The Secret to Living Is Giving. Where Can I Start With Giving?

“The secret to living is giving.” – Tony Robbins

Where can I start with giving?

“Give, and it will be given to you. … For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Luke 6:38

“The Law of Giving is very simple. If you want joy, give joy. If love is what you seek, offer love. If you crave material affluence, help others become prosperous.” – Deepak Chopra

“Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.” – Jim Rohn

“Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” – Booker T. Washington

“Don’t give to get. Give to inspire others to give.” – Simon Sinek

Giving Hasn’t Always Worked Out

It’s far too easy to think that I don’t have enough for myself, so how could I possibly give to anyone else?

It doesn’t help that some previous experiences in giving only served to keep the recipients weak and unable or unwilling to take care of themselves. They were in full learned helplessness mode.

I’ve spent entire years of my life being foolish in my giving. What was that all about? I still don’t know.

I must be wise in my giving. That’s the only way forward, yet what does that even look like?

I want to give. I want to create. I want to contribute. At the same time, I fear that my efforts will be unwanted and unhelpful, so I’ve allowed myself to be stuck.

I don’t know where to begin. I’m so used to the idea of people taking advantage of me because I want to help. They’ve mistaken my kindness for weakness. Hopefully I’m done with all that. Hopefully I get to have proper boundaries now.

Good thing I’ve got more than hope on my side. I’ve got action and results, too.

I’ve been learning to put my own interests first.

I must be helpful. I must be generous, and I must also protect myself.

Where to begin?

Start Small. Build From There

It doesn’t have to be something big. It can certainly grow into something big.

For example, Tony Robbins started with giving two families a meal for Thanksgiving. Now he feeds millions of people every year.

That expansion didn’t happen all at once. It took years, and that’s okay. Sustainable growth in giving is the key here, not necessarily the speed of growth in giving.

I’ve enjoyed donating, and I know there’s still so much more I can do.

I have my most basic needs met, but what about those that don’t?

Some of our most basic needs are water, food, clothing, and shelter.

Throughout my life, I’ve noticed a catastrophic mismanagement of resources. There is more than enough for everybody on the planet.

Yet the universal solution for clean, pure water is not widely available. Tons of food and clothing are thrown out every day, even though there’s nothing wrong with them. And there is an abundance of vacant space available, an abundance of buildings and rooms for shelter.

So much potential wasted for so long, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Shelter, for example, could be provided for the homeless and for others in need.

The Universal Need for Shelter

Shelter. Affordable housing is a universal need. But housing prices are soaring in many parts of the world, including where I live. The homeless population increases.

What is the homeless solution? Give them homes. Yes, give. Not sell. Give. This generosity is a much lower cost than the increased hospital visits and other costs associated with homelessness.

Why is anyone homeless?

Simple. People that end up being homeless, either temporarily or permanently, aren’t getting all the help that they need.

Yes, they are responsible for what happens to them, but it isn’t only about blaming the victims. The poverty mindset, including the idea of being powerless, is not limited to the homeless. It infects many of us, too, who have shelter, a place to live.

It goes back to what I mentioned at the beginning, and I know I’m not the only one who has or has had this thought. It’s the idea of not having enough for survival and the thought that there isn’t enough available to give. The mental virus of poverty is global.

The Antidote for the Mental Virus of Poverty

The abundance mindset must be widespread. It must be common. How do we spread the abundance mindset?

We must develop it first in ourselves. We can do this by giving whatever we can.

This reminds me of a specific time when I was donating items. I was minimizing my possessions and being grateful for the opportunity to give. I said about those who would receive those practical items that “They need these things more than I do.”

I felt relieved, humble, and rich when I said that. Life really is about giving. Sure, it feels great to receive, but doesn’t it also feel great to give?

I’m not saying that one is better than the other. Both giving and receiving are necessary parts of life. I especially like the comparison that the book “The Go-Giver” makes between the two. Here it is.

We all need to breathe. We all need to breathe in and breathe out. Receiving is like inhaling, and giving is like exhaling.

We must receive so that we can give. Give to ourselves and give to others.

Life is incomplete if we only receive or if we only give. Lacking either one can be fatal. We could be physically dead or dead inside. Thankfully, there is a way out.


Maybe you’re stuck like I am. Maybe you don’t know what to give or who to give to. Maybe you think that you don’t even have enough for yourself.

I invite myself and I invite you to be so determined to give that we make sure to do it, no matter what. With wisdom, with gratitude, and with power. We are greater than we think, stronger than we know, and more powerful than we realize.

Here’s to spreading abundance. Here’s to being surprised with how much we really have. Here’s to us growing rich in giving.

Where will you start with giving? What is most exciting about that for you? Let me know in the comments section below. I welcome hearing from some very generous people.

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Until next time,

James Barnett

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