Why do we bother getting out of bed in the morning? If it is just another day of getting the job done and nothing more, what fun is that? If you are way behind on the bills—and unlikely to get ahead today—then what exactly is the point? If the day is going to be the same-old-same-old—the same endless problems with no solutions—then why bother at all?
Personally, I have found an answer to the big question of “why bother?” The answer is because I can always give. I can give with a kind word or a smile for someone who seems to need one. I can give by coaching a new business owner or a staff member. I can give by helping a friend with a project or volunteering at an event. I can give of my time, my money, my know-how. I can give by doing some grueling research and then telling one of my awesome signature groaner dad jokes to end a meeting. I can give by leading well so everyone knows what their role is. I can give by following well, giving the leader confidence to lead even better. I can give by picking up the garbage I see on my way to work. I can give by hugging my son and telling him I love him.
My “religion” is a belief that the world will descend into chaos without the overt good actions of people to make it better every day. One of the best ways I have found to practice my religion is to give and then give some more. It makes me feel that I am moving forward, even when I am losing money or feeling pain. In other words, I can usually find a good reason to get out of bed each morning. Even though I know there will be some tough spots to push through, there is almost always some giving to be done. This inspires me.
My personal first core value is around giving. This is how I have written it out for myself:
I Give: The more I have, the more I share. I give of my time and money for the purpose of making my life worthwhile by making a difference for others.
For short, I even say to myself sometimes: “Remember, Darryl, giant great giving.”
This is the first of my five personal core values. For me, discovering and recording my personal core values reminds me of what matters most to me. When getting a bad feeling in my gut about something, I can consult my core values and usually realize that I am not acting in accordance with what I know to be true about me. Having my core values accessible gives me a quick and easy way to test possible courses of action while also pushing me forward in more appropriate ways for me. There is always a reason to keep going—to do more giant great giving.
I am sharing this very personal value not to brag or to try to impress. I share it because I don’t think we talk enough about stuff like this. I wish we lived in a world where we were all clear on our core values and lived them. I am sharing something that is so helpful for me that sometimes I am left wondering if I am being selfish by giving. Selfish or not, if feels like the right way to be for me.