“No one has ever become poor... giving." - Anne Frank
There is something in the human DNA that makes us feel good when we give to others. Even the simplest act--opening a door for a stranger, letting the car in front of you merge in traffic, or buying a coffee for a friend—can be enough to change our mood, and the mood of those around us. As much as we are all different, the intention to give is a rewarding force that’s hard-wired into each of us.
While years of practice and reinforcement can make it easy to remember to open a door for someone, our intention to give can easily slip when we head to work. Whether its stress, competition or the high stakes of daily performance, it can be easy to inadvertently leave our good intentions at the office door, and shift instead to the intention to receive .
Receiving vs. Giving
As leaders and business professionals, the intention to receive can often take over when we begin thinking about our needs. When we begin to focus on hitting our sales quotas, getting our promotion, breaking a new sales record, making more money or even just keeping our job.
The intention to give looks entirely different. It is only when we truly care about helping our customers, our co-workers and our team members achieve their goals, that our true intention is to give. When we’re committed to helping others achieve their dreams, reach their goals, our intention is to give.
Where Trust Begins
What’s most interesting is that intention itself is invisible—it’s neither seen nor heard. But it can be felt , and when it is, it creates another invisible companion that’s critical to all success: trust. When people feel that you have their best interest at heart, they trust you. When they know you’ll do the right things for the right reasons, they’ll find themselves wanting to do whatever they can to help you because of an invisible sense of trust—sometimes without even being able to explain it.
As one of my great mentors Jim Rohn said: We don't get in life what we want, we get in life who we are. Jim claims that success is not something to be pursued, but something we attract by the person we are.
If the person you are is the sum total of your intentions, then this means intention is not something you can afford to leave at the door. It can’t be just something you focus on when it’s convenient. It’s something we all need to do day in, day out. It’s the true difference between the good and the great.