“If you had a big fish how could you feed your family for as long a time possible?”
As the story goes, a rich man is searching for a companion for his son. He tells prospective suitors that they may wed his son if they answer the question correctly.
The wisest suitor tells the rich man that she would share the fish with her neighbors, and they would reciprocate the gift.
This strategy suggests that you should receive more than you give, because you are one person giving to many.
“You will get all you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.” - Zig Zigler
The internet makes a mockery of giving. You see “like-for-like” or “follow-for-follow” trending, leaving a bad taste.
For every 100 likes you give, you may receive 1 in return. That is because likes and follows are shallow gifts.
An employer once told me, “I won’t give you a pat on the back for doing your job.” Likewise, I didn’t thank him for my paycheck.
However helpful likes and follows may be to social algorithms, they require little more than basic participation. If you want to see true reciprocation, then you must give deeply.
Train Yourself To Think About Others
The best givers think regularly about how they can add value to someone else.
Make giving a habit by thinking about 1 way to add value in every interaction you find yourself in.
“Wherever you are, be all there.” - Jim Elliott
Don’t Give Everything
Giving can have the opposite effect, leaving you with nothing for yourself.
Limit your giving to things that you are skilled at, don’t waste your energy, or take all your time.
You can limit yourself to small favors that take 5 to 10 minutes.
Set Aside A Day For Giving
Have you heard people say that they record all their TikToks on shampoo day? This is a similar strategy. Give on a day that you have energy stored up. Make it consistent and you will add regularity to your advantage.
Show people how they can give to you. I have a really hard time with this because it feels like taking, but in reality, you want to attract givers to you. Givers appreciate the opportunity to give, just don't take too much of their time or energy. Keep it short and simple, like 5 to 10 minutes.
Don't Let Anyone Take Advantage Of You
There are people out there who will literally cheat you or simply take and take with no thought of anyone but themselves. Oddly the most successful givers I have known were also the feistiest when it came to taking down con artists and manipulators.
I have met people who are incredibly talented “Givers.” They make friends everywhere they go and as a result, they are up to their necks in contacts and opportunities. They give without expectation of return, but they know that when you give friendship you receive it.
Friendship has a high rate of return.
1. Give Deeply
2. Train Yourself To Think About Others
3. Don't Give Everything
4. Set Aside A Day For Giving
5. Attract Givers
6. Don't Let Anyone Take Advantage Of You
7. Give Friendship
This blog post features a story from the book, Kindness Tales Written by Margaret Read McDonald