read this recently and felt it worthy enough to pass along.
Enjoy and Happy New Year.
You’ve worked hard, studied long hours, and taken the high road while watching so many others take the easy way out. But trust me, you’ve made the right choice, even though it might seem there is a missing ingredient holding you back from the success you desire – and deserve. Today, you’ll discover exactly how to achieve it, and you just might be surprised when you find out how to get it. It all starts with one simple solution.
“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” – Calvin Coolidge
Do This to Get Everything You Want in Life
By Craig Ballantyne
After listening to the silky smooth Rat Pack Christmas Album over and over for three days, it was finally time for my favorite day of the year. No, not December 25th, but the Night Before Christmas because of the anticipation and magic it brings.
I love that there are so many creatures stirring, hurriedly finishing their shopping in time to place them under the tree with care. I love the thrill of expectation hanging in the air. I love that hope springs eternal in kids from one to ninety-two, tiny tots and old men alike with their eyes all aglow, finding it hard to sleep at night. I suppose if Christmas came more than once per year that feeling would be diminished, but oh how I wish I could bottle it and pour some on the world on a hot muggy August day when sitting in a traffic jam.
This past Christmas Eve did not disappoint me. Our family sat down to a wonderful dinner with all the fixings. We then settled in for Christmas snacking, holiday movies, and to finish wrapping gifts or making phone calls to friends and family far away.
Having grown older, Christmas morning is now anti-climatic. Gone are the days of waking up before dawn to sneak down to the Christmas tree and wait…and wait…and wait until Mom and Dad got up. Nowadays we don’t check the tree until mid- or late-morning, almost as an afterthought of, “Oh yeah, we better exchange gifts before we start eating again”.
But there was something special about this Christmas. After reflecting upon the big day, I think I’ve finally figured out why.
It all starts with 2013 being my Big Year of Giving.
This was the year that I worked harder than ever in my businesses to create memorable, shareable products and free content. I spent more hours in front of the camera filming and brought more energy to every video. I studied speaker after speaker, from business professionals to stand-up comedians, to see how they entertained and informed their audiences. As a result, our products sold better, and we reached many more readers. Giving more brought us more.
Likewise, I held nothing back and revealed even more deeply personal lessons from my life in our daily essays at EarlyToRise.com. I spent more time improving my coaching program, and I went all out in creating our greatest event ever at last June’s Turbulence Training Summit. I even flew out my family to be in the audience (and just wait till you see what we have planned for next year). By giving more, we received more. My seminars were rated higher, audience engagement went up, and we expect to double the number of attendees again this year.
The spirit of giving continued this Christmas.
I spent more time than ever shopping for my friends and family this year. I sent out over 65 handwritten Christmas cards, this in addition to the over one hundred hand-written thank you cards I had sent to friends, family, and work colleagues since beginning my daily Thank You Therapy habit in early summer (read about that habit here). In 2013 I simply gave more than ever and a big smile crosses my face with each card dropped in the mailbox.
It is because of this giving that I received so much in 2013, from the volume of life-changing entries in our Transformation Contests to the number of presents under the tree this year with my name on it, and even to the amount of money we raised for our Early To Rise Toys for Tots drive this December. I apologize if this sounds selfish, but I received so much this year because when you give, give, and give, the Universe can’t help but respond by giving back to you in return.
“Oh here we go,” you might be thinking. “Craig is going all ‘woo-woo’ on us. Just stick to the business advice, buddy,” you say.
It might sound hokey, but I urge you to try it. Make 2014 your Year of Giving.
The most successful people I know are the most generous. From my business partners, Matt Smith and Bedros Keuilian, to my friends Joel Marion and Porter Stansberry, they are true givers. They give more than they get, with no expectation of getting anything in return. It’s no surprise to me that these four gentlemen all run the fastest-growing and most profitable businesses that I know.
Giving is the focus of TED speaker and NY Times best-seller author of Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, Adam Grant. The youngest-ever tenured professor at the Wharton School of Business, Grant writes, “If you decide to shift in the giver direction, my favorite strategy is what one of America’s top networkers calls the five-minute favor. The key is to look for ways to help others…It might be making an introduction between two people who could benefit from knowing each other, sharing an interesting article, or offering to provide advice or feedback. If you choose a form of helping that you find enjoyable and meaningful, it might even boost your mood and energy.”
Every one of us has something more that we can give. It might be money or time. Or it might be that you might have more love, more energy, more wisdom, or more experience that you can share with the world. You might be the person who simply knows the right thing to say at the right time. Maybe you’re the person that can shoulder the load when everyone else is collapsing around you.
Whatever it is that you are blessed with, give it away this year. Give until you think that you can’t give any more. It will all come back to you, and more, many fold.
“If you want to be given everything, give everything up,” instructs the Ancient wisdom of the Tao Te Ching.
But do not give with a greedy mindset. Do not give thinking only about what is in it for you. Don’t just give to get or take. Don’t do it for the material rewards. Don’t do it for how great you will feel during and after. Give because it is good. Give because you can.
Trying to ‘out-give the Universe’ in 2013 allowed me to have my greatest year ever in both my personal and professional life. I dropped my guard a little, gave more of myself, and it’s resulted in deeper friendships, better – and exponentially less stressful – family relationships. Just imagine what this approach can do for you.
2014 will be your best year ever if you make it a Year of Giving. You can be a coach or a mentor, you can become a better influencer and speaker, you can help more people make big changes in their lives, and it all starts with giving more of yourself.
If we were all a little more generous in 2014, the world will, of course, be a better place. And if you make it your goal to be a lot more generous, I can assure you that your world will change for the better, and that this year you will receive more than ever. That’s the way it works, my friend, so give your gifts today.
Craig Ballantyne is the editor of Early to Rise and the author of Financial Independence Monthly, a complete blueprint to helping you take control of your financial future with research of proven methods in your career, in your business and in your personal life. He has created a unique system to show gratitude and appreciation to stay on