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Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give. – Eleanor Roosevelt

I’m not a salesperson, but I hope I can sell you on a mindset. If you choose to adopt this mentality, you will reap a life of abundance. I’m not referring simply to material riches, but to a life with improved health, overflowing happiness, and deep inner peace. What I’m promoting today is an approach to life that concerns itself with making an impact on the lives of others through giving.

Our egos like to resist the notion of giving. The ego is the part of us that only cares about our wants, our needs, and our interests – such as how much money we can make, how far up the ladder we can climb, or how much recognition we will receive. Many of us are taught that to survive or to be successful, we must focus on looking out for ourselves.

Contrast that way of thinking with the law of cause and effect. This scientific principle dictates that you get what you give.  So, the more you give, the more you get. Everything you give, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant, boomerangs back to you and creates more abundance in your life.

Many of us don’t give more because we live our lives subconsciously motivated by fear. Fear is what drives the ego to be overly engrossed with self.  One common fear is that if we give more, we won’t have enough. We may have been taught to live with a scarcity mindset. We think we’re lacking money, time, talent, opportunities, relationships, or material possessions. We believe that to be happy we must constantly fight and strive to get more.

What we may not realize is that giving increases our prosperity. Studies have shown that giving amplifies not just the wealth and abundance we see with our eyes, but that it improves our health and enhances our sense of well-being.  Giving confronts our fear of not having enough and boldly states to the world that we will not be held captive to our thoughts of lack. As Maya Angelou says, “Giving liberates the soul of the giver.”

There are many ways to give. Here are just a few ideas:

1. Giving Your Time
Volunteering will boost your spirits! It energizes, it inspires, it is a feeling that money can’t buy. Helping those in need makes you appreciate your life in a new way. Where can you or your family dedicate some time to be of service to others?  Whether it’s helping at a local soup kitchen, visiting the elderly or sick, or making a meal for someone, consider giving some of your time to help others.

2. Giving Your Money
Statistics show that those of us who live here in North America are incredibly wealthy compared to most of the world.  Consider giving part of your income to a charitable organization or to someone in need. Remember, what you give comes back to you multiplied.

3. Giving Encouragement
It costs nothing to boost someone’s spirits or to give away a smile. Whether it’s encouraging a friend, a family member, a co-worker, or a stranger, life rewards you when you take a moment to affirm another person. Who in your life can you encourage today? Call, text, email or send a card or letter. It could make all the difference knowing someone cares.

4. Giving Thanks
Living with an attitude of gratitude and appreciation will definitely bring rewards!  It can be done by saying “thank you” when a stranger holds a door open for you or by giving a “thank you” wave when someone lets you in a busy lane of traffic. Thank your body for getting you through the day. Give thanks for the food you eat, your home, and your job.

Ask yourself at the beginning of each day, “How can I give? How can I be of service to someone today?” Give freely with no intention of receiving anything in return. As Winston Churchill so wisely stated, “Happiness is not so much in having as in sharing. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” What kind of life will you choose to make?