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The Art of Giving

In a world where everyone wants the world; I’ve decided I am going to make a conscious effort to give. I believe this act of kindness is pretty rare, as most people in today’s society have their own agenda, and are focused on their own personal gain. It’s not a bad thing to focus on yourself, but I believe considering others more frequently will allow you to be a more well-rounded individual, a better friend, family member, co-worker or even a kind Samaritan. As I discuss the importance of giving, I want to reassure you that taking is sometimes also necessary. You must work hard for what you want, you must seize the moment, you might have to sometimes accept help—understand that taking is not always a bad thing, but it’s important to give more than you take. This is the key to having a positive impact on the world! ! Giving is a high value quality and possessing this characteristic can make you a more valuable person and leader. Think about how fulfilling it is to give someone what the want or need.

Most people when they hear the word “give” they automatically associate some kind of monetary value to this action of giving. Money isn’t everything, and there are many ways you can give; I’ll share with you a few! If we are still fixated on the whole monetary giving thing, remember that “time is money”. Most people don’t realize this but time is even more valuable than money; there is only 24 hours in one day, only 365 days in the year, and each day that goes by you can NEVER get back. So remember that your time is important, doing things you love, investing your time in significant things and spending your time well is the goal. If it is possible, give some time to those in need. Voluntary or charity work are great ways to give valuable time to others. Not many people have the time to participate in charity or voluntary work, so being able to allocate some time to this cause can definitely set you apart from the rest of society and make you more of a high-value person. Remember though that your time is precious and you can only give so much. Every time you say, “yes” to something you are saying “no” to everything else. So prioritize your time, plan to use it efficiently and give only the time that you are capable to give. Do not overfill your plate and ensure you have enough time for yourself and your loved ones.

Similar to time, attention is another method of giving, that doesn’t require dolla dolla bills y’all! People do not realize how significant attention can be. In today’s society most people crave attention. From how many likes and comments on social media, to that look you get from the beautiful person across the street. Getting attention makes people feel good. Some people long for the spotlight, others hide from it, but at the end of the day even the most shy individuals wouldn’t mind a little positive attention. Sometimes, a friend in need or even a complete stranger could use some of your attention. Being able to be quiet and attentive while your friend vents about their problems or raves about their successes; being that person they can turn to, can be so satisfying. Taking time to suppress your own thoughts, problems or stories, open your ears and enjoy those of others can help you understand others better and help them solve issues and grow. Most people enjoy talking about themselves way too much that they do not realize how doing the exact opposite can be self-fulfilling and allowing someone else to enjoy time talking about themselves can be the gift you give for the day. This seems so small but over time, it adds up and most people will really appreciate this quality you’ve shared with them. This is a high-value quality because majority of the people you encounter do not possess this simple and easy skill and don’t even know it. So be a good listener and give someone your attention; I’m sure they’ll appreciate it more than you know.

It doesn’t end there, giving your attention often leads to the responsibility of giving advice. This is also apart of being a giver, this is a lot more difficult than the first step of simply listening. Giving good advice is a skill that even less individuals possess. Telling someone the truth might be hard—surely we all know the truth can hurt sometimes. But being strong enough to be that friend to say the truth is so important. Being a “yes-man” (someone who agrees with everything, without actually considering their actual opinion; aka a “kiss-ass”) is so superficial, and most people will appreciate the truth much more, even if it may take time for them to understand it’s in their best interest. Giving good, honest advice can be a way of giving strength to those in need. People often struggle to be self aware, and your advice can be the key factor to help them realize certain things and make the necessary and positive change. Aside, from open and honest advice, giving hope, encouragement and support is also a way of empowering others. Being that positive force for someone struggling is a beautiful thing. So aspire to give strength and hope through honest advice and support. A supportive, honest and reliable friend is what everyone desires in this world—be that friend!

Speaking of a being a good friend, positive energy is the key to being the best friend, co-worker, leader and person in general. Positive vibes are on high demand so be that positively rich individuals fueling others with their charismatic and brilliant energy. Energy is contagious, so understand that you can have an impact on others whether it’s positive or negative. Everyone has good days and bad days, but trying to stay positive will allow you to be happier and enjoy life more. Whenever you feel down, or sad try thinking of positive things you are grateful for. This is huge, because I know personally I have been struggling to stay positive recently due to poor performance on the court (a professional basketball player under performing is no good). Fortunately for me I am blessed with many supportive friends and family members that believe in me and empower me on the daily (so thank you to all who have been their for me, I can’t express how much I appreciate it <3). Having those positive individuals there for me have helped me in so many ways, and I hope that my positivity can do that for others. So use my experiences to see how significant a little positive energy and encouragement can be. Everybody has times when they need some good vibes. Be that person to give that boost of positivity and bright energy—it can change their mood, day or even their life (a little dramatic yes I know but, it’s true!)

Lastly, but I think most importantly the best and easiest way to give is with a compliment! Everyone loves to be complimented and the best part is it’s free! This is the least expensive and easiest way to give to others. Be sure that your compliments are genuine, if you like something you see, let that person know! A simple congratulations, highlight or shout-out can make someone’s day. Recognition is a great way to give others a confidence boost and make them feel good. If you see positive change or growth in a person, letting that person know can be so motivational and supportive. So take a minute or two to let others know how awesome they are!

As Anne Frank declared: “No one has ever become poor by giving” so give abundantly and graciously. Understand that giving money or tangible items is not everything and some of the most valuable things one can give are free. So make someone’s day today and the world a better place by giving the gift of love and positivity!

With love,

Coach Mariah Faith ❤

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