You hear a lot of “pay it forward” statements out of me lately. Well, that’s for a reason – IT WORKS. I travel a lot, and I get to hear a lot of stories these days. A friend who is trying so desperately to achieve his business dreams said to me last week, “I’m all but depleted. I’ve got so much in my business, all I have left is my smile.”
Walking away from him, I was pretty speechless at the time. What do you say to that? How is there consolation? After some good thought on an 8-hour motorcoach ride, I came up with it. We all have gifts to give, no matter how big or small. That might sound a little trite, but think about it (past the Hallmark card warm n’ fuzzy connotations).
The definition of a gift, thanks to Dictionary.com – “something given voluntarily w/o payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.” So we can be penniless, shelterless, and without “things.” We still have a lot to give, every day.
So in honor of “gifts,” and waking up each day to get excited about the gifts you’ll give and receive each day….here are the Girl Friday Top 10 GIFTS to give or receive. Call it my little PR version of “Christmas in July!”
1) Smiles. Okay, that’s what my friend had left. Can we say, free gift that can’t help but make other people smile?
2) Favors. Seems like these days, we are ALWAYS shorthanded and doing more with less. Do a favor for someone without them asking – to include plant watering, coffee getting – and watch that gift grow in its reception.
3) Business. Right now, there is nothing better for you to do than to support your local small business. Money under a mattress might make YOU feel better, but your neighbor is still trying to feed his children. One night out a week at the local ice creamery will give you family time, plus help American capitalism.
4) Food. This does not have to be expensive – bake brownies for the office (that whopping cost of $2.50 at your supermarket, and good old love and elbow grease). Even better…go healthy. Make up an unexpected salad for the office! My tummy would thank you!
5) Errands. Who has time anymore for anything? Offer to pick up a friends’ kids at b-ball practice with your own (even if it’s a 5 minute drive out of the way). Next time, they’ll repay it and YOU will have an extra 30 minutes of you time!
6) Prayers. This is the all time “free gift” that seems to pay amazing rewards. If you don’t pray, then think positive thoughts on someone else’s behalf. Remember that law of attraction – you’re swirling good vibes through the air.
7) Notes. The good old thank you note – nothing better, it’s a personal favorite of mine. It is a gift that shows you care, and that you would devote the time to think about someone else’s thoughtfulness.
8) Time. Either for another or for yourself, this is a priceless gift. Time with your family…precious seconds they will remember. Or time with yourself – meditating, gardening, exercising…whatever floats your boat!
9) An ear. The gift of listening…an awesome power. Another friend calls it, “holding your hair while you puke.” Sorry for the graphics, but it’s appropriate when you think about it – someone pours out their secrets, fears or ideas and feels better. You provide a gift of peace & comfort.
10) A service. If your business is landscaping, plant a garden for all of your neighbors to receive its bounty. It’s a simple prophecy, give to receive.
Did you ever watch the movie Pretty Woman? At the end, the guy on the street walks by in LA saying, “Everybody’s got a dream in this world. What’s YO’ dream?!” That’s my challenge to you…what’s your dream today?
Go give, and be surprised at what you receive. See ya Rock Stars! Happy Christmas in July!