'Giving starts the receiving process'.

Author:Hardy, Darren
Position:Publisher's Letter - Column
 
FREE EXCERPT

That is a quote from my mentor Jim Rohn. When I first heard Jim say this, I thought he meant giving created indebtedness on the part of the receiver--that you gave so you could get back. But I had it all wrong. Jim taught me that the real gift--the lasting benefit of giving--is what the act itself does for you. In essence, giving to others is the greatest gift you can give yourself.

Giving feels good, but there's more to it than that. Helping others incites physical and emotional responses within us. When we direct our energy and focus on meeting others' needs, we push aside our brooding and negative emotions, especially those that contribute to stress-induced psychological and physical illnesses. Studies reveal, that when we help others, we release extra amounts of endorphins into our system, and we get what researchers call a "helper's high."

Giving has a direct impact on the body's neurological, hormonal and immune systems--it can even prolong your life. One study found that older individuals who are actively involved in helping others outlive those who aren't. The physical benefits of helping others have been shown to have a greater impact on longevity than exercising four times a week, if you can believe that! The benefits extend beyond the physical, also fostering traits that undergird a successful life. As a result, our careers and relationships often improve when we purposefully seek to make a difference in others' lives. And studies show that people of all ages who actively help others, even in small ways, feel the happiest.

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