Happiness Is In Giving

Feb 20, 2014 1 Min Read

The year-end holidays are here again. It’s the time of the year when malls are lighted up and trees decorated. Yes, Christmas is around the corner and with it, comes the tradition of gift-giving. To those who celebrate, they are looking forward to guessing and unwrapping of the gifts. In fact, in a culturally diverse society like ours, even the non-Christians are somewhat involved through the gift-giving exchange organised at many offices.

The fun begins when one anticipates what’s in the box. It climaxes when one receives what he or she wants. Yet, is it the act of receiving that creates the happiness, or is it in the giving?

Technically, we should be happy when we receive the new toys, the latest mobile phone or the lovely dress. But unfortunately, the happiness doesn’t last. A few months down the road, the toy becomes boring, the mobile phone is embarrassingly outdated and the dress, oh well, old fashion. What actually happened? Why doesn’t the happiness last?

We responded to the feeling by replacing the old with the new. We work harder to get a higher pay in order to buy more new things. We will feel happier for a while, only to repeat the whole thing all over again. It seems like our inner self is very hard to please. When we have a family, the problem seems to multiply as everyone’s needs must be fulfilled too. Soon, we will find that we spend most of our lives chasing that elusive happiness through acquiring bigger, better and more things.

The Feeling of Giving

If receiving only brings temporary happiness, let’s explore the feeling of the givers. Can you recall the last time you gave or did something to someone in need?  What was your feeling at that time knowing that your small gift or gesture actually made a big difference to that person’s life? I am sure it was a great, ecstatic feeling.

In fact, this feeling motivates the giver to give even more. It may look strange but these people have no problem giving away their money and possessions to others in need. They seem genuinely happy, contended and willing to do it all over again.

The next time you see someone give something away, study their faces. Chances are, they are full of smiles even though they just parted with their hard earned money but for a good cause. The same cannot be said to someone who just got out from the bank servicing their new house or car loans though!

Giving Out A Signal

These people are happy because by giving what they have, they are effectively saying, “God has given me so much such that I have more than enough for myself. I am now able to give back the extra money or things that I have because there are others who need them more.” How can one be unhappy with such powerful thoughts?

The irony is, the more they give, the more they seem to get back from unexpected sources. Their careers flourish, their businesses grow and their lives thrive even more. It defies logic that says their wealth should be reducing at an alarming rate if they continue to give them away. But God sees it differently. When they say “I have more than enough for myself,” He answers their prayers by making it a reality. As a bonus, He puts lasting happiness and contentment in their hearts.

Giving, therefore, is a signal that reads, “I give, and therefore I am rich”; not the other way round. Do it more often and the signals will be picked up and rewarded with abundance and happiness.

The Gift of Time

Charity begins at home. We have worked hard all year round, and now is the perfect time to give something back to the family. It is not just about giving money, things and wealth. What the family really wants is the gift of time.  A listening ear is heaven’s gift to a distressed child. A helpful husband is a joy to the tired wife. A smiling and loving parent is God’s gift to the tender kids.

Spend as much time together to rebuild the castle. Put aside all worries, stresses and deadlines and watch them smiles as they tease and joke with one another. Feel the negativities melt away as the minds and souls are being recharged.

Such is the power of giving. Let’s ensure that we re-create the balance in our lives through the joy of giving. Happy holidays everyone!

Zaid Mohamad is a certified parental coach and the bestselling author of Smart Parents, Brighter Kids and Smart Parents, Richer Kids.  Log on to www.SmartParents.com.my or write to him at zaid@smartparents.com.my. Click here for more articles.

Share This



This article is published by the editors of Leaderonomics.com with the consent of the guest author. 

You May Also Like

a man giving feedback to a woman

The Pitfalls of Giving Feedback Across Genders

By Erin Meyer. Navigate cross-gender feedback wisely! Discover the 'three A's of feedback' to balance power dynamics. Learn how to give constructive advice without unintentionally creating perceived power imbalances. A must-read for managers fostering effective communication across genders.

Mar 05, 2024 5 Min Read

A picture of a tree from the bottom (Self-Control)

The Impact of Our Self-Control Roots

Rashmi Menon, Head of Client Engagement at Leaderonomics, discusses self control, its roots in childhood development, and how that affects us as adults both in and out of the workplace.

Apr 09, 2021 23 Min Podcast

Lynne Cazaly Photos

The Leaderonomics Show: Outsmart The Feeling of Overwhelm

In this Leaderonomics Show, Lynne Cazaly, an author of 8 books and a renowned productivity expert shares her secrets to productivity. Her special tip on the Time Box will blow your mind. Watch this video now

Sep 21, 2021 46 Min Video

Be a Leader's Digest Reader