I have a goal this year to read at least one book a quarter (or more) that helps to enrich my life or change my way of thinking. One of my favorite books of all time is The Generosity Factor by Kenneth Blanchard. I read it at least once a year (it doesn’t count toward my quarterly number, by the way) because of the powerful message is contains. The fact that it’s a short, quick read certainly helps with the annual reading.  {wink}

Blanchard’s almost “fable like” story hits right at the heart of what I see too much of today…people in pursuit of self-gratification and seeking success at the expense of others. We even see corporate ethics come into question and, worse, outright corruption. It’s as if people are out for themselves at all costs. I wonder to myself, haven’t they completely missed the path to fulfillment? Life shouldn’t be about greed or thriving in a self-obsessed culture .. it’s about enduring satisfaction. And that satisfaction comes from knowing the difference between success and significance.

Success is measured by things like wealth, achievement, and status. Significance, on the other hand, is measured by generosity, service, and relationships. We grow in significance by generously sharing our 4 T’s.

  1. Time – It’s one of our most precious commodities because we can’t make more of it. I certainly appreciate when someone shares their time with me – to educate me or support me, or even just listen to me. True generosity comes from sharing our time without any expectations.
  2. Talent – Each of us possesses God-given gifts! No seriously..YOU DO! Perhaps you’re good at running a business or financial management. Or maybe your talents are more artistic in nature and you paint or write poetry. Whatever your talent, it’s meant to be shared.  
  3. Touch – This doesn’t mean you go around and literally touch everyone. Haha! It’s about giving a heartfelt touch on the shoulder when someone has done a great job, hugging your family, or actually getting on the floor to play with a child and their toys.
  4. Treasure – Sometimes money is just what’s needed, but it’s not always about money. The “poorest” person has both knowledge and expertise to share from their personal experiences, and those are indeed huge treasures.

Generosity is about giving your four T’s selflessly and not expecting anything in return. Not even recognition. In his book, Blanchard answers the question: How will I know when I have truly attained significance?

“You will know by the sincerity of your generosity, by the joy you find in service, and by the selfless nature of your relationships. You will know by the depth of your changed heart.”

I encourage you to read it (should only take a couple hours), and to please share your thoughts below once you do.

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