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.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sharing Someone Else's Life Work

Most of the time when we think about being generous, we think about it in the context of what we know. But I want to challenge you to think about how you can be generous with things you appreciate in others. So many times we are impacted by the ideas of others. As those ideas provide insight and wisdom for our lives, we grow and develop our own ideas.

So it is fitting that when key thought leaders come along that we should be generous with what they have invested in us. A friend of mine, Dion Forster, shared a blog post of someone he knows that does this so well. JD Meier developed a comprehensive list of key ideas, quotes, and resources from the author and innovator Seth Godin. When I saw it, I was truly amazed. JD took the time to bring together Seth's content in a way that someone who has never experienced Seth's work can understand his core ideas and take away many valuable lessons. One of the things about it that really amazed me was the investment that JD must have made. This was not a passing tweet of information . . . this was a significant synthesis of Seth Godin's thoughts and work for the benefit of others.

Who do you know that is a key thought leader? Have you ever thought of pulling their key ideas together and sharing them with others?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Generosity 101 - A Guest Post

I would like to introduce you to a blogger with a heart for generosity. You can follow blog posts like the ones below at: http://www.generosity-alive.org/

Generosity 101 by David Short

Immediately the word generosity comes to mind, a financial image is often the first one that appears. What about all the other 101 aspects of generosity that could equally be a great blessing to the many worthy projects around the world Initiatives desiring to see further development but lacking the resources to see this happen. The resources at our disposal, although varying from person to person, are considerable and wide-ranged. Let’s think about some of them for a while.

One major resource is time. Thus willingly giving to time to assist others is a wonderful way of being generous. Taking time to show friendship, encouragement or assistance with a particular project or activity. It is a most valuable resource and is readily available to be used wisely with good planning and discipline.

Our life’s experience is another reservoir from which we can draw to contribute to various events or projects that our friends are developing. Each of us has learned so much through meeting with others and while being part of various organisations as we grow up such as scouts/guides, youth clubs, sailing clubs, sports clubs, air/sea/army cadets etc. Many will have learned first aid as well as other skills. These skills are often hidden away and not fully used. They can be diverse and in some cases need to be kept updated such flying, technical or medical skills. Noticing opportunities to share these skills with others in their projects can be such a valued contribution. Prayerfully keep your eyes open to such ventures where you can be generous with your skills. Some organisations that might be able to assist you are: The Finishers, http://finishers.org/ Second Wind http://www.secondwind.net.au/index.html and Volunteering International. http://www.worldwidevolunteering.org.uk/

Advice is another vast resource that is often untapped or unrecognised as a channel for generosity. It is amazing how much can achieved by receiving the right advice. Such generous action can save thousands of pounds or dollars. Never underestimate the input and value of wise advisors. There’s much good teaching about this in the Creator’s Manual.

Networking
Being able to link people and resources together for greater effectiveness and blessing is another aspect of generous giving. Being alert to and aware of resources in a wide spectrum of activities can be a tremendous resource. I’m continually amazed at the way people can linked and blessed. We live in an unprecedented time of creative projects, an abundance of resources and incredible technical communication channels. The missing link is often those with the resources are not aware of those needing them. The whole vision of Global Hand is based on such situations. http://www.globalhand.org

Sharing
“A problem shared is a problem halved” is a common saying. Thus sharing with others is great way of being generous and contributing to their lives in a meaningful way. The secret is to keep ones eyes and ears open to capture opportunities to share in this way. You’ll find 101 ways of doing this I am sure. The sky is the limit as it were. Sharing a story, sharing a meal, sharing a gift, sharing a thought, sharing an idea, sharing a skill by teaching others, sharing a resource, sharing an experience. The list is a long one for sure…..

Translating
In our multi-cultural world translation and translators are welcome skills that can be used generously and in a variety of situations. This can be in the linguistic or in the cultural field. Many people are taking more interest in languages other than their own. This may be a hobby or may be part of their business development brief. It can lead to a career as an interpreter or translation specialist.

Helping visitors to feel at home or guide them in a purchase or direction can be a wonderful form of generosity. It may be helping a new neighbour from overseas understand your own culture as they seek to settle in to a new way of life. There are many things that need “translating” in what they observe. It can be so different to their lifestyle in their former home country.

Illustrating
If you have a flair for sketching or drawing then you will discover many opportunities to be generous with your gift and share it with others by offering to illustrate their book or poster or programme or website. There are so many avenues and outlets for such a skill. A very good example of being generous with such a skill is a family business in the UK that has been creatively developed around an e-card concept. http://www.jacquielawson.com/default.asp Take a look and see what you think…..

Web Design
A key feature of the contemporary world is the Internet and along with this amazing networking phenomenon is all the creativity and skilful designing that is required to produce quality websites. Thus here is another area in which one could be generous. Giving skilled input into producing impacting websites for charities and emerging businesses in the countries where development is seeking to make significant progress.

Craft ideas
Another creative area is that of craft-work and design. Cultures around the world abound in craft skills, often quite striking and extremely unique. However, there is often need for those with craft-skills to enable modifications and even new designs to be introduced so that the products can have effective export potential and be desirable to the world market. Thus being generous with such craft experience could really enrich others lives. Sometimes it is as simple as making woollen hats or clothes for youngsters. One person is giving generously in this area and has setup an attractive knitted doll business involving some 25 women from a rural area of a country in economic difficulty. http://www.gogo-olive.com/

Fund Generation
There is an ongoing need for creative thought in the area of fund generation. The concept can be simple or more complex but the generous investment of time coupled with willingness to share ideas can make all the difference to those desperately searching for financial resources to fund vital projects.

Mentoring
What a wealth of experience and skill is available and how special when it is shared with others generously to enhance their lives, communities and businesses. There are excellent organisations specifically set up to facilitate the giving of such investment with a generous heart. The long term benefits are amazing and will bring joy to all those involved. http://www.mowgli.org.uk/

Thursday, April 08, 2010

A Generous Mind that indexes things?

One of the great things about being a Generous Mind is that the content can be anything that you want to share. It isn't only sports, or only spiritual things that are worth sharing. Whatever you can create / think about / define is worth sharing with others.

I found an excellent example of this that Seth Godin brought to my attention. He has a new book out called Linchpin (definitely worth a read). In it he really advocates being generous with ideas in the new economy. But in that book there was no index.

So, one of his fans who is into research and loves indexes created one for the book and gave it away. You can see it here. What an amazing example of a generous mind! Here is a famous author who's book doesn't have an index and an indexer who just can't help himself.
This is what he says about his generous efforts: "In the terms Seth uses in Linchpin, this is a gift. Partly because I took a skill I had and put the results out there to help people, not to get something. Partly because I see this as a way to express myself. I'm not trying to get work as an indexer. I am trying to highlight the value indexers create."
Two things to highlight here:
1. He is looking at the ideas/knowledge he has as a gift. How often do we fail to do that and how often does that lead us to be stingy with our ideas?
2. He is creating value for what he loves as he shares. So many times we have a "limited good" mentality that convinces us not to share what we have in order to keep our value. But in this new economy, being Generous Minds gives us value!
What do you know that could be a gift to those around you and in turn add value to your ministry and outreach?