Giving Your Time, Treasure & Talent
So in honor of the pending government deadline for dun, dun, dun…filing your taxes, I want to explore the topic of giving. So as you probably know, one specific tax category highlighted in the almighty tax code is all about charitable contributions and non-profit or not-for-profit entities. In other words, it’s all about giving! Awe, that just warms my heart. Who knew the IRS could have such a warming effect?
So I’m a strong believer in what you give you will get back. This doesn’t however just take the form of giving money though. There are many ways this concept applies. As the long-standing and passed down concept through the generations goes, it’s all about giving your time, treasure and/or talent right? So let’s talk about this concept and what this can look like for you.
Time Is On Your Side
As far as giving your time, the most obvious way to accomplish this is through volunteering your time to various types of charitable organizations. These are often charitable organizations close to your heart for your own personal reasons or beliefs. Examples can be cancer related organizations fighting for the cure, churches, charities helping our beautiful children around the world (aka: our future), or charities that work with our brave military, their families and our courageous veterans who made it home after fighting for our freedom.
America, The Beautiful & Giving
The wonderful and awe-inspiring thing about America is that this is the most giving and charitable country to ever exist throughout the history of planet earth! Stop and soak that in for a moment…
You do not need to tell Americans to be giving. We just are. That’s who we are, in fact. And you can witness this in the countless number of charitable organizations often running as non-profits and not-for-profits across the nation and the world. You can also see this truth through the immeasurable volunteers and supporters who make these organizations’ existence possible.
It really is an amazing thing to be proud of when you think about it. It certainly makes me proud to be an American. It absolutely makes me want to throw up the flag of the Red, White and Blue and wave it high and proud.
Give Your Time To Others
So aside from the vast amount of official organizations out there giving back to people and doing good around the world, there are also many other ways to give your time which may not be quite as apparent. One of these ways is to give other people your time. You know, really take the time to connect with people. This can take so many forms! Examples can be helping out a neighbor or friend; or just visiting an elderly member of the community to let them know they are special.
This concept doesn’t just apply to our hot-to-trot elderly out there either (age is just a number anyway right?!). This also applies to anyone who is in need of a friend or just a friendly conversation. And let’s not forget our little ones out there either.
Our kids in this country need our time and focus just as much as the grown-ups. Especially in this age of social media and “hey mom or dad, I need this twentieth app this week” (those who are around kids know exactly what I’m saying, LOL). It’s more important than ever that we still give the kids in our communities and our households our time and attention. This is so important to teach our youth the art of human connection. And I’m talking about real connection, not the connection to the chargers on their phones!
It is our responsibility to pass the skill of human connection down to our youth. And this is done best by leading through example. Kids would much rather have your attention than the newest app or video game out there anyway! Even if they don’t come right out and admit it, it’s still the truth.
Remember To Give To YOURSELF
The last aspect related to giving your time is extremely important! This is giving time to yourself and your own goals and purpose in life. So as much as it’s important to give to others, you must also give equally to yourself.
I know this can be hard for some people to do. For the people who struggle with giving yourself the time you need, officially give yourself permission right now to do this for yourself with no remorse and no guilt. You deserve your own time and care. Self-care is so important. If you are not taking care of yourself, it is very difficult to fully take care of others anyway. At least not for any sustainable amount of time without losing your mind or completely burning out.
Practice self-love and self-care. Value yourself enough to put the time into what you want and need in your own life. Set your goals of what you want to achieve and then commit your time to yourself to achieve success. And remember if you are trying to achieve your goals and stretching yourself, it’s going to take time and effort to make your goals a reality.
If you don’t put the time and effort into your goals, they will not blossom the way you want them to bloom. They just won’t. You get what you put into something. So the more you want something, the more you have to give towards it. Set your intentions right and then don’t give up! Check out Rake The Rut, Panning For Golden Thoughts and Goal Digging to help get started with clearing your mindset and setting your goals.
Now let’s talk about giving your treasure. This one is pretty self-explanatory. You can give your money to whichever organizations, people or circumstances you are compelled to give toward. If you don’t have the extra funds, that is completely ok. This is where time and talent come into play, which are equally as important.
If you do have the funds available and are compelled to give, do so! Also check out the tax code when it comes to charitable donations; or if you are setting up a charitable organization. The Unites States government is very supportive towards these types of organizations. So use the tax benefits available to you.
Let Your Talent Shine
The last category is about giving your talent. I define this as: giving what you are good at back to this planet. So for example if you are a talented writer, I believe you owe it to this world to write.
And this doesn’t have to be writing for a nationally syndicated news company. You certainly can do that. If that is your dream, definitely go for it! However this can take many forms. This can be as simple as writing the pamphlet at your local church or writing a blog; or creating your own community news source if you’re feeling up to the task. We definitely need more voices in the media in my opinion!
Another example is if you possess the talent of building things. You can take your talent all the way from building skyscrapers in the hearts of our biggest cities to building homes for the poor to just helping out a friend build his or her family home. This is the brilliance about giving talent! You can take it wherever and how far or big you want to take it.
We are all born with unique talents, each one of us. And yes, I mean all of us! If you are unsure of your unique talent, you just need to do some soul-searching to find it. Because it’s there. Sometimes our greatest talents come to us as children. But then the whole adulting-real-world-thing kind of takes over and we lose sight of it. So if you don’t know your talent, do some soul-searching and start with what you loved or excelled at in childhood.
The talent game can run the open field of anywhere YOU want to take it. You can spread the giving of your talent on whatever scale feels right to you. This can be shared in your own community, your own household or even worldwide. It’s whatever is right for you.
Don’t Let Fear Stop You
Whatever you do, do not let fear stop you from letting your talent shine! It can be a very scary thing to put yourself out there and give your talent to others. Fear can literally paralyze and stop you from dusting off your beautiful talent to give to humanity. Only if you let it though. The great news is it’s 100% your choice. Yeah, you get to choose whether to listen to fear and let it stop you; or kick its booty and move forward on your talented way instead.
Check out You’ve Got The Power, Conquering Fear Of Failure, and Courage for help with conquering the natural human emotion of fear. It’s a bad boy that needs to be taken down in order to let your talent shine bright like the shooting star in the night sky that you are.
Make The World Better
Giving in all three of these forms of time, treasure and talent really does make this world such a better place! Even though you may not always see it, what you do matters. And what you give, you will get back. That’s the natural law of this phenomenal universe we are living in.
So let’s end with a quote from an incredible giver to this world, Oprah Winfrey. Oprah’s message is the following:
“To move forward, you have to give back.”
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