Give back – driven by purpose, not purse

Mitch Anthony

So says Mitch Anthony, pioneer of Financial Life Planning. His article that follows here outlines why he is so certain that making room in our lives – and our finances – for giving back is good for us.

There are only four things you can do with your money:

  1. Owe it (taxes and debt)
  2. Grow it (investing and saving)
  3. Live on it (lifestyle spending)
  4. Give it away (philanthropy)

The choices you make around Owe-Grow-Live-Give (OGLG) have a direct impact on the quality of your own life, and on those around you.

While all four options are critical to living a successful Return on Life®, giving can add the most meaning to your life, whether you are doing well financially or have limited means.

You can’t have a financial plan that works for you without knowing what money means to you, and where and how giving fits into your financial planning.

Take time to focus on what is in your heart—driven by purpose, rather than purse. Understanding the “why” is as critical as the “how much,” and can help you make decisions that will fulfill you from both mind and money perspectives.

The means and methods by which people give are incredibly diverse. Some give money to causes they believe in, which lends an extra layer of meaning to what they do each day to earn that money. Still others lend their expertise and skill to causes and organisations that are making a difference in people’s lives. People are committed to different levels of giving. Some give a day or two a month, and others give a part of or every day. Some simply help by helping a grieving friend or walking a friend’s dog. It really doesn’t matter what the act is—what matters is that you act.

It’s important for people to feel they’ve translated their abilities and assets from self-serving to the realm of benevolence. Whether people have means that enable them to devote themselves full-time to philanthropy, or they wish to do something after retiring, the result is the same: Giving feels good because you get much more in return.

I don’t know about you, but I’m working on the assumption that I don’t get a second shot at this earthly existence. I certainly don’t want to give away my life to frustrating work and empty pursuits—I want to make a difference. My hope is that each of you will do something that will not only help those around you, but you as well.

You can improve your Return On Life® through giving.

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