If you guessed that the king has the only sustainable model
here, you’re right. You need to take care of your own welfare to be able to
Try these tips for practicing generosity without burning out or becoming
Giving Without Feeling Like a Doormat
Take care of yourself. Any successful caregiver knows they have to
attend to their own needs as well as those they are trying to help. If you sacrifice
your own strength, you’ll have little joy and few resources to share with
Screen carefully. Some dinner guests will invite you over to
their house for the next meal, and some will ask you to pack up the leftovers
so they can take them home with them. Give to those who appreciate your generosity,
and ask for what you need in return.
Establish priorities. You may receive more worthy requests than you
can handle. Decide what’s most important to you, whether it’s your immediate
family or global poverty.
Ask for help. Giving is a two-way street. We
empower each other by taking turns and providing support.
Create value. How do you negotiate when you and the other
party want the same thing? Creative thinking can reveal new options that
satisfy both of you. Split the last piece of pie and serve it with cheese for
two full desserts.
Make your own choices. Giving is rewarding when it’s voluntary and
meaningful. Decide how you want to give rather than giving into pressure or
Giving Without Experiencing Burnout
Focus on impact. It’s easier to stay motivated when you can see
that your giving is making a difference. Participate in activities that provide quick
and measurable results.
Enjoy rewards. On the other hand, many worthwhile endeavors
take time to bear fruit. You may need other strategies to encourage you to hang
in there. If it’s going to take all spring to clean up the local park, listen
to your favorite music while you work.
Budget your time. Give more in less time by organizing your
schedule efficiently. Designate quiet blocks of time when you can
concentrate on your own work, while setting aside other hours for volunteering
in your community or assisting your colleagues.
Encourage a giving culture. Encouraging others to give lightens your load,
and gives your friends a chance to experience more happiness. Let others know
about your good deeds so they can join you.
Leverage your strengths. Draw on your unique talents and abilities. Others will welcome your valuable
contributions and you’ll enjoy the process more. If you have trouble carrying a
tune, let someone else sing Christmas carols at the senior center. You can wow
them with your homemade desserts.
Start small. Giving takes practice. Pick a few areas where you’re comfortable sharing
your time, expertise, and resources. You’ll gradually find your own style, and
generosity will become a habit.
It’s better to give than receive as long as your generosity is tempered
by wisdom. Skillful giving invigorates you rather than draining your
energy. The more riches you give away, the wealthier you’ll become.