Lesson 3

The Habit of Giving

People often ask me things like, “John, what is the main habit of multi-million dollar entrepreneurs, life-changers and dream achievers?” There is no question at all in my mind that the number one habit of all of those people is giving.

Before we move on to discuss the ultimate success factor, which is the manifestation and development of your Why in life, I want to discuss this one habit that will have a great impact on your level of success. It’s the habit of giving.

As you begin developing your Why and reading other Champion Why Cards in this book, you will see that many people like you want to help others by giving away a percentage of their success. When I read some of my student’s Why Cards, I see things like “I want to donate $10,000.00 dollars to my favorite charity” or “I want to tithe $50,000.00 to my church.”

I believe that we are all born with the desire to bless others. We all want to give back. We have an inbred need to make other people’s lives better. I believe that we are created in God’s image, and he is very generous.

Therefore, it’s only reasonable to believe that we as human beings are generous. It’s only the negative scripts in our society like “always look out for number one” that turn us from generous to selfish. I’ve learned that the best exercise in the world is to reach down and lift someone up. The sad thing is that we lose sight of helping others when we are so focused on ourselves.
You really do want to give financial blessings to others; you want to give your time; you want to invest your energy in noble causes. Based on your need as a human being to give to others, you must make the decision to include the habit of giving time, money and energy in your Why.

The Mystery of Sowing and Reaping

I know that you may not be accustomed to giving freely especially when you have never had that much to give. It’s uncomfortable at first, but the giving habit makes you a stronger person. I truly believe that you will sow what you reap. Most people are familiar with that principle or at least that phrase, but think about what it means.

If you sow wheat in a field, the crop that pushes through the soil to be harvested is wheat. It is not and will never be corn. If you plant an apple seed, the green shoot that springs from the ground will not become a pecan tree.

We cannot sow a selfish attitude and expect to reap abundance and generosity. It just doesn’t work like that. If we make giving a habit, then life has a way of giving back to us. All successful people even non-religious ones know and practice that exact concept. Let me say it again. If we make giving a habit, then life has a way of giving back to us. That knowledge is one of the greatest commonalities of successful people.

Trust me. If you make the habit of giving a main priority in your life, then you will be blessed beyond all of your goals and dreams that you’ve ever imagined of achieving. Now, let’s get you started on your habit of giving by saying the following out loud: “I am a daily giver. I will commit to giving daily to others.”

How to Get Started in the Habit of Giving

Obviously, you don’t start out by distributing one hundred dollar bills as you walk down the street. You can give in many ways. Here are a few ways you can start to cultivate this new habit:

Donate your time to your favorite organization or a friend in need.
Offer your wisdom to a person that may be starting a new life for himself/herself.

Smile and say hello to someone that looks like they really need something positive to happen to them.

Take some of your old clothes that you never wear to the Salvation Army.
Cook a hot meal for an elderly shut-in.

Repair an automobile for someone that can’t afford the repairs.

I would say that the first rule of giving is very simple - give what you have. If you don’t have wealth, you may not be able to give money, but you can still be a giver. You can still cultivate the habit of giving.

First, give whatever you have been blessed with or whatever talent you have. You have to sow these seeds today in order to design your future. You design and predict your future by planting seeds in the lives of others. If you plant seeds of hope in others, then you will reap a bountiful harvest (a successful future).

Of course, there’s a flip side to that. If you are selfish and only think of getting what you want out of life, then you will reap what you sow – selfishness. Your failure to plant seeds in the lives of others will result in nothing but dried up soil not to mention a very lonely and unfulfilled life.
There’s nothing better than the feeling you have after you have blessed the life of another person. For instance, my wife and I decided five years ago not to give Christmas gifts to each other and even asked our family/friends not to give us Christmas gifts. Instead, we take the money that everyone would have spent on those gifts and provide a great Christmas for families in need. Christmas is our favorite time of the year not because of what we receive, but because of what we give away and the joy that our giving brings to others.

Anyone Can Give

Some of you will say, “You know what John? I just can’t give right now because I have nothing to give.” You’re wrong. A smile is a gift. A handshake or an embrace is a gift. Being there with a shoulder to cry on is a gift. Being accountable to your business partner is a gift. Being a daily giver and planting seeds in the lives of others will change the face of your future.
Always remember, seasons come and seasons go, but seed time and harvest will not cease no matter what we do. Think of it this way. If you plant a seed in the summer, then you will reap its fruits in the fall. If you fail to plant a seed in the summer, then in the fall you will have no harvest. The great Jim Rohn says, “Everyone must be good at sowing in the spring or will be begging in the fall.”

The habit of giving is like insurance for the achievement of your ultimate Why in life. For example, if you have a car accident then your insurance guarantees that your damages will be covered based on the amount that you provided in your policy. It’s the same with giving. Your habit of giving determines your level of success in your future; it is based on what you have given away.

Many people think that they will wait until they are a multi-millionaire to give. That is not the way to start. The sad reality is that if you can’t bring yourself to give now, then you sure won’t make yourself give when you are financially secure and wealthy. Remember, giving is an attitude; it is not based on the amount of money in your bank account. It’s a heart issue. That’s why I say that anyone can give.

You Can Only Keep What You Give Away

I heard an incredible true story that I want to pass on to you. A young couple had not been married very long when the husband began to feel a strong sense that they should give away their household possessions. Furniture. Appliances. Even wedding gifts. Everything! After a few days, he reluctantly shared his feelings with his young wife only to discover that she had a very strong sense of the same thing. She had been struggling with how to tell him.
Confident that God was directing them, they began the process of giving everything away. Within a few days, everything was gone. The husband recalls, “Even the original painting that my grandmother had painted, a family heirloom, was given away.” Although somewhat perplexed as they slept on the floor amidst nothing, they felt peace and assurance that they had done the right thing.

A few weeks later as they were driving home, they saw smoke rising from the landscape. As they drove closer to their neighborhood, they realized the smoke was billowing up from their property. Their house was consumed by flames and burned to the ground.

A few nights later after they had settled into temporary housing, car lights appeared in their driveway. A friend walked to the front door carrying the gift that this young couple had presented to him a few weeks earlier. During the next few days, a steady stream of cars came to their home returning nearly every item they had given away.

Years later, the husband said a very profound thing, “We learned at any early age that you can only keep what you give away. Today, we once again treasure my grandmother’s painting. It only hangs in our home because we once gave it away.”

That is so true. If we hoard our treasures, then they shrivel and disappear. If we give them away, then they return to us. Learn to create the daily habit of giving, and at the conclusion of your day ask yourself, “What did I do today? What seed did I plant today in order to predict my future?” Remember, whatsoever you sow you shall reap.

I want to ask you a bold and provocative question: “If you sow nothing, then how can you have the audacity to expect something in return?” That would be like not planting any seeds in your field, but expecting a corn harvest. First comes the seed you plant and then comes your harvest. Never forget that.
Plant something every day! Do not end your day without giving something away whether it’s a smile, a big tip to a waitress, a dollar to a homeless man, a huge tithe to your church, etc. Give someone the opportunity to have their life changed by you being a better person.

Understand this: you are a uniquely privileged individual, because you are holding this book in your hand. Millions have lived and died without ever finding the secrets to success. That means you are 99.9% ahead of everyone who has ever lived. Be grateful for all that has flowed to you and from that gratitude bless others. Allow them to reap some of your blessings by developing the habit of giving.

If you read about the truly wealthy entrepreneurs like John D. Rockefeller and Mary Kay Ash, you will see that in the end those Champions were giving away more than they earned, which means they started the process of giving early in their careers. When the famous Pastor W. A. Criswell of First Baptist Church of Dallas retired, he gave the church a check that was more than all the salary checks he had ever received. I challenge you to model your life after those great people by developing the habit of giving today.

Write down how you will begin the habit of giving. What will you give away on a daily basis? How will you impact the lives of others?

Author's Bio: 

In September 2001, John Di Lemme founded Di Lemme Development Group, Inc., a company known worldwide for its role in expanding the personal development industry. As President and CEO, John strives for excellence in every area of his business and believes that you must surround yourself with a like-minded team in order to stay on top of your game.

In addition to building a successful company, John has changed lives around the globe as an international motivational speaker that has spoken in over five hundred venues. Over the past thirteen years, he has shared the stage with the best of the best including Rich Devos, Denis Waitley, Jim Rohn, and Les Brown only to name a few. This is truly an amazing feat for someone that was clinically diagnosed as a stutterer at a very young age and told that he would never speak fluently.

John truly believes that everyone needs personal development to reach their full potential in life, and his determination to reach all forms of media with his motivational messages has catapulted his career. John has produced over four hundred fifty products and is an accomplished author of thirteen books including his best-selling book, “47 Secrets of Extreme Customer Service.” As a Strategic Business Coach and Small Business Expert, John’s students include doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, consultants, CEOs of million dollar companies, and various other occupations that are thriving in a so-called poor economy. John’s success with his students has made him one of the most highly sought after business coaches in the world.

John’s passion is to teach others how to live a champion life despite the label that society has placed on them. Through his books, audio/video materials, sold-out live seminars, numerous television interviews, intensive training boot camps, weekly tele-classes, Strategic Business Coaching, Closing & Marketing University, Millionaire Affirmation Academy, Small Business Motivational Marketing Daily Tip, and Lifestyle Freedom Club memberships, John has made success a reality for thousands worldwide.