When it comes to voluntary service one must experience the benefits that come with it to know that the ROI is staggeringly high!

Most think that it is a waste of time to volunteer, and the opportunity cost is not justified. On the contrary, the skills you learn leading voluntary groups are difficult to learn elsewhere. You learn interpersonal skills, leadership, time management,  patience, tenacity, as well as many other skills while working with people who don’t get paid. You are inspiring the team not with money, but with a cause – a purpose. This requires a different and more powerful skill. This is tangible ROI!

For me, whenever I start my morning with voluntary work, the day flows smoothly and effortlessly. This is Intangible ROI! I don’t need a bigger justification for continuing to do voluntary work!

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Invitation to Grace!

When you do good, you invite good.

Every time I have done some good, I have been rewarded with a lot back. Sometimes it is tangible and sometimes intangible.

I now have the conviction that an opportunity to give comes as a blessing.

Next time you get an opportunity to do good, grab the opportunity as you are sure to invite grace, blessings, and abundance from doing so.

Try it!

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Time to give and a time to receive

Rowanberry and sheet covered rime on background sky

Timely follow up tells your client that you care.

Wowing your client at the time when they are struggling is a powerful way of building long-term trust and relationships. There is a time to give and a time to receive. The more you spend time giving – value, insights, guidance – the more you will receive.

Just like you are generous in giving, so too be generous in receiving. For if you do not receive then you deprive others of giving.

As Khalil Gibran said: ;

“And you receivers – and you are all receivers – assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives.

Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings;

For to be overmindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity who has the free-hearted earth for mother, and God for father.”

Power of Receiving

Close up of honey bee on knapweed flower

In day to day life, the act of giving holds more of a moral significance than the act of receiving. In fact, we often view receiving as a reflection of some kind of inadequacy on the part of the receiver. But this is not so. Receiving is as important as giving – listening, witnessing, observing and paying attention are all part of receiving, and we cannot be truly spiritually open until we are as open to receiving as we are to giving.

There are many reasons why we feel uncomfortable receiving. Some people feel they are weak or have failed when they have to ask for help. However, if we seek help in areas where we are not particularly accomplished, we benefit a lot and give other people a chance to give.

Some people fear that if they accept something, they will owe something in return. We all practice reciprocity at some point in our lives. For instance, if you receive help from someone, it’s natural to want to help them in some way. There’s nothing wrong with that. If someone offers to help you, accept it. One day, you’ll have a chance to return the favor, but it shouldn’t be a burden.

Whether or not we realize or acknowledge it, we are all always receiving in some form or another. For example, nature gives us abundantly every moment; sunlight, the wind, food, the shifting seasons, the sheer beauty of the earth…the list is endless.

Receiving and giving are two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist without the other. We all exist because of this endless cycle of giving and receiving.

Reflect on the following questions:

• Do you graciously accept a compliment, feedback or a gift?
• Do you feel that receiving is a sign of weakness?
• Do you ask for help when you need it?
• Do you worry about paying back after receiving?
• Is independence more valuable to you than interdependence?
• Do you receive graciously and pay it forward by doing a kind deed for someone else?

This quote from Khalil Gibran beautifully summarizes the beauty and power of giving and receiving:
“And now you ask in your heart, ‘How shall we distinguish that which is pleasurable from that which is not?’
Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower,
But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee.
For to the bee, a flower is a fountain of life,
And to the flower, a bee is a messenger of love,
And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.”  – Khalil Gibran


closeup of red poppy on cereal field

The more you give to family, the better the relationships at home. This unity invites love and harmony.

The more you give to colleagues, the better the camaraderie at work. This fellowship enhances your productivity and performance.

The more you give to customers, the better the loyalty you build, and ultimately, a better bottom line.

The more you give to the community, the better the environment you create for you and your family to live in.

The more time you give to others, the less time you need for getting things done, mainly because of the help and support others will reciprocate.

In addition, when you truly give, you unleash your creativity; inspire innovation, and tap into your potential.

If you cannot give money – give love, hope, laughter, skills, wisdom, ideas, attention, and a listening ear.

Also, when you are gentle and give to others, you are generally gentle and give to yourself.

The benefits of giving range from security and empowerment of better relationships to good health, longer life, and happiness.

Ask yourself:

– If you are blessed with insights, wisdom, and health—what is your giving responsibility?

– If you are blessed with a loving family—what is your giving responsibility?

– If you are blessed with wealth and success—what is your giving responsibility?

In closing, remember – to those whom more is given, more is expected in terms of contribution!

It’s not just about You!

GOA, INDIA - JANUARY 14: Poor indian children celebrating Thai Pongal Holiday, January, 14, 2013 in Goa, India. Pongal is a thanksgiving festival. All indian people are very happy on this day.

When your outlook on life is self-centered, your processing of information and interactions all unfold with yourself in mind. This can cause your ego to escalate, potentially resulting in disappointments, setbacks, and frustrations.

However, if you make the interactions with others about them instead of you, your focus shifts to making the dialogue revolve around the other person’s needs and paradigms. This approach usually makes you a better communicator and also creates a deeper satisfying discussion.

Next time you interact with someone, remember: It’s not just about you, it’s also about him or her!

Execution, not Excuses!

Portrait Of Female Artist Working On Painting In Studio

Did you start your New Year with a bang or a hangover?

Most will party hard on New Year’s Eve then wake up late with a hangover. Now, if you partied until the wee hours of the morning you are excused as you’re probably like most people who did the same. But don’t let the day pass without some serious revisit of your 2018 goals.

Even if you had previously articulated your new year goals, you would be well-served to revisit them daily in order to imprint each one fully in your body, mind, heart, and soul!

People often claim to know all this stuff. However, it is not what you know that counts; it is what you do! And doing requires reminders, focus, and accountability!

Make 2018 a year of execution, not excuses! Happy New Year, and more importantly, Happy Do Year!