Are you a Generous Mind?

Are you a Generous Mind? If you are intrigued by the idea, this is a place to explore what it means to you. Our blog focuses on helping you to learn what it means to be generous with what you know. You will find helpful tips and encouraging examples that will inspire you to release your ideas to the world! Find out more at www.generousmind.com.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

People are the Mission

One of the easiest mistakes we make when we dive into the information age and begin to let the ideas roll over us, is that we can easily forget what the point is. What is the point of an idea? Is it to make money? Is it to bring us fame? Is it to solve social ills?

There are many uses for an idea and so there are many reasons to be generous with them. But no matter how hard I try and how ever many times I get distracted from the true focus, I always come back to one answer - people are the mission.

All ideas are exciting and powerful with tremendous potential, but they are worth little until they touch people. What good are Nathaniel Hawethorn's powerful stories, Edgar Allen Poe's haunting poems, or Peter Drucker's practical essays if they do not help someone.

You might ask, "Help them to what?" Sometimes I get caught in a misconception that "help" has to mean something deep and earth-shattering such as bringing someone out of depression, helping save a marriage, or guiding someone into the right career. But making people the mission doesn't have to be that dramatic.

Sometimes being strategically generous with our ideas can produce encouragement on a hard day, resolve in the face of doubt, a smile or even a laugh . . . those things are what pull someone out of the ordinary and into aliveness.

Yes, aliveness - it may or may not be a real word but it captures the feeling that I am trying to explain. Most people live most days without much life in them. They simply survive the responsibility and the ache of dreams unfulfilled, discipline unattained and peace unfound. Our minds may hold a key thought that can release potential, drive, emotion . . . life.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Nothing More than an Idea

Civilization is the process of reducing the infinite to the finite.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
I spent this week in some 200 year old villages in South East Asia. Grass thatched their roofs, palm fronds made up their fences. But at the same time there was a great sense of appreciation for ideas. In fact, one village had only 2 radios and they were the lifeblood of these people.

You would think that with all of the dynamic interactive media we have, we would be more appreciative of information . . . but instead it makes us more warry and more closed to new ideas. Information overwhelm us and block us from seeing truth. Yes, information is not necessarily truth. Imagine that.

Each day that I create one more piece of content I wonder if I am simply participating in the annilation of the idea in the developed countries of the world. Are ideas rejuvinating us or sweeping over us like a tidal wave?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

What would the world look like?

Imagine a world of generous minds!

If we were all generous with our ideas, how would the world be different? Imagine a world where people are looking for ways to share what they know with others. How would that change the business world? How about the nonprofit world? What about your neighborhood?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Who Are the Generous Minds

It is easy to assume that Generous Minds are authors, teachers and speakers. But actually, these are the professionals - it is a bit like managers of large foundations. The key to true knowledge transfer is having people from all walks of life looking for opportunities to be generous with what they know.

Here is the question - Will you be generous today?

Reading Differently

If we are to be Generous Minds, we have to learn to read differently. Reading used to be a very linear exercise with the goal of interacting with an entire concept. The problems with this are huge in today's culture. Today, there are many more resources than in the past. Many of these resources talk about much of the same thing with a different twist. The other challenge is that we don't have the increased amounts of time to read the growing amount of information. Between the Internet, magazines, books, etc it is overwhelming unless we think about reading differently.
Reading is critical to being a Generous Mind because unless you are honing what you know and learning new things, you will have nothing to share.
Here are a few tips for a different type of reading:

1. Don't look at a book as a linear process of starting at page 1 and finishing at the last page. Look at the table of contents, skim the subheads and pick out the key points. This works better for non-fiction.

2. Don't look at novels, like John Grisham's legal thrillers, the same as nonfiction. Novels are very much like movies in today's culture. They are written to be read quickly and to be experienced vividly. When you are scheduling your time, starting looking at these novels the same as renting a video at Blockbuster.

3. Read more than one book at once. Don't feel like you have to finish one to start another. Books are functional knowledge points. You may need to read a certain chapter of one book before you can move on to do something else. Read proactively so that your reading decisions are based on what you are trying to accomplish. For instance, if you are going to a parenting seminar this weekend, you may want to read something the speaker has written ahead of time.

4. Read many different types of writing on a single issue. For instance, if you are reading about management, you need to read magazines, books, Internet white papers, etc. These each will come at the topic differently and give you a much broader set of knowledge.

Happy Reading!!!!