It’s easy, even popular, to remember to be generous this time of year. That’s great but it’s vital to have a generous spirit and take care of others even when it’s not convenient! There is a definite link between doing good and doing well. If we want to do well ourselves we must not forget to do well by others. How you go about giving (time, money, access) is not important and neither is the amount you give. Certainly, the more you have the more you can do for others but the important thing is to have a mindset of abundance and a generous spirit if you want to maximize the good you do for those around you… the irony being that the better you become at living in abundance and giving the more success you will see in your personal and business lives!

As mentioned often before, I’ve come pretty close to going belly up three times in my orthodontic career. The first time was in 2008 due to larger factors and the other two were more of my own making but regardless of the timing or the cause, it’s never more important to be generous of spirit and maintain an abundance mindset than when times are tough and you find yourself up against it. During the tough times I’ve learned to make extra effort to look for opportunities to do nice and unexpected things for others in real need (as opposed to the “first world problems” we orthodontists often consider real problems). Doing so helps me keep my head up instead of wallowing in misery and defeatism and this, in turn, allows me to find solutions to my own problems much faster. Working hard to find opportunities to give is doubly important in our personal lives when times are tough – whether we are having trouble financially, interpersonally with our family members or both. What we focus on expands. It’s human nature and unavoidable. In the same way that we notice yellow shirts everywhere as soon as we buy one (though we cannot recall seeing one before), if we focus on opportunity to improve our circumstances and the circumstances of others, we will notice them all around us!

So consider this Holiday Season a great opportunity to practice generosity from a place of abundance but work hard to continue in the same mindset all year round. If you do you’ll be amazed by how awesome the world and the people around you become – and not because the world or others have changed!