The New Definition of Giving

new definition of givingHave you seen lately all those books and videos around teaching us to give more?

Do you read those books?

It is not that I do not like them, on the contrary. I believe there are quite a few good advices on giving floating around.

I also believe it is good to give not for the sake of wanting to receive anything in return. It does not work like that usually. Does it?

A business scenario, which drives me nuts is a perfect example for this: Email Ping-Pong: „Let me write him first, then the ball is on his side and I do not have to do anything until he replies“. (A small confession: I use this technique still on some occasion)!

On the other hand, I also do not like this focus on giving, and everyone explaining what to give and how to give.

This might sound a bit confusing, but I will explain.

One simply does not come without the other

So, I think we should also equally focus on how great it is to receive, once you have been giving. It is a two-way approach.

Sometimes we do not know what we get in return, and this is the exciting part. Be surprised! And don’t wait around for it, you will only be disappointed.

Neither the giving nor the taking needs to be on a materialistic level, you can hug someone and s/he hugs you back.

You can do someone a favor by dropping them off at the airport. Or you accompany your close friend to the hospital, like I am doing right now.

In fact, I am writing this post on my phone in the waiting area of the hospital.

What you can do to receive

Coming back to the ‘taking part’, if your expectation to receive something is your motivator to get something, you get it wrong.

So, if you want to receive something, make a list of 5 things you would like to “have” this week. You see the blank spots below to be filled in.

It could be anything, it could be a thing, a feeling, a person you want to be around with, a praise – really anything. Work or non-work related.

Example: “I want to be happier at work!”






Now, it is in your power to ‘get’ those ‘things’!! Nobody gets there by sitting around. Stay focused!

Are you done?

Next to those five things, write what you will do during the next seven days to achieve them.

Which baby step could you take already today?

While you think about it, be aware that the return:

  • does not take place immediately &
  • is not necessarily linear or directly related with your action.

Very few people win the lottery, just by filling out this one piece of paper. However, they might meet “their person” when walking into the lottery place (just a random example, here).

One simply does not come without the other. “In whatever shape or form.”

If we all would only be interested in receiving, we would be in trouble. Just think of all those kids who won’t stop crying, if someone would not give them jellybeans, just because they want to eat them themselves!

Being only into giving would be equally „painful“, as we (at least) look for this gratification when we please someone, no? If nobody replies to your email which you prepared for hours to come up with new ideas to attract new customers, you would be disappointed if that someone does not get back to you, no?

To You

So, stop with this focus on giving!

Go out there and think about what you can do for others AND for yourself!

Leave a comment below if you agree or disagree!


Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge