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  • Loralyn Mears, PhD

Motivation Monday: the art of giving

This article was originally published on April 22, 2019 at https://gritdaily.com/motivation-monday-giving/



This is for those of you who slog through your Monday mornings and need some motivation to get you through.


If you lament the end of the weekend and dread returning to the office, you might need our Motivation Monday quick tips. Grit Daily offers an avenue to connect with others like you. We’re here to help get your work week off to a good start. Pump your fists: It’s time for Motivation Monday!


TRAGEDY CAN BRING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE

Over the weekend, some of you may have celebrated a religious holiday. Others might have been trying to manage through severe weather. And some of you may not be spiritual at all. But, I’m pretty confident that you, along with most of the world, held your breath as Notre Dame Cathedral burned earlier in the week. As someone who has sat on those pews within those hallowed halls, it was deeply moving to see everyone fighting valiantly to contain the flames.


There have been countless examples of people uniting in the face of tragedy. In fact, there is deep psychology around it. America’s darkest day was 9-11, yet that didn’t even stop the resilient people of New York. Instead, it galvanized the people in the city — and indeed, the rest of the country — uniting us all with a collective pride and urgency. That unity is lacking today but we’re not going to get political here today, nor do we wish for or need another tragedy.


This is a column about motivation Monday, so we’re going to keep it positive!

Toronto, London, Paris, Las Vegas, and so many other cities have been under siege over the years in countless acts of terror. These cowards, armed with hatred and powerful weapons, aim to destroy what others treasure. Yes, the acts are devastating and the fatalities seem senseless but people rally and counter that hatred. Monday Motivation is all about finding ways to give to the causes and people that matter to you.


GIVING MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD

Giving doesn’t mean sharing everything that you have to the point that you’ve denied yourself the means to cover your basic needs. Nor does it mean that you have to give towards the primary goal of seeing your name on a plaque. People often lose sight of how impactful one small gesture at a time can be. It’s the reverse of that motivational saying:

You can eat an elephant. You just have to do it one bite at a time.

Just think about that for a moment albeit perhaps not literally. If everyone did one thing for someone else every day, how different our world would be. Talk about Motivation Monday. And Motivation Tuesday, Wednesday … not only does giving make you feel good, it literally improves your health.





TIPS FOR GIVING

Giving is not a lost art. People give every day. Not all people as individuals, but we do so collectively. Why? A big part of the reason is that it makes us feel good. Indeed, countless studies have shown that being generous makes you happier.


The classic movie, A Christmas Carol, reminds us of that when Mr. Scrooge is transported through time on a terrifying journey through his past, present and potential future.

Giving doesn’t have to be complicated. As with most things, KISS: keep it simple, sweetie! Plus, generosity, just like kindness, is contagious. It’s also essential to the fabric of society itself.


#1 – DON’T FEEL PRESSURED

Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean that you have too. You’re only obligated because you think you are. If you feel pressured to give, you’re not going to get the psychological boost that comes with giving something to someone which makes your gift counterproductive and wasted.


#2 – GIVE WHEN YOU CAN

Maybe you’ve had a tough month or two. Perhaps you stay focused on yourself and family for now and that’s ok. But there is always someone less fortunate than you. A dollar here or there – given with a smile – to a homeless person may not seem like that much to you but it could be highly meaningful to someone else.


#3 – IT’S THE GIFT THAT COUNTS

Give what you can, when you can. A friend of yours may be struggling with some personal issue. Maybe they were ghosted by someone they cared about or they have an ill pet or parent. That’s the perfect time to do something unexpected. Bring over some flowers or even better, grab a coffee-to-go and spend some time talking to them. These are gifts. And boy, do they count!


WHAT’S YOUR MOTIVATIONAL STORY?

Again, in an homage to the resilience of the French people who have been buoyed by the people of the world through incredible acts of generosity, today’s Monday motivation is all about the power of giving. Undaunted, less than 12 hours after Notre Dame Cathedral burned but was miraculously saved, France’s wealthiest people stepped up and pledged to rebuild the global treasure.


Francois Henri-Pinault of the Artemis group and husband of actress Salma Hayek was the first to declare his love for France and commitment to helping the people of his beloved country restore the landmark. He offered €100 Million. Hours later, Bernard Arnault of LVMH offered €200 Million plus access to his large team of creatives, architects and financial experts.


And then the L’Oreal family offered its gift. Air France offered free flights to anyone involved in the rebuilding of the Gothic cathedral. People set up their own Facebook pledges and raised a lot of money very quickly. Less than 24h after the roof of the sacred building had collapsed, more than €1 Billion had been gifted.


Truly amazing acts of generosity that are sadly being condemned in the light of the poverty and other social imbalances France is struggling with. In my personal opinion, I think it’s horrible to attack these generous donors in this way. People and organizations can choose how they spend their money, their time and their resources.


The key message for Monday motivation is to give what you can. A hug, a smile, some of your time, anything that you want to share with someone else goes a long way.

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