Perhaps you have noticed, as I have, more of the people you know and care about are struggling during these tough and uncertain times. Or, maybe, that “struggler” is you.
Without question, individuals and organizations (charitable ones, especially) are finding themselves facing unfamiliar questions, challenges, and levels of hardship. Even those who are working seem to be working harder to remain profitable and successful.
How should we respond to such a situation? Some may say we need to cut back – reduce our expenditures to the bare minimums and protect our time, space, and emotions from other influences. In other words, we should give in to our circumstances.
I believe that now, more than ever, it is important to keep leaning forward, orienting yourself “Off Balance … On Purpose” to embolden your efforts and help the people you love.
Leaning forward with Purpose
When you inject a sense of purpose into any situation, uncertainty is not diminished. It does, however, begin to transform from a negative, energy-draining emotional state into something positive: excitement, possibility, and opportunity.
How is this “shift” accomplished? It begins with you and involves two important factors: your orientation and your application.
Orientation – How do you position yourself, relative to the difficulty? Are you on your heels, or are you leaning forward? In other words, are you simply a curious spectator to life’s events, waiting to witness the outcome? Or are you in the game, eager to participate and influence the final result?
Application – How do you use what you have for the greatest benefit? How do you leverage your money, time, talent, passion, influence, and energy to provide the most meaningful, measurable boost to your family, your friends and for our world?
When in doubt, give. Give from where you are abundant, and give from where you may be lacking. By helping others, you help yourself in two ways. First, you will experience an immediate reward for doing something wonderful for someone else. Secondly, you will engage forces greater than you (it’s a God thing) to multiply your gift for your intended recipient and, ultimately, for you, as well. It is impossible to give more than you receive.
1. If you are in a position where you can give financially, please do! Your dollars matter now more than ever! I’m not asking you to give to my causes. Pick your own. These may include your church or favorite charity, or it may mean helping a dear friend or family member who is in desperate straits. Whatever you decide, your financial support will have an immediate and powerful impact.
2. Give of your time and energy. Get involved in the causes you care about. There is no better way to extract yourself from a personal “funk” than to get engaged in meaningful activity for others. You don’t have to commit to a huge undertaking. Perhaps start by lending a hand for a Saturday afternoon. You may also find that you’ll meet interesting, like-minded people as you invest your time for a worthy endeavor.
3. Give encouragement. Speak words of hope and optimism (to yourself and to others), even if they may at first ring hollow to your own ears. To give encouragement costs you nothing! Yet, the worth of your words may be priceless. Remember, we must orient ourselves to take a positive stance toward our circumstances. That is Step One! And sometimes, we “fake it till we make it.” In other words, you begin to embody what you wish to experience, auditioning for a desirable “role.” Then, eventually, you take ownership of the part as a full-time player.
4. Give your best efforts. Don’t diminish your expectations about what is possible. Instead, elevate your commitment and see this challenging time as an opportunity to hone your skills and talents. Focus with precision and make every action and conversation important and purposeful.
Thank you for the incredible opportunity to be one of your encouragers in life! It is an awesome “gift” I do not accept without immense gratitude and accountability. Please leave a comment in the section below to share your thoughts and contributions.
Keep leaning forward!