The Healing Power Of Generosity

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Today I woke up in one of my funky moods. One thought jumped into my head, “I feel like my life is not mine.” If you read my post on combating melancholy, you know I get this way sometimes. I felt a kind of crushing sadness and helplessness, seemingly out of the blue. But I knew that wasn’t true—it wasn’t out of the blue.

Yesterday, I listened to an interview conducted by  Joel Friedlander of The Book Designer. He was interviewing Dave Chilton, venture capitalist, television personality, and multimillionaire, who built his fortune by self-publishing. They were discussing The Chilton Method—A Unique Formula for Creating an Exceptional Book and Selling Tons of Copies…From a Guy Who’s Sold Millions!

The interview was very insightful. Dave Chilton has great ideas on book marketing which every author should listen to. But, he also reminded me of all the work ahead for my blog and, later, for publishing and marketing my books. I felt a bit overwhelmed. After talking to a very good friend and coming up with a plan, I felt much better, good even.

But the morning brings its own troubles. My good friend wasn’t available, but someone else popped up—an old friend and colleague.

Sometimes we get so stuck in our heads that we forget there is a whole world out there and other beings, some of whom are going through what we are going through, or a version of it.

My old friend also had concerns about his current and future well-being. Even though I felt like crap, I didn’t once complain to him. Instead, my focus was to help him and make him feel better. I wanted him to know that I understood what he was going through.

It is times like these that make me think of the Metro article—Why It’s Okay to Feel Melancholy. Thinking deeply about issues helps you empathise.

I gave him my two pennies worth of advice:

  • Don’t despair; hardship will teach you how to do things better; it will challenge and sharpen you. But only if you don’t give in. Continue thinking of a way out, and you will find it.
  • You should surround yourself with positive and helpful people.
  • It’s not always about looking for a job in a specific profession. Also look at your talents and passion, and how you can make a living from them. Broaden your horizons.
  • Don’t just sit at home. Keep yourself busy with something that improves you, whether it be school, volunteering or starting a business, no matter how small.
  • Read my article on How To Combat Melancholy And Negative Thinking. It may help.

When I was studying for a Certificate In Higher And Tertiary Education, one of the things that stuck in my head was that the best way to grasp a concept is to teach it.

It felt like I was living this theory. The more I motivated him to go on, the more I motivated myself. The more he responded to my motivation, the more confident I felt about navigating this confusing thing called life.

Today wasn’t the first time I felt this way. Whenever I take my time to talk someone through their anxiety, I always come away feeling much better than I did before. I remind myself of the ideas that rightly deserve a place in my head—the ideas that will push me to be better, and that will carry me to where I need to go.

I was generous with my time, but all forms of generosity have a healing effect. Whenever you freely give money to someone in need, you remind yourself of how fortunate you are and how you have the ability to bring a positive change in people’s lives.

Try giving and being patient with people more—you will feel the positive change.

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