3 Ways Giving to Others Will Make Your Life Better

Giving can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. The choice of how you give is yours. I have volunteered more than 10,000 hours and have given away millions of dollars. What I have learned is that if you follow these 3 simple guidelines in your own giving, you will find happiness and joy beyond measure.

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  1. Give without expecting anything in returnMorgridge_CVR_10.10.14

Have you ever given with your money or time, and when you leave you realize that you are the receiver? If you really want to feel fulfilled, try giving to a stranger, expecting nothing in return and see how that makes you feel. A story that I find myself sharing over and over happened to me on a bike ride with my son.

We were out for an easy afternoon ride on the Rio Grand Trail in Aspen. We came upon a traveler who was biking across the country with his dog. I asked him all about his trip and how far he was going. He asked me where to stay, and I immediately said, “You should stay with us!”

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Shocked at myself, I then told him I would have to run it by my husband, but I thought it would be no problem. Aspen can be expensive compared to most cities, and I knew that staying one night with us would really help the traveler keeping his expenses low. My husband said yes and the biker and his dog spent the night with us. He kept to himself and was out early in the morning to continue his journey. To this day, I will always remember meeting a guy and a dog on the bike trail, inviting him to our home and years later I am still smiling that I got to help someone out for one night. A person who I will never know, but who greatly impacted me for the rest of my life.

  1. Give where your passion lies

To obtain fulfillment you have to give with passion. Give to what makes your heart sing. One major passion that I share with my husband and both of our families is the love of nature.

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There hasn’t been a sunrise or a sunset that I didn’t appreciate. There was a memorable lightning storm that came through New Hampshire on a summer night while we were at the ice cream store. There was the hailstorm that came one summer during a mountain bike ride that left us taking cover under a pine tree.

I mention these examples specifically because our giving is directly related to our own passion for living. Each night when we walk the beach in Florida, we take two bags; one bag for our pet Nina, and the other bag for collecting trash. We have this simple rule: enjoy the beach walk on the way out, and pick up trash on way back. We have been doing this routine for three years, and I am sure that we have picked up thousands of pounds of debris. Sometimes we make it into a game; shoes are the prized find, followed by toothbrushes, hair brushes, barrettes and lighters. This may sound corny, but each night after the walk when we dump our full bag of trash we both get a euphoric feeling that we did something good for the environment, something good for the sea life and in the end, something good for our own souls.

[Read: 5 Great Ways Helping Others Will Help You]

  1. Be prepared to find friendships through unexpected circumstances.

I never think that going on a site visit might be an introduction to my next dear friend, but that seems to happen more often than not. Maybe it’s sharing the same ideals, goals and values. When I first heard the presentation from Kellie Lauth about her kids at STEM Launch who were launching companies, I had to go see this school for myself. Spending just 30 minutes with Kellie and listening to how she had imagined and created her school I knew in a blink our foundation had to invest.

But then, a friendship started to happen. We started talking with each other often. She was adamant with her updates, and more importantly, when she had a break through with the students or they won a competition, she immediately notified me. This made us feel like we are part of her team. Kellie turned into my Full Circle friend. Not only could I trust her, I could depend on her to look at other programs for the Foundation. Our communication quickly turned from professional to friendship. Since the first time we met, we have hiked together, snow skied together and camped together. Kellie became more than a professional acquaintance, we have a sister-like love and respect for one another. She is my go-to girl, and she has shared with me that I have become her mentor.

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Always be open to new friends and new relationships. Giving to others has a unique way of touching your heart and your life that you might never have expected.

{Image credit: Pixabay}


About the Author

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Carrie Morgridge is Vice President of the Morgridge Family Foundation. For the past fifteen years, she and her husband, John, have worked tirelessly to leverage their foundation's funds, spark innovation and fuel transformation. Carrie is recognized nationally for her work as a philanthropist, student advocate and the creator of innovative professional development for teachers. She is a recipient of the distinguished Frances Wisebart Jacobs Woman of the Year award from Mile High United Way, and currently serves on the Board of Trustees at the University of Denver, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Colorado Mountain College Board of Overseers and New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning. She has been publicly recognized for her work at National Jewish Health and Denver Academy. She also serves in an advisory capacity and speaks nationally to education advocacy and technology-focused forums. Carrie graduated summa cum laude from International Academy of Design and Technology, giving her an edge on design innovation. She is an aggressive athlete, finishing nine Ironman competitions. She lives in Colorado and Florida with her husband John.

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