The Unexpected Benefits of Contributing

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If I could share 500 words to inspire, this is the important wisdom I'd want to pass along to others...

  • I’d like to encourage you to notice, acknowledge and celebrate contributions of all kinds. It’s amazing how this practice will enrich your life.

    Contribution is what creates relationships because it establishes a shared experience. Contribution nourishes both the giver and the receiver – a double gift that lasts forever in the heart. It’s the little things you contribute that aggregate into really BIG things. Take a smile, for example. A simple smile can quickly build into an emotion of interest, of curiosity, of excitement – that inspires a reciprocal action! A contribution can be something very simple or something profound – the choice is yours.

    Contribution does three things:

    • Expresses your talents
    • Exposes your beliefs
    • Establishes connection and trust

    Remember the story “Stone Soup,” where, one-by-one, individuals add something to the pot of water to create a magnificent feast? Each member of the community came forward to contribute their own gift, expressing their talent. The type of contribution each person provided further illustrated their beliefs. Ultimately, by combining the gifts together, the entire community was enriched, nourished and empowered. That story illustrates the beauty we create when we encourage each other to contribute our gifts – when we recognize, acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of others.

    I look at the incessant pace of change and realize how urgently we need each other to contribute our respective gifts. Today, it’s extremely important that you succeed in your endeavors, for your success inspires and enables mine! It is so easy to contribute something – much easier than to start something of your own from scratch. Enabling and facilitating the contributions of others makes your task much, much easier and a lot more fun!

    Begin by looking around you to see who you can contribute to in this moment. You must contribute first at least three times before you invite support from someone else. This repetitive giving is important because it provides multiple experiences to showcase how you think (your talents), how you interact with someone (your beliefs), and what they can expect from you (predictable outcome). Contributing three times establishes a base of trust which creates the foundation for a relationship.

    Let me give you an example of contribution in action. I joined a professional organization, Women Influencing Public Policy (WIPP), because I admired how they unite members from all parties to address the most pressing issues facing women-owned businesses and small business owners. No one person in the organization has a definitive solution, but they meet with the desire to find a solution that benefits everyone and to make those priorities known to state and national politicians. I got involved as a volunteer and met with the leadership several times to contribute advice. This led to more conversations and exchanges on other ways to improve the organization. I was honored with the WIPP “Member to Watch” award in recognition of my contributions to the organization.

    So take a second to catch an eye and smile as you walk across the parking lot or down the hallway. You never know where it might lead! You control your contribution – give deeply and broadly – and celebrate the contributions of others – to experience the richest life imaginable.

    Elaine Starling

    Elaine founded Promise Power because she believes that each person is endowed with a passion and a unique reason for being. As we harness that passion, we can achieve great success—however we choose to define it—and use our talent to help others find the light within themselves. Elaine was inspired to create Promise Power in 2006 when she saw the need for unique tools that help people pay attention to their dreams so they will take action that makes them come true. Her determination to inspire millions of women to fulfill their promises drives Elaine to share her experiences and learning. With over 23 years of international advertising experience, Elaine started Starling Media Services, Inc. to support clients who need strategically integrated media and marketing plans. She brings a strong customer focus to her work and delights in engaging stakeholders to create innovative solutions that address specific challenges. Her clients range from high tech to consumer goods, video games, and business-to-business firms. Elaine has served as President and Board Member of Women In Consulting and is actively involved in the American Marketing Association. An engaging public speaker and prolific author, Elaine has written numerous articles and is currently working on her book, Maximize Your Promise Power. To fulfill her own promise, Elaine and her husband moved to the Sierra foothills where she hikes, cares for her vineyard and orchard, and makes wine.

    For more information, please visit why5percentsucceed.com.

    View all posts by Elaine Starling.

    1. Virginia
      Virginia says:

      I like how you focus on giving of your talents, demonstrate your belief system, and build connections. It is so true that giving and contributing are the elements that can help build a better world.

      Reply
      • Elaine Starling
        Elaine Starling says:

        Virginia, you nailed it! What a beautiful world when we focus on what we WANT and show up of contribution. Whatever you focus on is what you get more of. Why not enjoy sharing your gifts without expectation of a return – purely for the joy of being the wonderful person you are! The floodgates open for you when you can enjoy life no matter what your circumstances.

        Reply
    2. Susan Mary Malone
      Susan Mary Malone says:

      Love this, Elaine. We all have such beautiful and unique gifts to give, and as you said, “Contribution nourishes both the giver and the receiver.” And we know giving or doing a kind act raises the serotonin levels in both! Thank you for this.

      Reply

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