The A's of Infinite Action

Accept Giving Gives

By Andrea Goeglein

When you give, you receive.  That is a teaching within many spiritual traditions, and a grounded learning within Positive Psychology.  When studying individuals and how satisfied they are with their lives, it has been found that those who give to organizations or others in need, report greater overall satisfaction with their lives.  You give of your time, your talents and/or your money, and you will experience greater meaning and push yourself to achieve greater goals.  Your purpose is bigger than you and you thrive!

I had the unexpected pleasure of experiencing this learning first hand recently.  I decided to take a class, Developing a Healing Consciousness.   I thought I was taking the class because my friend was teaching it and I wanted to help boost attendance.  I knew the subject, did not feel a great need to take another class, but very much wanted to support my friend’s success.

Then it happened.  I leaned something that positively shifted my thinking and will impact my life and my work going forward.  Clearly, that is a pretty big gift just for supposedly doing something to help a friend.  The learning came around the psychological concept of ‘accepting’.  I had learned about ‘accepting’ from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and her Stages of Grief model.  The stages for dealing with a major life change are roughly:  denial, bargaining, anger, and acceptance.

I will admit that I have been substituting acceptance with resignation – you know that point in time when you realize you cannot change the outcome of an unpleasant situation — so you (and I might as well get over it and move on.  Admittedly, that understanding of acceptance worked for me for over 40 years. I was born with and lived in an environment where “just get over it” was an assumed mode of handling life. What I learned, however, was that one of the actual definitions of accepting is to be ready to receive’. 

I was blown away.  I just never read that definition before and seeing it for the first time changed everything.  From a somewhat defeatist stance of ‘resignation’ I finally got accepting as a psychological opening allowing me to receive life in a new and different way.  What I know to also be true is where you put your attention, is where you get your result.  Is it better for me (and you) to think of accepting as resignation or of a willingness to receive?

Even without science backing the feeling, I am willing to receive that a gift I thought I was giving to another has returned to me a hundred-fold.  Scientific support is just a bonus.

Dr. Success Challenge:  What situation in your life do you need to be ready to receive more good?  Where did you give of yourself only to have received so much more in return?

Happy giving.  Just for fun, here is a funny take on the grief model thanks to

Note:  Research on money and meaningful life:  Dunn, EW, et al. (2008). Spending money on others promotes happiness. Science, 319(5870) 1687-1688.



Feel the spirit of the season
About the author

Andrea Goeglein is part organizational psychologist, part entrepreneur, and all about success—your success. She understands both the pressures you face and the dreams that inspire you. Andrea merges her experience as a business owner with her training in Positive Psychology to provide effective, efficient and challenging personal development products and services. She combines an emphasis on objective assessment with an approach that is always powered by your spirit and guided by your goals. Her professional development offerings are based in theory and backed by direct business knowledge.

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2 Responses
    1. Feel the spirit of the season

      Alice, I came across two quotes today in #TonyRobbins book, Money: Master the Game that made me think of you and your comment: 1) “I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” Maya Angelou and 2) “At the age of 18, I made up my mind to never have another bad day in my life. I dove into an endless sea of gratitude from which I’ve never emerged.” Dr. Patch Adams Thank you my friend!

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