How generous are you

How generous are you?

Compared to other people? Compared to yourself in the past? Compared to your ideal?

It’s something to think about.

Here’s why.

Generosity is a character trait that you can create for yourself if you want to.

I keep running into people who are giving, but they’re not generous. In fact, they’re giving because they feel like they have to give. They’re not giving out of generosity.

Side note, if you want to listen instead of read, here’s the podcast episode that goes along with this post — Generosity.

Let’s get started! Here’s a look at the real meaning of generosity…

Generosity Defined

On the interweb, Google defines generosity as giving more than is necessary or expected.

Generosity Characteristics

Generosity is different than most people think.

Generosity has nothing to do with money. You can be very generous with a little money and not generous at all with a lot of money.

When I was a financial planner, some clients were always very charitably generous, while others were not. They all were multi-millionaires, but how generous they were with their money varied greatly.

You can also be generous in so many ways other than money. You can be generous with your time, your knowledge, your energy, etc.

Generous is a feeling –> you feel generous.

Generous is also an action –> you give more.

The True Test Of Generosity

True generosity is giving without expecting anything in return.

For example, I was talking with my girlfriends about money regrets and a friend of mine said she regretted giving someone a gift because it was a “stretch” gift for her (it cost her a lot of money). The recipient was very wealthy and didn’t appreciate it.

Her expectation of the recipient took away her enjoyment of giving. It took her out of generosity.

This is an example of giving because you expect something in return.

She didn’t give to be generous. She gave for another reason. She gave from scarcity instead of abundance.

The Only Good Reason To Give

I like to say, do whatever you want, but make sure you like your reason.

So, why give? Whatever the reason, it should be a good one.

Here are good reasons to give…

Good reason to give:

  • Because you want to give.
  • Because giving feels amazing.
  • Because you want to be someone who is generous (as one of your main character beliefs).

Here are bad reasons to give…

Bad reasons to give:

  • Because you think you have to.
  • Because you think you should.
  • Because you want someone to like you.
  • Because you want someone to think a certain way about you.
  • Because you want acknowledgment.
  • Because you want to be appreciated.
  • Because you want to control an outcome.

Next time you give, ask yourself why you’re giving.

Make sure you like your reason.

Scarcity Vs. Abundance

When you give from generosity, it feels amazing. You will be energized and excited to do it. It simply feels good. This is abundance.

When you give from a lower level, negative emotion, it feels bad. This is scarcity.

So, start to become aware of why you’re giving and how you feel when you give so that you can be more intentional about giving in the future.

For example, if you run your own business, when someone asks for a refund, do you give it? I always do. I want people who want to be in my program.

You might also like:

The Surprising Results Of Being Generous

The result of giving for the right reason is that you are acting in alignment with your values. You are living from abundance. You feel good.

You get it back tenfold. In every area of your life, the more you give, the more you get back.

It may not be in the exact same way, but it will come back to you in other ways.

Look at your life and notice where you do this and the result you see in your life.

Try this – it’s magic!

But there are other unexpected consequences.

The occasional person will take advantage of your generosity.

The friend who never offers to pay, when you always do.

The customer who asks for a refund and doesn’t have a good reason.

When this happens, you have to ask yourself what’s important to you.

For example, a friend who always wants to split the bill. You always offer to pay. Do you start to expect her to offer to pay? When she doesn’t, do you feel resentment? If so, you have to ask yourself if you want to be someone who expects other people to act a certain way and if you want to feel resentment. Would you rather just always pay from generosity and not argue or be in resentment? You have to decide how you want to reply. Do you want to shutdown and be defensive? When someone does this, they’re coming from scarcity themselves. You have to decide how you want to react. You can either match them in scarcity or overcome it and be more generous.

I always want to choose generosity for generosity’s sake.

How To Be More Generous

If you think about the question, “how generous are you?” you may discover you’re not exactly up to par with what you want.

That’s okay!

We’ve all been there.

And you can change it.

Here’s how you can be more generous…

  1. Decide that you want to be someone who is generous, as part of your character.
  2. Know what capacity you have to give. If you believe you have more than enough to give, that’s how you’ll show up. And that’s what you’ll attract. So, you need to create thoughts and beliefs that you have more than enough to give.
  3. Only give when you want to give.
  4. Like your reason for giving.
  5. Drop all expectations for giving. Let other people be who they are. Don’t let someone else’s behavior change who you are in the world. No matter how someone else acts, be a generous person if that’s how you want to be.

Follow these steps and you will definitely become a more generous person.

I love being generous, but I wasn’t always this way. I used to give and have so many expectations. I used to give because I thought I had to give. I used to give for all the wrong reasons.

Giving just because I want to give and because it feels good is the best. It’s a life changer.

Examples Of Ways To Be More Generous

Here are just a handful of ways you can increase your generosity right away.

  • Paying for someone’s coffee or Starbucks in line
  • Doubling the tip on a bill
  • Picking up the tab at lunch
  • Intentionally planning how you’ll give to charities you love
  • Volunteering and giving your time to your favorite causes
  • Offering to help a friend move
  • Giving free coaching

The ways for how you can are limitless. Just make sure you like your reason when you give. That’s the secret!

A Final Note!

Once you start giving from generosity, it feels good. It’s infectious.

You will start to do it more and more because it’s so great.

So, now that you’ve read this post, ask yourself, “how generous are you?”

Practice giving because you want to give. Give from abundance. Like your reason. Become a person who is truly generous.