It seems some of the happiest business owners I know are also the ones who give so freely. It could be money, time or just lending support. Giving is good for us, according to the work of Tony Robbins one of the six core human needs is contribution.
We often feel good when we contribute. MRI technology has shown that the midbrain region lights up when people give to charitable organisations. Our brain acts in a similar way when we have sex or eat chocolate. Imagine how much good we can do if we donate money and chocolate!
Tony Robbins tells us for true success and happiness we need to fulfil our 6 core needs in a resourceful way. Contributing positively to others helps fulfil one of the other core needs, growth. If we are not growing we are stagnating. It’s important to remember to make the giving genuine, don’t just do it for an advantage that you think you may receive.
Who to give to?
We often think of giving as donating to charity, but there are many more ways we can contribute. When was the last time you really supported a staff member, work colleague, family member, friend or even a total stranger? It does not need to be expensive!
There are daily opportunities to offer a hand or do some good, we just need to open our eyes. It is amazing how just a kind word or gesture can make someone’s day. It has happened to me, I just hope they received the same joy from their kind acts that I did.
What benefits do we get from giving?
Some benefits of giving are:
• Feel happy. Michael Norton from Harvard Business School found in a 2008 study that participants who gave money to others felt more happiness than by spending it on themselves.
• Good for our health. One reason given by researchers is reduced stress. Rachel Piferi of John Hopkins University found in a 2006 study that people who provided social support to others had lower blood pressure than others who didn’t. This suggests direct psychological benefit to those who give of themselves.
• Promotes cooperation and social connection. When we give, it is likely our generosity will be rewarded by the receiver or someone else. This strengthens community, and involvement in our community. Good social connections and interactions are good for mental and physical health.
• Evokes gratitude. More gratitude is a good thing for our community. A recent Florida State University study led by Nathaniel Lambert found ‘expressing gratitude to a close friend or romantic partner strengthens our sense of connection to that person.’
• It’s contagious. It’s amazing how giving can inspire others to give. You can see this in action at charity events, people reach deep or overbid on auction items to ‘help the cause’, while many around them do the same.
We think of giving as a nice thing to do, but we receive as much, or more from contributing to others as they do. Some people with big challenges who give what they can are the happiest people. Help someone out, you will get benefits and spread good in our community.
I would love to hear your ideas on giving and what it can do for others as well as yourself. If you would like to discuss this or the other core human needs drop me a line or give me a call. I might even have chocolate with you.