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The Art of Giving

In the pursuit of the life we dream of, this journey we are on forsuccessful living, the focus is usually on figuring out what it is exactlythat we want and then setting ourselves on course for going and getting it.This is very important: Know what you want to get for your life and thenpursue it.

But there is another aspect of achieving the life you dream of that seems onthe surface to actually be counter-productive to getting the life you want,yet is imperative to the successful life. It is giving.

Giving - of yourself, your time, your money, your energy - is something thattakes us from simply being successful people in the traditional sense of theterm, to being people who lead successful lives.

Giving is what makes us fully human. It is the essence of what we are,people who are here on earth together, not simply people who hope to clamorto the top of the pile in the survival of the fittest. Yes, pursue your lifeand your success with wild abandon; be responsible for yourself and takeownership of your life, realizing that you cannot be responsible for others,but also allow yourself to become a giving person.

Giving is also what allows us to accomplish things far beyond ourselves; andthat is part of what living the life of our dreams is all about, right?Accomplishing great things through ourselves - and others!

How do we do that? Here are some ideas:

Make your giving purposeful. Give to people and organizations that fulfillpurposes that you believe in. This way, they feel good, you feel good, andthe work you believe in gets done. Giving purposefully will give you theability to know that your giving is doing something great.

Make your giving proactive. Take control of your giving. When we control ourgiving it becomes proactive rather than reactive. We know that we are doingwhat we want to do rather than what others may manipulate us to do. We canavoid a lot of the wondering about validity that comes when we give out ofreaction. Giving proactively will give you a lot of peace of mind.

Make your giving methodical. Every month my wife and I write out our charitychecks before any other checks. We do that on purpose to keep our hearts inthe right place. Every month, month in and month out, year after year, we goabout our giving. Our goal is to give away $1,000,000 by the end of ourlives (and we may have to even readjust that goal as time goes by since weset it when we were only 24 years old and we are well on our way to thatgoal.) This isn't done by giving big chunks from time to time. It isaccomplished by checks each and every month, methodically. Givingmethodically allows you to build up larger gifts over time.

Make your giving generous. Don't be a tightwad! Loosen up the purse stringsa bit. Think of your giving in regard to how you can be generous, not howyou can cover your charitable bases. I have found that it isn't the extramoney given to charity that breaks people. It is usually mismanagement. Andat the end of your life you will most likely not know the differencefinancially, though you will in your heart. Making your giving generousallows you to give even greater amounts over time.

Make your giving increasing. Don't just give the same amount from year toyear - increase your giving. I think there are two good times to readjustyour giving: The first of the year and any time your income goes up. Bumpyour giving up then, if you can. This will keep you on pace with your givinggoals and you will notice the increase less from your bottom line. Make yourgiving increasing and your giving will keep pace with your income.

Make your giving from the heart. Don't just let your giving be a mind issue.Let it be a heart issue. This is what gives us our humanity. What causesmake your eyes tear up? What causes really mean something to your heart whenyou are honest with yourself? Start giving to these causes! Let yourcheckbook be a reflection of your heart! Make your giving from the heart andyou will allow your heart to grow.

(Sometimes) Make your giving spontaneous. Sometimes... Allow yourself to bespontaneous with your giving. Do allow yourself to react sometimes. Will youget taken advantage of? Yes, sometimes. But you will also be doing somethingwithin yourself that will keep you from becoming cynical. Sometimes, as lifehas been good to you and you find yourself blessed, let yourself be theblessing to someone else. Make your giving spontaneous (sometimes) and youwill battle the disease of cynicism about charity that can creep in.

These are just a few ideas that you can implement right now to begin the artof giving in your life. The key is to decide that you will become a giver,and not merely a taker. You will choose to leave something behind in thisworld and not merely try to get something out of it.

And as we all commit to that, our world will be a better place and we canall live the lives that we dream of.

About The Author:

Chris Widener is a popular speaker and writer as well as the President of Made for Success, a company helping individuals and organizations turn their potential into performance, succeed in every area of their lives and achieve their dreams.

To see Chris "live" at the upcoming Jim Rohn Weekend Event as he speaks on the subject of Secrets of Influence go to or call 800-929-0434.

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