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Although many people give at their own expense, there’s a group of people who are productively generous.
How do they give without compromising their well-being and falling short on traditional measures of success?
They reject 3 common beliefs about giving. As leaders, it's part of our job to debunk these misconceptions, see below...
Dont confuse being generous with being nice.
Being a nice person is about courtesy: you’re friendly, polite, agreeable, and accommodating. When people think they always have to be nice in order to give, they fail to set boundaries, rarely say no, and become doormats, letting others walk all over them.
Productive givers focus on acting in the long-term best interests of others, even if it’s not pleasant.
They have the courage to give the critical feedback. They offer tough love, knowing that we might like them less, but we’ll come to trust and respect them more.
In the eyes of many people, giving doesn’t count unless it’s completely selfless. In reality, though, giving isn’t sustainable when it’s completely selfless.
For example, studies reveal that people who give altruistically—with no concern for their own interests—are prone to burnout and depression.
Ironically, they’re also less likely to stick with helping and volunteering over time, because they’re too exhausted to keep giving.
The productively generous recognize the difference between taking and receiving.
What the productively generous know:
1. Nice guys may finish last, but good guys finish first.
2. Whereas the selfless give until it hurts them, and the selfish give only when it helps them, the sustainably generous give when it helps others but doesn’t hurt them.
3. Receiving is necessary for giving—and if you never ask, you deprive the people in your life of the joy of giving.
Three other pillars for a successful life: well-being, wisdom, and wonder. All of these pillars can be side effects of productive giving.
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Successful givers secure their own oxygen masks before coming to the assistance of others
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