Developing a Giving Mindset

Giving Back
People & Culture
Thoughts
Video

We get by with a little help from our friends. Many hands make light work. A community is like a ship in which everyone must be prepared to take the helm. We’ve all heard the cliches around teamwork and banning together against a common obstacle, but what are the actual benefits of giving and receiving help, and how can these practices impact your life?

Why develop a giving mindset?

  • Giving helps others: The greatest gift that comes with giving is the ability to create a positive shift in someone else’s world. Whether we can affect their mood, schedule, workload, or stress level; it can be very simple to turn someone’s day around with even a small act of generosity
  • Giving creates a shift in our own mindset: Altruism has been shown to increase dopamine and oxytocin levels in the brain—chemicals that contribute to happiness and pleasure, focus, curiosity, bonding with others, and stress regulation.
  • Giving builds opportunities for connection, and strengthens communities: It would not surprise you to learn that giving and receiving can assist in building trust in relationships, and contributes to feeling supported. Humans are social creatures, and community and relationship are an integral aspect of our health and wellbeing.

Creating a Giving Mindset 

Whether in professional or personal relationships, the benefits of a giving mindset are inarguable. Mike Knapp and guest Likky Lavji discuss what it means to adopt and create a giving mindset.

Tips for Giving 

  • Give without an agenda: Don’t give to get something back in return—while this may help the person you are giving to for the moment, it may not create a positive experience for you if you don’t get back what you are expecting, thus creating resentment and making it unlikely that you will want to give in the future.
  • Ask others for what they need: It can save you a lot of time and energy to ask others for what they need, as opposed to assuming. It is generous to give a man a jacket in the summer, but in that moment he may just need sunscreen. Asking for what others need in and of itself is a reassuring question to hear, because it serves as a reminder that we are cared for, and the support is there if and when we need it.
  • Whatever you have is enough: Perhaps you don’t feel you can offer enough because you don’t think you have the time, money, or you don’t know the right thing to say. We each have strengths and gifts that we can offer others and remember that a little goes a long way. Even if it’s sending a message to ask someone how they are and wish them a good day—that could have a really positive affect.
  • Learn to accept what comes your way, receiving can make you a better giver: Many of us have challenges around receiving and accepting help. If we all practice accepting then we can all contribute to a cycle of giving and receiving that ultimately makes everyone’s lives happier and easier.

In a strange and beautiful way, the global pandemic has offered many people the gift of time, and this gives us an opportunity to take advantage of the availability that others have right now. We hope you can benefit from the power and joy that comes from practicing a giving mindset.

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Caitlyn O'Connor

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