4 Ways to Live Generously
For the past seven weeks I have been using a journal as a place to write down one thing that I do every day to intentionally live generously. Big or small.
It is actually so much fun. One thing that I realised was how easily I can get caught up in life and my business, schedule and, well myself, that I could be on autopilot to the people around me and in my life. Writing this journal allowed me to truly open my eyes to the world around me. It was an amazing experience that provided endless opportunities to look outside myself and give.
There are so many different ways to be generous. There is no end to the creative things you can do that makes such a difference to one person.
Here are four examples of things I did, that perhaps you too can do this week.
Give a thank you note
I used to have a pastor who was this gorgeous South African man. He came from a very wealthy background in South Africa, and he and his wife owned a successful clothing company prior to moving to Australia. When he moved to Australia he started a church with his wife that required a huge financial sacrifice as a family. Despite this, he modelled this incredible spirit of gratitude.
He would say, ‘practice gratitude and you will never go wanting a day in your life.’
He modelled this with his life. If you went to a restaurant, he would be so grateful for every little thing. And what’s more, he would actually thank people out loud. He would thank the waiter for filling his glass so sincerely that she would think he was joking. He would praise the wait team, the manager, thank the bar man, everyone that he came in contact with he would lift up and exhort. He would comment on everything from the beautiful fresh herbs in his dish, to the plate his dessert was served on. At the end of his meal he would ask to go to the kitchen and heap praise on the chef. By the time he left, the restaurant and anyone in earshot of his table was in a good mood. He was so convicting. That is how he lived his life. It was inspirational to be around.
Taking a leaf out of his book, I decided to start writing thank you letters. I wanted to say thank you to those who were doing their job really well. The ones at cafes, restaurants or retail that nobody notices. One girl I picked was a gorgeous Asian waiter. Every time I looked at her she was running around tirelessly. She was wiping tables, cleaning, all the mundane tasks. However she did it with excellence and vigour, as though it was the most important job in the world. I had come prepared with a card and wrote her a note. I thanked her for working with excellence and pride. I found out her name and wrote it on a card and left it for her with one of her work colleagues.
Imagine if we all started to look around and say thank you. To not take for granted people ‘just doing their job.’ Imagine if you were working and got encouragement for the work you were doing. Wouldn’t it just make your day? It is so easy to do. To say a sincere thank you, or write a quick note. And it is a lot of fun.
Make somebody’s favourite cake
Do you like Baking? One of the things that I love to do is find out someone’s favourite cake and make it for them. I was grabbing a coffee and ran into a friend of mine. I took note that she had just devoured a big slice of banana cake. Next time I saw her I had a big banana cake. (Minus a chunk which disappeared into Greenies stomach). I was amazed at how touched she was.
My friend Mary Anne once made me this cake years ago. It was my favourite cake (hummingbird) filled with pineapple, banana, pecans and had a cream cheese icing. She packaged it beautifully and it tasted like summer and spring at the same time. I have never forgotten it. Every time I see hummingbird cake I think of my beloved friend and how she made it for me.
Buy a coffee for a stranger
This is easy to do if it is table service. I love to pick a couple or a person and pay for their table. It is even more fun to do with a friend or partner. Greenie and I love to do this. We look around. Pick a couple together and then pay for them on the way out. Usually we leave without saying anything to them. Although sometimes we leave a note at the cashier telling them we thought they were fabulous or leave a prophetic note. Once or twice we have gone up to them and told them that we paid and we hope they have an incredible day. It is very fun. If you don’t want to pay for an entire meal, just pick someone having coffee. Warning it does get addictive.
I promise you will have more fun than the person you paid for.
Make you husband his favourite meal
Nothing makes my husband happier than coming home to a meal of chicken curry or roast chicken. He feels so loved. Especially as he knows I really really really hate touching raw chicken. Oh my goodness I hate it so much. The reaction I get when he eats it however makes it all worthwhile. I love to use a whole chicken or chicken drumsticks for more flavour, add all the spices and coconut milk, let all the flavours infuse and the chicken get so tender it falls off the bone. He loves it. What is your partners favourite meal?
These are just some ideas. I am sure you have more. I would love to hear what they are.
What if we all make a choice to do one thing, each week or even each day, where we go out of our way to do something for someone else that would make their day?
Until next time
You are richly loved and deeply cherished,
Reign In Life