The Gift of a Giver

During this time of year, we are inundated with suggestions of ways we can help others. Whether it’s the Salvation Army volunteers wearing Santa hats and ringing bells outside your local grocery store (I do that!), organizations making it possible for you to “adopt” a family less fortunate than yours, or packing up shoeboxes full of goodies to send to children in third world countries—there are countless ways you can make a difference. To be honest, I think it is a welcome change from the messages we most often hear all the other months of the year.

“Follow your passion. Do what makes YOU happy. You’re awesome. Find yourself.” These phrases should sound familiar, because they seem to be everywhere these days. Young people all across the globe are being encouraged to discover themselves and follow their hearts. These messages aren’t necessarily bad by any means—we all need to follow our passions—however, life really isn’t all about us. When taken to the extreme, this mindset contributes to self centeredness and an entitlement mentality and can send our children the wrong message. So, this holiday season, and for the other months of the year, I encourage you to direct your life toward others.

As the holidays approach swiftly, what if we all went from being self-focused to other-centered? Think of what a difference we could make in the world! After all, I think most successful people would say that their biggest life accomplishments have more to do with what they’ve done for others, rather than what they’ve done for themselves. Giving can be a greater gift to the giver than to the receiver.

Where are you directing your life right now—toward yourself or toward others?  Spend some moments thinking about how you spend most of your time, energy, and resources. Talk with your family about the ways you can shift your focus toward others. Whether it’s by yourself, with a friend, or as a family unit, brainstorm some ways you can impact your community during the holidays and beyond.

Here are some suggestions:

  • Donate a Thanksgiving meal to a local family who can’t afford one this year
  • Serve meals or collect clothing for your local mission or shelter
  • Adopt a family (or child). Some organizations you can do this through are: Doing Good Together, Soldier’s Angels, World Vision, and the YWCA. Also look for local organizations or programs near you.
  • Visit those who are lonely (bedridden, in a nursing home, etc.). Call local senior centers or nursing facilities to find out how you can help. Dust off those rusty caroling skills! Or, take someone out to lunch who is missing a loved one.
  • Donate to Toys for Tots or similar programs
  • Make a difference in the lives of foster children. Look into ways you can help during the holiday season with organizations like Together We Rise or Children’s Action Network.
  • Encourage paying it forward. Even if it’s just buying a Pumpkin Spice Latte for the car in line behind you at Starbucks, it will bring joy to someone’s day! One of my favorite stories is about someone who pays for the groceries of others.

 

I promise, you’ll receive far more in return than you give. Your life will have more balance, your spirit will soar, you’ll make new friends, and you’ll maximize the impact of your life. Oh, and you’ll also make the world a better place in the meantime! What’s not to love about that? Happy holidays!

 

Curriculum Solutions for Next Semester or Next Fall

Planning for your next Semester & Next Fall ? 

Are you considering new ways to set up YOUR students for success—in school and beyond?

Increasingly, employers and universities are encouraging greater development of the “soft skills” necessary for success in college, career, and life, such as:

  • Sense of purpose/strategic perspective
  • Character, integrity, and work ethic
  • Successful relationship-building, communication, and teamwork
  • Personal productivity/discipline
  • An attitude of empowerment, not entitlement

This is why schools across the nation are choosing our innovative and comprehensive What I Wish I Knew at 18 Leadership and Life Skills curriculum to help their students build a personal leadership foundation. Here’s what they’re saying:

Micah Arneberg—Business Teacher/Learning Coordinator:

“The (WIWIK@18) book and student guide have had a great impact on my students.  … (helping) them to look ahead and have a vision of success. …They truly are becoming more successful socially and academically. I would highly recommend this curriculum to other teachers.”

Patty Rogers—Family and Consumer Science/Personal Finance Teacher:

“While teaching Personal Finance this year, I was able to use this great resource to enrich the content of this course. Every Family and Consumer Sciences teacher should have a classroom set.  Students enjoy this book and their comments are always positive!”

Pam Wickman—Family & Consumer Science Teacher:

“I have made great use of What I Wish I Knew at 18 in my classroom, including it in a variety of classes, such as Parents and Children, Individual and Family Relationships, and Life on your Own.  My students respond well to the teen-friendly language of the text, and the accompanying workbook includes questions and writing topics that inspire useful discussion and written reflection. Trittin’s book has become a valued resource, and one I turn to often.”

Bea McCleod—School Counselor; Former President Virginia Association of School Counselors:

I am so impressed with this curriculum. The information is timeless and so “down to earth.”  I like how you can pick up the book, and go to the chapter you need. You don’t have to read the book in any order—just take what you need to share these life lessons with students. For a limited time

 We are offering bulk pricing discounts now for our book and curriculum so you can plan and order for next semester’s – and next year’s – classes.

We invite you to visit our website and contact us at 920-319 3169 with your questions.

We’re honored to serve you in preparing your students for real world success.

All the best,

The LifeSmart Team