Have you ever wondered why some people earn just enough to make a small profit, while others are raking in the big bucks?

Adam Grant, one the youngest tenured professors at Wharton, say that aside from the givers and the takers, there is a third category: the matchers. They are the ones who balance what they give with what they receive. He also found out that while the takers and the matchers are at the middle ground, the givers are the most successful.

How does this happen? Why are some generous people successful, while others are not? The difference between the two lies in their main reason for giving. Are they giving in the hopes of receiving something in return, or perhaps getting an IOU from the recipient? Or are they giving out of a pure desire to help?

I know it’s not easy to maintain a spirit of generosity, especially if you have limited resources. Don’t fret, being generous doesn’t need to be expensive, time consuming and physically draining.

Sometimes, you just need a little creativity…

 1.     Find a way to get feedback from what you do.

Seeing the good things and the impact from what you do is a great way to fuel the drive and motivation to keep going. Those who do not see the impact of their efforts tend to get burned out, bored or tired from what they do. However, those who hear feedback and see the impact of their work are more energetic and more enthusiastic in what they do.

 2.     Group your giving efforts.

Consider volunteering or donating on a single day or occasion, as opposed to breaking them down in small increments. Grant cites a study where people did 5 random acts of kindness each week for 6 weeks. Those who grouped their giving into a single day felt happier and gratified at the end of the week, as compared to those who sprinkled their efforts all throughout the week.

 3.     Give at least 100 hours of volunteer work.

Some studies show that 2 hours of volunteer work per week makes people happier. Those who volunteered for at least 100 hours per year are happier and more contented than those who do volunteer work for shorter periods of time or none at all.

 4.     Volunteer for your advocacy.

Don’t just volunteer – support an advocacy that you believe in. Giving to something that is meaningful to you gives a boost of happiness, contentment and fulfilment.

 5.     Ask help from friends and co-workers.

Volunteering or donating doesn’t have to be a one-man act. Don’t be afraid to seek the help and support of friends and co-workers. People who ask for help for volunteer activities earn the respect and support of those around them.

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Paul Bailey

Paul is a highly experienced Business Coach, Mentor and Personal Development Specialist. He works with people to enhance business and personal performance through a process of supported self-awareness and self- development. Paul is the Co-Author of the book 80 Tips.