Today I’d like to briefly talk about generosity.
It’s a theme that perfectly fits into the mission of education, cause fundamentally what every teacher is doing, being it a parent of a formal teacher, is about being generous!
Of course every formal teacher gets paid, hopefully, for doing their job, which in some cases might be a very good pay and in some others a very poor one, according to the place we are considering, but when we talk about parents, we don’t really have any evident pay-back in the form of salary or else, do we?
I think this is the beauty of it, and in the same time what triggers many of us parents.
We are brought up with this distorted reality that society has given us within the last decades, where we think there’s a need of receiving back every time we do something good… even in the form of expectation!
This morning I heard a talk from Brendon Burchard, one of the mentors I often get back to for inspiration and direction, and his talk about generosity included 3 points.
The first one being “Give all yourself” in whatever you do. Don’t consider yourself generous if you’re kind of sparing yourself, holding back, if you’re not giving it all! And I would add that you should be doing that towards everyone. I know that’s a tough one, cause we sometimes meet people who we thing are less deserving of ourselves, for the way they behave, the way they talk, the way they listen, etc… but considering education, therefore considering this point related to kids, DON’T do the mistake of “giving less” to those kids you feel less deserving! In most cases, those kids are exactly the most in need! They are often less capable of connecting with you, of responding to you, of behaving good, because of different reasons! They may have problems with their parents, with a school mate, a sport mate, or anything else, that you may not be aware of!
So don’t spare yourself, give it all to every single child, cause the return you would expect may not come immediately, may not even come in 5 years, nor 10, but sooner or later those seeds you planted are going to turn into sprouts and grow. And if they don’t, well… you did what you had to do, you did your best!
The second point Brendon has been tapping into, was “Give Credit”. And this is also a big one for many, at least it is for me! We are so much into our minds that we forget who gave us the possibility to get where we are. In the moment we personally reach that next level, that goal we had set for ourselves, that higher understanding we have been struggling to reach… The reason I’m saying this, is because I realise how grateful I am towards my wife. We have gone through some deep struggles together, we have fought through them and came out every single time stronger and more united.
It’s going to be 16 years soon since we first met, 13 years since we married, had 3 kids together and went through many relocations, but I could not be where I am now, if it wasn’t for her! And of course a huge thanks goes to my children too. They have been my greatest teachers in life so far, and I believe that in general our children can be our greatest gurus, if we understand how much we can learn from them and grow thanks to them!
Who do you have to give credit to? Reach out and tell them how grateful you are!
And the third and last point Brendon touched, is about “Empowerment”. Another big one! I’ve been running my own company for some years and the biggest struggle I always faced was “giving power to others”. And I could start telling how unsure I was about that person being able to deal with this or that thing… and I did in reality face that problem many times, but I guess it all comes down to the capacity you have to choose the right people and to empowering them doing the thing that best fits them. And, at the end of the day, everyone of us at a certain point in life did not know that thing we now know, isn’t it? And how did we learn it? By trying it out, experiencing it, exercising, practising…
I believe everything is a circle, it’s all connected, so probably, looking back, would I have been more generous with some people and giving more credits, I could probably have had some more return in terms of support, business success and finances, but I didn’t. So, what’s the important lesson here? Well… you may know this famous quote from the Dalai Lama: “If you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”
Empowering can happen in many ways under many circumstances. You can empower your children cooking something, grocery shopping, trying out new colours on the kitchen table or even on the wall of their room, decorating, picking their clothes, choosing the topic for a lesson, deciding a destination for your family holidays, and many more.
We often tend to shut their mouth whenever we have to decide on something we consider “for grownups”… but how will they ever grow up, if they never have the chance to decide for anything “bigger them themselves”?
Life is full of opportunities, the first one being the opportunity to grow. And we can only grow by facing challenges.
So, let’s be generous! Give yourself fully. Give credit. Empower others.
Have a great day. Patrik.
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