While we likely all recognise that adding a little more generosity into our lives would be a good thing, we may fall short when it comes to actionable steps to achieve this outcome. Is it just a matter of signing away a percentage of your paycheck every month to a charity, even if their cause doesn’t particularly resonate with you? Is it buying more gifts for your significant other? The key to unlocking the true benefits of giving is in the sentiment you carry with each act, so keep listening for our favourite ways to weave more generosity into your life.
Sometimes it’s about building momentum rather than jumping into the deep end, so don’t be afraid (or ashamed) to start small. Donating even just $1 to a cause can help you on your path to greater generosity by familiarising you with the process and giving you that first sweet hit of warm-fuzziness. Take the time to learn about an organisation that works in aid of a cause you’re passionate about, and let your dollar do the talking. The more informed you become, the more invested you may feel in their work and might want to explore new pathways and opportunities to support them. For now, start with a dollar and see where you end up.
This leads us to setting a precedence overall for a more generous approach to life. When your next paycheck has cleared, consciously reflect on how you will first choose to spend your money. We recommend making the first payment one that reflects your spirit of giving, as it can subconsciously allow you to set the tone for how you want to manage your money and resources moving forward. Whether that’s a one dollar donation to an organisation, or perhaps a gift for someone you love, this can be a powerful tool for encouraging the spirit of giving in your day-to-day life.
While we might traditionally think of generosity in terms of donating to charity, the truth is that generosity manifests in so many of the small in-between moments of our lives, especially when it comes to showing our loved ones we care. Whether it’s picking someone up from school or work, cooking them a meal, surprising them by finishing a chore or getting an errand done that’s been on their plate, we can use our time and thoughtfulness to make the world just that little bit better for those we love.
To take this a step further, consider that there is nothing quite so humbling as remembering our place in the world. Try to reflect on the privileges afforded to you and acknowledge the impact you can make on other peoples’ lives. Think about how much of your time is spent in service of yourself as opposed to serving others. Everyone has skills or time to volunteer, how about you? Finding a cause that resonates with you is a good place to start. You may find it doubly fulfilling to not only dedicate time to helping others, but to dedicate time working towards an outcome that is uniquely meaningful to you. Making the world a better place in your own way is an incredibly rewarding experience.
Don’t forget to pair your acts of generosity with a side of gratitude. Simple and yet so effective, gratitude is something best practised consistently and over long periods of time. Spending time thinking about and appreciating all the wonderful things we have in our lives rather than the things we don’t have can provide tremendous perspective on how lucky we are, encouraging us to be more giving and pull even more meaning and fulfillment from acts of generosity.
Lastly, look at embracing minimalism across your lifestyle. A life of excess and hedonism is all fun and games until you realise it doesn’t fulfil you after the initial rush. We often hear stories of people who fill their lives with material objects and end up feeling lonelier and more disconnected for it rather than truly happy, so why not consider severing some of those ties to physical objects? When you live with intention and find more nourishing ways to support your self-esteem and identity – like perhaps giving back to those in need, using your skills to affect positive change, and just generally making the world a better place – generosity will quickly become a core value for you and begin to underpin your choices and actions in everyday life.