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  • Writer's pictureAlex Planidin

Giving v/s Grabbing

I don’t know about you but in small talk with acquaintances, I feel a pressure to talk about what I’ve been getting out of life.

That’s the way it occurs to me - it may be different for you.

Such as

“What have you been up to?

What are your “wins”?”

But are we really just here to get something out? As if we’d better gather and hoard money, fame, experiences until our bodies give up on us?

What if we tried flipping our habitual stance and asked:

“How did you contribute?

What did you give of yourself?”

Imagine if, instead of collecting successes in the form of a big sale, a hilarious/humiliating story, juicy gossip, or bragging about just how exhausted we are because “nobody has more demands on their time than me”…

Imagine if you asked instead “What am I giving to this?”

How are you serving? Who did you help today that you didn’t have to?

Who did you give a little extra time to even when you knew people were waiting for you?

What did you do to ensure an incredible experience for someone else even if it meant renegotiating a meeting or deadline? (Like I am by writing this post!)

How did you contribute?

So then our 2-minute chats with acquaintances might be more like:

How are things?

“Oh great, I just helped Joe with his job application.”

“I told the barista what delicious coffee she’d just made.”

“I’m helping my brother learn to trade stocks.”

“My cousin is unwell and has come to stay with me for a few months”

Wow! That’s expansive, that’s heartwarming.

These are not small things. You’re amazing for taking this on. You’re amazing for making that commitment.

Share those things more. You might not be “getting anything out of it” in the superficial sense, but when others hear what you’re doing you’ll really inspire them.

I’m floating on air all morning and am being super productive because I had a 6 am call with Dr Sonia Panchal whose mission is to transform healthcare from the very top. She’s serving patients, wants to do it bigger and better, and is telling everyone.

What an inspiring contribution!

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