Have you ever walked into a room and asked yourself, “how can I add value?” I feel like more times than not, we are seeking to figure out how a situation can benefit us… How does this workplace benefit my life? What is this relationship bringing to the table? What am I going to get out of x,y,z.. Now it’s not bad to think about the value a certain situation can bring, but I challenge you to flip it. I challenge you to think about what you can bring to a situation.
I am a strong believer in the power of giving. What you put out into the world is what you’ll receive. So if you’re someone who is always feeling like you can’t catch a break and the world is continuously taking from you, try giving.
If you really sit back and think about it, you never truly feel bad for helping another. In the moment you might have a little remorse and think about how you wish someone would help you once and a while, but for the most part, you feel great after lending a hand.
The summer after my ankle surgery was a tough time. My parents went back to California, I was completely on my own, and there was a lot of change I was adjusting to. I found comfort in reading. I read books about being present…being a great leader…finding my why. And during all of this, I found that the world gives back to you, what you put into it.
Every day driving home from work I would see the same homeless man, standing on the same corner. I’ve never been one to give money to the homeless, but if I have a granola bar or any food in the car I am more than happy to roll down the window and pass it on.
One day I decided to do a little more…
It was time to put my own positive energy into the world. I went into my kitchen and made as many PB&J’s as I could before running out of bread slices. I threw the sandwiches in a bag and grabbed every cheese stick I had as well. I went to the same corner I saw the man on and when he came by I had more than a granola bar. He was thankful for one sandwich, and overwhelmed with joy when I told him the whole bag was for him. Something so simple for me meant everything to him.
Now it’s not every summer I pass out sandwiches to those in need (although now I’m thinking it’s something that should be), but I do donate as often as I can. It’s so easy to forget how lucky we are… I have a closet full of clothes, shoes for every outfit, and more hats, backpacks, jackets, etc… than I can handle. My fridge is always filled and my bills are always paid. Life is too unpredictable to be greedy. When you have, give.