Givers Gain:
7 Reasons

Givers Gain: 7 Reasons

This morning at 4:45am my alarm clock rudely woke me up. I usually am an early bird [they catch the worm, right?] but this was v.e.r.y. early… ‘Why then’, you ask?

Because I was invited to the annual New Year’s breakfast of Business Network International’s [or BNI] Dutch chapter Grand Cru Roermond, at 6:30 am.

Not only is the New Year’s breakfast of BNI Grand Cru an event where you need to be as an entrepreneur. This year’s breakfast was dedicated to our charity: ‘Een Toetje Voor Thomas‘ [A Dessert For Thomas].

With the revenues of this book, containing the most delicious desserts of the Netherlands, we help children like Thomas*. Children with neuroblastoma childhood cancer.

BNI is an organization which is ‘the world’s largest referral organization’. With over 150,000 members worldwide. BNI is in over 45 countries worldwide and was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ivan Misner. BNI has a strong philosophy: ‘Givers Gain’, based on the law of reciprocity, the law of giving and receiving.

This morning the Dutch artist Dennis Epke produced on the spot some pieces of modern art for an auction whose proceeds go entirely to ‘Een Toetje Voor Thomas’. The auction raised a total of € 1,700.00. Wow, what a generous expression of the philosophy ‘Givers Gain’! And all this generousity got me thinking about giving and the benefits of giving. What are those benefits or giving? Here are seven reasons why ‘Givers Gain’:

Giving makes you happy

A 2008 study by Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton and colleagues found that giving money to someone else lifted participants’ happiness more that spending it on themselves [despite participants’ prediction that spending on themselves would make them happier]. When people give, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a ‘warm glow’-effect. Altruistic behavior also releases endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the ‘helper’s high’. And like other highs, this one is addictive, too.

Giving keeps you healthy

Giving helps others, but studies show that giving is also good for the giver. Giving boosts physical and mental health. It lowers blood pressure, you experience an increased self-esteem, less depression and lower stress levels. It seems that, contrary to popular belief, we don’t feel good by what we get, we feel good because of what we give. In the end givers live a longer life!

Giving promotes social connection

When you give, you’re more likely to get back. When you give to others, your generosity is likely to be rewarded by others down the line. Sometimes by the person you gave to, sometimes by someone else. It’s all about karma-points! When we give to others, we don’t only make them feel closer to us; we also feel closer to them. Giving promotes a sense of trust and cooperation that strengthens our ties to others.

Giving enhances life’s satisfaction

People who give to others are generally more satisfied with their own situation and life than those who don’t. Givers seem better able to cope with problems and difficulties in their own lives, maybe because they have a good understanding of how many people are worse off than they are. Helping others gives meaning to your life and helps to make life worthwhile. While you are thinking about another person, you aren’t dwelling on your own problems.

Giving spreads joy

When you give, you will spread joy to others in ways you may not even realize. And by giving joy to others, it’s hard not to experience some joy yourself. You create a connection that you may not have had otherwise. You make the world a happier place, one act of kindness and generosity at a time.

Giving alleviates chronic pain

Physical giving, as in volunteering may help you feel better physically. You are getting out, moving around more than you normally might and spending time with others. If you feel like other people are counting on you, you may be more likely to keep moving even when you are experiencing pain. And helping others may take your mind off of your pain.

Giving is contagious

When we give, we don’t only help the immediate recipient of our gift. We also spur a ripple effect of generosity. When someone behaves generously, it inspires observers to behave generously later, toward different people. In fact, researchers found that altruism spreads by three degrees. From person to person to person to person. ‘As a result’, they write, ‘each person in a network can influence dozens or even hundreds of people, some of whom he or she does not know and has not met.’

And the beauty of all this: giving doesn’t have to be difficult. Take your pick!
• Give money: many worthwhile causes need constant injections of cash.
   Thank you BNI Grand Cru and its visitors this morning for giving so generously to ‘Een Toetje Voor Thomas’!
• Give goods and services: give new and secondhand goods or use your skills to help others.
• Give time: volunteering your time is a great way of giving to others. You are giving of yourself.
• Give expertise: teach others what you know.
• Give random Acts of Kindness: little things that you do for people in your life or total strangers, often without
   their knowledge, that will brighten their day.
• Give your smile: the cheapest and simplest gift you can give is your smile.
   It shows that other person that you acknowledge them and brightens the day of both the giver and receiver.


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Your turn!
Are you a giver? How do you give?
And how about receiving?
Any comments? Share them in the comment box below!!

Mirjam Stoffels

Founder of seven2success, author of ‘Daily Little Secrets to Success’ and guest blogger at Project Eve and 365 dagen succesvol. In my mission to make seven2success the biggest platform of knowledge and inspiration for women, I want to inspire you with our content! Check us out on Facebook and Twitter! I’d love to connect!  And do you want to inspire other women? Write for us!

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