The Power of Giving: How generous giving leads to generous living.
Written by Matt Wegner Founder and Lead Counselor, Matt Wegner Financial Coaching, www.financialexcellence.net
Is it possible to give your way to prosperity? Are rich people able to give away lots of money because they have lots of money, or did they get lots of money by giving away lots of money? Are poor people poor because they are generous and give too much away or do they give very little because they have little to give? The correct answer may be a combination of several of these. I’d like to suggest that holding on too tightly may cause us to lose more in the long run and that being generous with your money paves the way for you to grow wealthier in many respects. Here’s why:
When we are worried about losing our money we start watching it closer and closer. We hang on to it tighter and tighter. We become more and more obsessed with not letting our money slip away. The harder we try to keep our money, the more obsessed we become. The more obsessed we become, the more it consumes our time, our resources, our energy, in essence our lives.
Imagine you have a stack of $100 bills in your hand. If you’re not careful some of these $100 bills might slip out of your hand. What’s your natural reaction? To close your hand around the money and hold on tighter. Now that’s a lot of money in your hand so you start thinking you need to be a little more careful. What do you do? Hold on a little tighter. The tighter you hold on to your money, the tighter your fist clenches around your money. The tighter the fist you make, the more energy you spend holding on to those dollars. Here’s the irony of this situation: By holding on to your money so tightly, you may keep some or all of it from falling out of your hand. But you also prevent any more money from coming in. You can’t receive money with a closed hand. So when you learn to live with an open hand, you may have a few dollars slip out of your grasp from time to time but you have much more room for more money to come in.
Just as you can’t receive money with a closed fist, you can’t receive love with a closed heart. When you learn to give more of your time and money, a piece of you changes. You release some of the selfish nature we were all born with. Each time you release some of that selfishness, your heart opens up to receive a little more in.
By making giving a priority in your life you not only reduce the selfishness in your own heart, but your opinions change with respect to what is truly important in life. By feeling the benefits of giving for the right reasons, the petty and material things in life feel much less important.
Monetary giving is an important part of your financial plan because it forces you to not get too attached to the money that flows in and out of your life. But you can’t give generously if your income is strapped by debt payments. That’s why we teach the Ladder of L.I.F.E. If you’re still working to eliminate your debt, keep in mind that financial giving is not the only way you can give. Donate your time once in a while for a good cause. Help out at a soup kitchen. Raise money for a charity. Donate some clothes to the local thrift shop. Prepare a dinner for some friends who have a family member in the hospital. Little things make a big difference in the lives of others. The little things also add up to a big change in your life. Start giving, but only for the right reasons and only if you’re prepared to change your life!
– Matt Wegner