"Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have." - Jim Rohn
In our mass consumer, guerrilla advertising times - we often lose sight of the small steps we can make personally to improve the lives of those around us. Gifts that we can give others. Gifts that may not cost us much financially but mean lots to those around us.
Whatever the time of year, here are some ideas for gifts we can give that have the potential to improve the lives of those around. Gifts that keep on giving.
1) Giving the Gift of Our Full Attention
In an age of distraction attraction, perhaps the biggest gift we can give others is the gift of our full attention. So simple yet also something that is becoming rarer as so many of us are plugged in and switched on.
Giving our full attention means listening.
It means putting our smartphones down.
It means asking questions and waiting for the answers, not just jumping ahead.
It requires us to be present in this moment, look someone squarely in the eyes and absorb what is really being said. It means focusing on the here and now, without our minds wandering into the future. It means making a real connection.
Give the gift of your full attention to others around you and allow them the stage they deserve.
2) Giving the Gift of Kindness
A little well placed thoughtfulness and kindness can really make a positive impact on people around us. This doesn't always have to mean grand, sweeping gestures as small acts of kindness soon add up.
Help a neighbour with their shopping.
Walk a friend's dog.
House sit for someone.
There are many ways we can offer the gift of our kindness. Not expecting anything in return except maybe the warm feeling we get from knowing we are doing something good for someone else.
3) Giving the Gift of Our Time
In a world where busy is the norm, giving others some of our time can make a real difference.
We can do this by taking our commitments seriously. By booking in time with friends and keeping that time free for those friends. By making time to stop and shoot the breeze for a while with a neighbour. By taking time out to spend disconnected from the online world to spend undistracted with a loved one.
4) Giving the Gift of Judging Less
We're all human and sometimes we make mistakes in life. In such times it can help us all if we can talk to someone that will just listen without making judgements. Good friends will do this but we can also extend this gift to others.
Judge less and remember, none of us are perfect.
5) Giving the Gift of a Heartfelt Compliment
Closely aligned with 1 and 2 on this list, this is also worthy of its own spot. A well timed and earnest compliment can have an immediate and positive impact on the recipient. It shows we have noticed something in others.
This compliment could be related to the physical (a new hairstyle perhaps) or be behaviour based (perhaps you mention how well they managed a challenging time). Either way, we all like to hear a compliment every now and again.
6) Giving the Gift of Gratitude
Letting others know how grateful we are for them being in our lives can mean a lot. Expressing how we appreciate all they do for us, how good a friend parent/friend/son/daughter they are. How they inspire us or have been there for us in challenging times.
Let others know you are grateful for them just the way they are.
These are just a few ideas for gifts we can give others that will cost us little but will give much. Best of all, these are gifts we are free to give whenever the mood takes us. They don't all need to be saved up for one special day as each and every day is special in its own right.