This past weekend I spent time with family and friends celebrating our Canadian Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for in this country but there are so many people who are fighting for their lives with sickness, financial issues, crisis within their own family or social well-being. My brother reminded me about a story from Bill Gates about the power of giving. Many of us will not come even close to having the wealth Bill Gates has but it doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t practice the principle of sowing and reaping. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has a trust fund of over $40 Billion and has given away over $30 Billion in grant payments. They have a cause to help others lead healthy and productive lives. It’s just not so much about the money or who is involved but the fact is that both Bill and Melinda are impatient optimists. They even have a cause called Impatient Optimists. There you’ll find stories from and about the people working every day to help alleviate poverty, to help promote health, and to help every student in the United States realize his or her full potential.
In some way, we are all want to get behind a cause that may have an impact on someone’s life, family, community, church, business or world organization. This became very real to me just recently when a friend in our community was diagnosed with a rare disease of throat cancer. With the power of social media and a funding site called GoFundMe raised $100K in under 6 weeks so he could get special cancer treatments in the U.S. Now I know there are others in my community suffering from cancer and chemo treatments so why would this special case be any different. The fact is people got behind a cause and a great story and want to be part of making someone and his family lead a better life. Isn’t that what we all want? Don’t we want to see ourselves and others lead better lives?
This comes down to a biblical principle of sowing and reaping. It’s actually pretty simple and we see it everyday in our lives. If you have kids you realize that our children take some part of us where ever they go… how they speak, how they treat others, and what they will become on their own. It works the same way in business, you get what you put into your business. If you give of your time to your employees and treat them with respect it only enables them to do the same thing with your customers.
The way you get is not by holding on. It’s that simple. So how can you be better at what you do? Here’s 3 ways that I’m sure will help:
1. Think of others first.
I know in this competitive world it’s about success with money, career or our social status that shapes the way we are. The principle of sowing and reaping is an attitude and applies in every area of your life, not just your finances. If you sow criticism in your life you are going to reap criticism in your life. If you sow kindness then you will reap kindness. It’s the law of the harvest. If you plant apples you’re not going to get pares; you get apples.
2. Just care.
The principle of the harvest is about whatever you need plant a seed. If we think about it, seed planting happens in our personal and professional life. The saying “planting the seed” means to do something that will help yield a different cause in the future or “seed capital” is often used to help a company get started by its founders. So caring for others or a cause and watching it grow can be the most satisfying thing you may do in your life. The benefits are not just the enjoyment of helping others but the feeling you get from doing it.
The only way to reap more than we sow is to be a giver. Learn to be generous and not stingy. You will find what drives some of the most richest and famous individuals like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates and Richard Branson is the excitement they feel of giving back. As you can see with my own community that people got excited about helping one individual and they did by raising the “seed capital” in order help him get a better way of life.
I know for some that the principle of sowing and reaping sounds illogical — to give away when you have a need so that you will get more back. But that’s why there is some faith involved. The way we get is by giving, not by holding on.
Personally, it’s still too early for me to know where The Mentor+ Project will take me and how the Hitch+ mobile app will help impact people’s lives. In some ways I’m scared that this may be a big waste of time. I like this quote from Warren Buffett — “Don’t just go for safe projects. Take on the really tough problems“. I believe so strongly that people need help in so many ways and it has to come from the expertise of others. It’s what I like to call an open source mentoring model. “It’s a gathering of people’s expertise to create a model that promotes a universal access and free license to help others be better at what they do. This model is a blueprint that will help the subsequent improvements to others.”
Talk It Over
What are some examples from your life where you have reaped more than you gave away?
How do you decide in your heart what you should give?
“A star wants to see himself rise to the top. A leader wants to see those around him rise to the top.” – Simon Sinek