When people hear the word "generous" or "generosity," the first thing that often comes to mind is something of monetary value. Being generous can mean donating to charity, for example. But money is far from the only way you can be generous, and being generous makes for a more fulfilling life (in my opinion).
This was simply something that was on my mind, so here we go.
Be Generous With Laughter
It's cliche, but laughter can be the best medicine - whether you're the one laughing, or making someone else laugh. I would never want to live a life without laughter. (Million Dollars, But nope.)
One of my clients actually caused me to think about this. Whenever she finds something funny, she puts everything she has behind her laugh. She's one of those people who will burst out laughing and be the last one to stop.
Some may find that annoying, but I think it's pretty awesome, especially since we tend to find the same things funny, so it's easy to make her laugh.
Laughing is interesting because it's something that comes naturally to me now, but didn't years ago. When I was in a phase (for lack of better term), I didn't see the point in humor, or laughter. I actively refused to be happy, I took life way too seriously, and I walled myself off from amusement. Don't ask me what I was thinking; it was a horrible way to live.
These days, I laugh often - especially at myself. Or my pets. I crack jokes (that fail) a lot. I try to see the humor in certain situations that used to frustrate me. As a result, I'm much happier.
It's been scientifically proven that smiling is easier than frowning, and that when you smile, you're releasing dopamine and serotonin and giving yourself a hit of happiness. Plus, laughing a lot can be an ab workout. And there's nothing like getting into a laughing fit with someone else where neither of you can stop laughing because the other person keeps laughing and it's just a circle of laughter. Win win.
Be Generous With Your Time
It kills me a little bit to see people respond to charitable causes with "I have no money to donate!"
Why not donate your time instead?
Time - in my opinion - is far more valuable than money. You can make more money. You can't create time. And people putting in volunteer work is just as necessary to business operations as money is.
Beyond that, giving someone your time or your (undivided) attention is a rare commodity these days. We're all "busy" and have something else to do, so being generous with either is pretty special.
Alternatively, you can do something nice for someone else so they don't have to spend their time doing it. When someone offers to take something off my plate, I'm always grateful for it.
Be Generous With Your Words
Many of us take simple things like friendship for granted. When is the last time you thanked someone for being your friend?
Here's another one - have you ever tried to reach out and tell a content creator how much you appreciate their work?
We assume that by being a friend in return, or by being a consumer, that our actions are speaking for themselves. While that might be true, it still feels good to have someone actively acknowledge it.
Thank people and let them know that you're grateful to have them in your life. It could be a boss, mentor, coworker, friend, family member, acquaintance, or someone you admire.
Give praise when it's earned, encouragement when it's needed, or advice when it's asked for. Give compliments when they come naturally.
It might seem silly at first, but unless the person is a jerk, everyone enjoys feeling appreciated.
Be Generous With Your Love
I don't think there's enough love in this world. Everyone always seems to be on the lookout for how they can tear someone else down. Our minds are quick to make snap judgments, often negative ones. We naturally assume the worst about people.
Yet, I'm willing to bet most people just want to be loved, or feel loved. Or even just connected. Not alone.
So why aren't we giving out what we want back?
I know I've had my fair share of trust issues in the past that have left me jaded, feeling like love isn't worth putting out into the world because I'll just get hurt. But...that's not really rational, and I'm sure I'll end up getting hurt eventually because that's how life works.
In the meantime, me hiding behind a curtain of fear is possibly hurting others, and I don't feel like my best self when I'm approaching the world from such a negative perspective.
If you've been to RTX, I'm willing to bet you've felt a strong sense of community just from being there. It doesn't take words to communicate that; the atmosphere is simply welcoming. Post-RTX blues are a thing because we don't feel that in our daily lives, and that's a shame.
It's easy to be a more caring person. Take a genuine interest in someone else's well-being; smile at someone; offer a hug or a shoulder to cry on; remind someone of your love; don't judge harshly; assume the best of people; do anything else I listed off above.
Being generous isn't difficult, it just requires conscious effort until it becomes habit.