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.