Each one of us has the opportunity to make a positive impact on someone else’s life. How cool is that thought?
Because deep down inside, the majority of us love to help – we get a kick out of knowing someone else can do a better job, feel better about their possibilities, their abilities, their results, and themselves – even if it just a 5 minute window we both looked through together.
Referred to as ‘prosocial’ behaviour, this could happen in any number of ways – donations, volunteering, buying gifts, writing handwritten thank you cards, or simply spending time with someone else.
The biggest resource we all have is time and in a world that is supposedly getting busier and busier, is giving away our time really the answer to the problem? Or is our decision to hold onto more time for ourselves for fear of wasting that time, the answer to time deprivation?
Here’s the magical, paradoxical thing!
The more time we give to others the more time it makes us feel that we have.
Granted, we only have 24 hours in every day, however research undertaken and published in an article on Psychology Today, reveals that the feeling of not having enough time is actually found to be opposite when we give our time away to help others. It increases our sense of self-efficacy which plays a major role in how we approach anything that is put in front of us.
So to achieve our goals, or overcome any challenges we may have, listen and watch for those that we can help, albeit 5 minutes in the office, a Skype call to someone on the other side of the world, a coffee with someone who connects with you on LinkedIn or sitting with your children after work.
It could also happen when someone reaches out to us and asks us a direct question, puts their hand up and asks for help, puts their hand in their pocket and pays for our services or asks us to meet or speak with them over coffee when we are complete strangers simply because they are trying to find their place in their world.
One of the examples cited in the article was to allocate tasks to participants that would have them either giving their time or wasting their time. The participants who had the task of writing an encouraging note to a very sick child who then received it in the mail were those in the ‘giving time’ group. The other participants who were allocated the task of counting how many letter ‘e’s there were in a document of Latin text were those in the ‘wasting time’ group.
The results showed that those who wrote to the child and then posted the letter felt they had more time up their sleeves than those who counted the ‘e’s in the document whereas the latter felt they had wasted their time and therefore had lost time. The former, though, felt they had more time to give.
The secret is in giving your time.
The secret behind the secret though is not just how you choose to spend your time, or invest your time, it is the language you use and the intention you have around your time.
What is the language you use and where do you rate your intention?
Continue to be Bold and Brilliant,
Bernadette McClelland is a Keynote and Sales Kick-Off Speaker, Executive and Sales Leadership Coach, and published author. CEO of 3 Red Folders, she ensures her clients create double digit revenue growth, marketplace differentiation and the right commercial conversations.