With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’ve been reflecting on how thankful I am—not for what I have for myself, but for what I have to give away. Really, life’s greatest joys come not from the getting, but from the giving. Don’t you agree?
I have special admiration for people who commit their lives to serving others. They’re not motivated by fame or fortune or power or things, but rather by joyful service. Their qualities of generosity, empathy, compassion, and kindness seem to come naturally to them, and they’re inspiring treasures to us all.
How you impact the world will be driven by what you have to offer and what you choose to offer. Well then, what do you uniquely have to offer the world?
“What do I have to offer the world?” It’s a profound question, and one that will continually evolve throughout your lifetime. At any point, though, your assets will generally fall into three categories: your time, your talent, and your treasure.
There are many different avenues that allow you to allocate these resources to serve others. To decide how best to give what you have to benefit others, there are three main questions to consider:
- What talents and skills do I have to offer?
- What groups or community segments (e.g., youth, elderly, homeless) do I feel most called to help?
- What organizations will allow me to use my talents to help those I feel most passionately about?
Then, it becomes a matter of deciding which of your assets to offer to have the greatest potential impact in each situation. Your time, talent, and treasure offer you tremendous opportunities to give the gift of yourself.
Living life with the heart of a giver will bring help and hope to others and immense joy to you in return. You’ll receive far more than what you give. Nothing compares with using your gifts and talents to improve the world around you. This is the true spirit of Thanksgiving!
Have you experienced the deep thankfulness that “giving yourself away” brings about? Looking ahead, what new ways do you envision using your time, talent, and treasure to make the world a better place?