This is a guest post I’m excited to host from Dwight Turner, founder of In Search Of Sanuk.
You’re already en route to your thrilling lifestyle so why are you still giving the same way? In the footsteps of Jesus, Ghandi, Spiderman and all four Ninja Turtles, here are three steps to make your giving as revolutionary as your lifestyle.
Stop Giving Only When It’s Convenient
The template lifestyle dictates that you should probably begin thinking about what you can give back a few years before you expect to die. How much have you bought into that mentality? Have you repeatedly postponed giving until you have more money, more stability, and more success? My first big project last year was to design a fundraiser for Bangkok’s Refugee Center. I ended up throwing an art show that provided much needed funds for the center and got more people in the city talking about my initiative. However, had I let the unpredictability of my personal life govern the decision to be involved, it would have been scheduled for 2030. To play a role in social change, we can no longer conceptualize giving the same way we think about clipping our toenails or doing our taxes. Break the mold and transform giving from a mundane task to a part of your thrilling lifestyle.
Embrace Risky Giving
As a society we have bought the idea that giving should be feel good and secure. Sometimes it can be, but we are wrong to believe putting others’ well being before our own will be all smiles and rainbows. My hunch is this is because we’re not giving for the right reasons to begin with. I cringe when I hear, “Give and you WILL RECEIVE.” How much of what you give is steeped in what you’re hoping to receive? Are you doing it so more people will buy your product or read your blog? In reality, the people giving the most are hardly recognized or rewarded. Stop and think about your teachers and I know you’ll get my point. Why then do you expect some selfish reward for doing what we know is right? Really want to be an unconventional giver? Try this:
Give when no one is looking. Give and expect nothing. Be risky, be taken for granted and give purely.
Give From the Bottom of your Hurt
Your parents tried it. You tried it. So where did giving from the heart get us? Well, besides forcing smart non profits and NGOs to scramble, rearranging budgets or compromising their services for overpaid marketers who know how to tap into our vanity. To our detriment we’ve created an environment where cause marketers have to dupe us into repeatedly buying a latte laced with ‘feel good’ to do something noble like saving the rain forest. It works, so everyday we fall out of bed and into line for innumerable magic lattes until we’ve purchased such a monstrous caseload of feel good that we honestly believe we can end poverty without ever changing our daily routine. Nothing wrong with a laced latte, right? But, if you’re reading this it’s because you’ve already fallen off the bandwagon. So I challenge all former bandwagon riders to start giving from the bottom of your hurt. You don’t have to be hungry for long to have enough of an idea of what starving might be like. Likewise, you don’t have to travel to countries where every meal is an appetizer just to realize more should be done to relieve the suffering of those less fortunate than us. Pain is universal. Give when it hurts and because it hurts.
Thrilling Heroics Consulting is a regular supporter of In Search of Sanuk and fully sponsored their December teaching initiative in the Bangkok slums. Begin your unconventional giving by donating today.