There's so much more to life than getting ahead and making money. While status and financial success may be fun and rewarding, these are only tools to really make an impact on this world. Even more important tools are identifying our passion, charting our own course, and following our inner compass. When you find your passion and give from your heart, you fulfill your highest purpose.
When we think about giving back, we often think of donating to a charitable cause. That's wonderful, but I think it's equally important to share our knowledge and talent. When you connect your unique strengths with your passion, the positive impact you make invigorates your whole being.
Here are seven ways generosity can enrich your purpose:
1. Focusing on what you care about brings joy.
To live the most vibrant life possible, we must pursue something we care deeply about. For me, that's helping women connect with their passions and with each other to make the world a better place. I feel supercharged when I've helped another woman connect with and pursue her passion.
2. Connection and collaboration amplify impact.
Humans are hardwired to connect and network. Women in particular are great connectors. Ask a woman for a referral and she can help you find the resources you need. When we connect and collaborate, we share ideas and combine resources; and magic — in the form of new opportunities — happens. We benefit from each other's perspectives, and new inspiration bubbles up. We draw from each other's energy, excitement, and determination.
3. Your associations lead to greater opportunities.
We become like the people we spend time with, so it makes sense to hang around with people who share our values. I prefer to associate with diverse, smart, talented, passionate women who are motivated to give to others. The world needs us! When we work together, we build relationships that inspire and sustain us and make the world a better place.
4. Becoming a mentor or sponsor ignites others.
These relationships have the power to light another's torch. There is a sisterhood (and a brotherhood) that is bigger than the bottom line or getting ahead. Think of the women and men who have generously helped you, then help another woman in a similar way. While a mentor helps behind the scenes, a sponsor takes it one step further and openly promotes and advocates for another woman.
5. Conquering fears helps you realize your potential.
The best way to overcome any fear blocking our greatness is to do exactly the thing we fear. That may sound crazy, but working to fulfill a goal outside yourself can bring the strength to push through your fears. Our greatest growth typically occurs during our most difficult times, or when we face a major life change, like ending a marriage or starting a business.
When we have major fears to overcome, talking over our obstacles with close friends gives us the benefit of their advice and shared experiences, and helps us formulate our plans and build resilience.
6. Cherishing our differences increases our power.
To truly have an impact, we must cherish our differences and support all people of every nation, ethnicity, and ability. One of the greatest gifts we can bestow is respect for each other, so we need to show it in how we talk to and about other people. When we welcome each person's unique strengths, pay her compliments, and notice her achievements, we increase the success of our shared cause.
7. Bonding with others nurtures the highest self.
When we start the conversation about the greater good and how we can help those who don't have as much as we have, that's a bonding experience. It enables us to focus on our gifts and opportunities rather than our challenges and obstacles. We nurture when we reach out and ask others, "How can I help you become successful in your mission?"
We have the power to change our lives, our industries, our communities, and our world in positive ways! Our challenge and opportunity is to learn about ourselves and each other.
When we connect, we can lift each other up, ignite our own lives, and create a better world. I truly believe our highest purpose in this world is to help others. To fulfill it, all we need to do is follow our passion and give from the heart.
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