, you will inevitably want to do it more often. Here are a few approaches that you may want to consider:

Mentor a child. Creating a better world happens one person at a time. As a quality individual, why not make your impact by helping to foster other quality individuals. If you can positively impact the trajectory of the life of another, you have served your planetary purpose. Everything after that is a bonus.

Make a generous donation to someone that doesn’t expect it. I was on a downtown street waiting for my family to come out of a store. An incredibly talented street musician was whaling away on the guitar. I got the benefit of 15 minutes of terrific entertainment. When my daughter came out of the store I handed her $20 to give to the man. I watched his face light up as she dropped the bill in his case. His reaction was worth far more than $20.

Compliment someone in front of their boss. When someone goes out of their way for you, ask to speak to their supervisor. If the supervisor is not available, get the email of someone up the line. Send a note to the boss and cc the employee.

Become a mentor for someone at work. I’ve had some wonderful mentors that have helped me to get where I am today. I now feel the responsibility to pay it forward. When I see the people I mentor move up within the organization, it makes me proud to know that I played a part (even if it was a small one) in their success.

Volunteer at a homeless shelter. My wife takes my daughters to a soup kitchen every year at Thanksgiving. It gives my children the opportunity to see that not everyone is as fortunate as they are. They always seem to come back with a heartfelt story about someone they served.

There are so many ways to give of yourself. Find one that resonates with you and just do it. In the end the biggest beneficiary of the exchange may just be you.

Posted by Joel Brookman in give of yourself, Go beyond what anyone expects, happiness, mentor and tagged .


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