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.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Let's Be Friends

"Letting go of control builds friendship." Patrick Fung

When we are generous we loose control of the thing we used to possess. It is now out there . . . available to others and outside of our control. That scares many people but it shouldn't. Why? Because when our things go beyond our control they are able to accomplish so much more.

This is especially true in relationships. As we approach people from a posture of generosity with ideas, time and resources, we look very different to them. Sales people look a certain way because of control. A sales person has control of an asset and is trying to get you to purchase that asset. They want to transfer it to you for a fee.

When we come with a posture of generosity, people's guard drops. They see us as friends. We are people with their best interest in mind. We are not trying to manipulate them, convince them or butter them up for our purposes. We are there to share something we feel will benefit them.

So if you are looking for deep friendships to develop as you engage, start by being generous and letting go of control. See where God takes the relationship from there!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

What Would a Generous Politician Look Like?

We are in the middle of another election cycle in the US. But wherever you are in the world, you can relate the the drama, hype and ideology that is an election in our 21st Century world. As I have watched this election unfold (and others like it), I have begun to ask myself the question, "What would a generous politician look like?"

The reason I ask the question is that political battles are usually anything but generous. It is a game of releasing only what you must when it is to your advantage and holding back anything that would reveal too much about who you are and what you really believe.

So I thought it might be nice to share some things that a politician could do to be a Generous Mind. Here are a few ideas that I would love to see become a reality in our political landscape:
  • What if a politician shared a book they were reading each month with their constituencies? It would not be a promo for a like-minded author as much as a way for voters to get to know them, get educated and think through what the candidate is thinking through.
  • A politician might generously walk the voters through their thinking on an issue and openly share how their ideas had grown deeper, morphed and modified over their career.
  • It would be truly generous if a politician would be willing to listen to voters and then share specific responses to those concerns. Even if they didn't have a full answer, they would be willing to say that they did not and talk about how an answer might be found together.
  • What if politicians generously shared about the struggles and challenges of running for office and helped people think through the more nuanced realities they were facing rather than focus on one-liners and platitudes?
  • What if a politician wrote every speech they gave and invested their own sweat into those communications?
  • How might a voter's trust increase if a politician showed real value and appreciation for those they were running against?

These are just a few thoughts on how a politician might be more of a generous mind. Do you have any to add?

Monday, September 03, 2012

What are we working for?

We listen to a lot of country music. One of the constant themes in this genre of music is the idea of "Working for the Weekend!" It is pervasive in our culture as well. We see work as something that we must do in order to have a certain quality of life.

Work is a "means to an end" for most of us today. This causes us to resent the work and focus only on the benefits we derive from it. We begin to see our work as the time where we are out of control and our own time as the really meaningful time where we are in control of our destiny.

So as the resentment and lack of control build up, we get increasingly negative about work. Sometimes our struggles with work don't come from either of these issues but from sheer exhaustion. We live with so little margin that we struggle against the things that are driving us . . . like our work.

We find that when we allow these forces to drive our work, we loose all our joy and replace it with bitterness, frustration and discontent. But if our work is driven by our desire to share what we know with others there is opportunity for great joy.

How do we do this? Here are just a few things that make a difference in our perspective about work:
1. Finding ways throughout our day to share what we are doing and learning with others so that people benefit in small but meaningful ways.

2. Identifying the "why" behind our work so we can always keep the big picture in focus.

3. Making life part of work rather than separating it in a silo. We talk with our kids about work and build life into our work so that neither one is the master of the other.

4. Striving to see God glorified in all our work so that we are ultimately working for Him rather than for any earthly reason.

We hope these ideas are an encouragement as you ask yourself the question "What am I working for?"