I was listening to Pope Francis address a giant crowd of Catholics on Christmas today and I was moved by a lot of what he said.
His eventual point was interesting in that it was very close to the guidance I try to give to my clients. He talked about how we need to accept the gift of Christ so that we could in turn be the gift for others.
This is a Christian way of saying what I have thus far found to be one of the best directives in life: be more so you can give more.
As Francis discussed the idea of Christ coming as a gift for those who didn't “deserve” - he made it abundantly clear that we will receive the gift anyway and as such we should accept it gracefully and move forward in giving ourselves to others. Whatever your religious affiliation, we can all recognize that we are often extremely hard on ourselves to the point where we feel we don't deserve love and grace, let alone feel like we can contribute to the world around us.
That being said, in the personal development space there is no shortage of people obsessed with their own growth. People spend countless hours sculpting their physique, padding their back account, finding that strategic edge in their business, or sharpening their mind with the next best idea.
But for what?
Lots of people never answer this question and end up with an amazing life on paper, but are radically unfulfilled and unhappy.
The reason for all this improvement, if you want to be happy, is that the better a person you become, the more you can give to your significant other, your kids, your friends, your community, and people who are in need.
As Tony Robbins always says, “living is giving.” If you are living life in such a way that you’re always behind and playing catch up, it is very difficult to get to a place where you feel like you have something to give. After all, if your bills are late, it's hard to feel like you can make a donation to the hungry. Bill Gates on the other hand became a Titan of industry and is now making his second act about what he can give and who he can help.
Now we might never become Bill Gates (though we might if that is truly what we wan), but we can all do two things. First, we can all improve from what we are today to a stronger, more complete version of ourselves tomorrow. Second, we can all shift our mindset from one of scarcity to one of abundance where giving isn’t a luxury, but a necessity and a priority. After all, if you won’t give a dime out of a dollar, you won’t give a $100,000 out of your first million.
As Pope Francis noted, we may feel underserving of the blessings we are given (and we all have some), but you’ve got those gifts regardless. If your goal is to be happy, make that transition from merely receiving gifts to becoming a gift.
*To help you on your goal to becoming more to give more, for those who sign up for coaching before the New Year, I will donate 10% of your fees to the Society of Saint Vincent Depaul in Indianapolis. This guarantees that as you commit to becoming more, you will already have begun to contribute to those who suffer from poverty and food shortages.
Your life coach.
The Andrew Warner Podcast: