I totally believe in putting out into the world what you want to receive more of yourself.
So, if you want the world to be more generous or want more generosity in your life it starts with you.
As Justin Timberlake put it:
What goes around comes back around
But also, being generous and giving feels amazing.
One of my Core Desired Feelings last year was GENEROSITY. And throughout the year I experimented with how I could feel more generous. Some of the things I did to cultivate generosity include:
∞ Creating a free ebook. And it felt really incredible to put as much thought, effort and consideration into creating this eBook as I would if it was a paid product, and then giving it away for free.
∞ Doing pro-bono coaching work.
∞ Continually creating free content, which included 79 blog posts and 22 inspirational emails to the Infinite community.
∞ Sharing the awesome work of others in my monthly Link Fest posts.
All these things felt AMAZING to do and helped me to feel more generous, and I also discovered this: incorporating small acts of generosity into your daily life will change your life.
Because of this, I thought I would share a list of some of the simple things you can do to feel (and be) more generous.
Some of these things are things I’ve done myself, or things I’ve been on the receiving end of, or things I intend to do in the future.
And I have no doubt about it, if you devote yourself to incorporating more acts of generosity in your life you will feel absolutely incredible!
The generosity ripple effect begins with YOU, and here are some possibilities on how you can begin…
1. Be present, really listen and give someone your complete undivided attention when they’re talking to you.
2. Write words of encouragement on post-it notes and stick them random places.
3. Pick up any rubbish that you see at the beach, park or in the street.
4. Tell someone you’re grateful for them and why.
5. Hold the door open for someone else.
6. Smile at every single person you come across for the day.
7. Tell someone that they’re doing an awesome job.
8. Give someone a meaningful compliment.
9. Make eye contact with people when you talk to them.
10. Bring breakfast or morning tea for the people at your workplace.
11. Call someone you haven’t talked to in ages purely to check in with how they are and what’s going on with them.
12. When you get paid — give first. It doesn’t matter how much. You might like to donate to your favourite charity, a local homeless shelter, the person selling pins outside the supermarket or someone who’s doing awesome things.
13. Send someone a card on their Birthday instead of texting or writing on their Facebook wall.
14. Be a daymaker and do something to make someone else’s day.
15. Write a glowing review for a podcast you’re obsessed with.
16. Buy someone their favourite chocolate for no particular reason.
17. Tell someone who’s embarking on something new that you believe in them and know they can do it.
18. When you encounter someone who’s wearing a name tag make an effort to use their name when you speak to them. Bonus points for giving them a compliment or saying something nice.
19. Tell someone why you love having them in your life.
20. Use good manners. Please and thank you are simple but appreciated.
21. Put in a good word for someone without being asked to.
22. Share your knowledge on something without asking anything in return.
23. Send someone a letter or card in the mail.
24. Give someone a compliment about something unexpected that you really love about them.
26. If you know someone who’s going through a really tough time tell them that you’re here for them and that you want to help and give them 3 solid suggestions on how you could do this.
27. Bake something for someone and surprise them with it.
28. Use social media to send words of encouragement to someone.
29. Make someone a cup of tea just because (if they like tea of course!) or make them their favourite hot drink.
30. Offer to do someone something that doesn’t benefit you at all.
31. Give someone a gift, not for an occasion, just because you thought they would love it.
32. Make an awesome playlist for someone and give it to them (you could send them a Spotify link or burn it to a CD.)
33. Pass on a book you read and loved for someone else to read or donate it to somewhere that collects books.
34. Write an awesome comment on an article you enjoyed.
35. Create/make/bake something then give it to someone.
36. Donate clothes and belongings you no longer need, want or love.
37. Do a metta meditation. I learnt this technique at a Vipassana meditation retreat where you cultivate love and send kindness and compassion out to the world.
38. Pay for something for the people behind you in the queue (coffee, ice-cream etc.)
39. Gift someone a book on their Kindle.
40. Be grateful for all that you have to give. As Danielle Laporte put it “When you treasure how much you have – from your good health, free evenings, expertise, a loving soul, a bit of cash – you KNOW you have so much to give. If you’re not feeling generous, try harder to feel grateful.”
41. Send someone an email with no agenda just to tell them that you love what they’re doing.
42. Spend time away from social media, emails, your phone and technology and instead give everyone your full and undivided attention for a particular amount of time.
43. Giving someone space when they need it (the introverts in your life will love you for this!)
44. Volunteer your time to someone else to help them do something.
45. Give blood (if you can).
46. Buy a gift card and give it to someone.
47. Tell someone “you’re awesome!”
48. Purchase some extra groceries when you’re shopping and put them in the food bank in the supermarket.
49. Wash someone else’s car.
50. Share on social media about a person/product/book/experience that you truly loved.
51. Go to someone’s house and cook for them.
52. Give someone a tutorial of something you know how to do that they don’t, and be super patient with them as you talk them through it.
53. Celebrate someone else. Make them a cake or send a card. For their birthday, some exciting news, an achievement or just because they’re awesome.
54. Give someone flowers (just because!)
55. Write someone a letter and send it to them (here’s an awesome resource with templates to help get you started.)
56. Do the dishes when someone else has cooked something for you.
57. Send postcards to people, just because.
58. Sell something you don’t use anymore and give the money to a worthwhile cause.
59. Forgive someone who has done you wrong and let go of the anger and resentment towards them.
60. Forgive yourself for not being perfect, screwing up, failing, or doing something you shouldn’t have. Give yourself permission to be human.
61. Tell your parents, grandparents (or any significant people in your life) how they’ve influenced you and why you’re grateful for them.
62. Truly support someone and be there for them in their time of need.
63. Give the people you’re out for dinner with your full and undivided attention by not going on your phone.
64. Eat at a social enterprise restaurant. Delicious food for a good cause is AWESOME. This one is my favourite.
65. When someone shares something with you that they’re really excited about or proud of, meet them with their enthusiasm and truly celebrate with them.
66. Package up your leftovers to send home with your dinner guests.
67. Ask someone what the BEST part of their day was and give them your undivided attention when they tell you about it.
68. Bake something super delicious and take it somewhere to share it with people.
69. Buy an extra copy of a book you’re getting to give someone else.
70. Buy a meal for someone.
71. Send someone a voice clip instead of a text message.
72. When someone in your life is sick and not feeling good, take them over some movies to watch.
73. Dedicate an hour (or 3 or even a whole day) to someone else (to help them or to just be there for them).
74. Take care of yourself first so you can give to others and be generous from a place of overflow and not lack.
75. Tell someone that they make the world a better place and truly mean it.
76. When someone does something kind and generous for you, accept it with gratitude and thanks.
Now in the spirit of being generous, if you want to kickstart a ripple effect of generosity in your own life I challenge you to do one of the things on this list in the next week.
This week I’m challenging myself to: Leave a review on a podcast I’m really enjoying, send someone a thank you card, email someone without an agenda just to tell them I love what they’re doing, and make someone a dessert.
If you’re up for the challenge share with me in the comments what act of generosity you’re going to do this week.
Love & Gratitude,
PS. You might also like: 97 ideas for when your day sucks and you want to make it more awesome instead.
PPS. If you enjoyed this post I would SO appreciate it if you shared it around, generosity for all! 🙂