At the beginning of 2014, I wrote a blog post explaining that I was going to spend the year giving a gift a day to friends, family and complete strangers.
This project started off as a 29 day project on January 4th, 2014, and then I just kept going until end of May and started again in mid- September.
As the year comes to an end, I thought it’d be awesome to share benefits and insights from this project.
1. I became debt free for the first time in my adult life
Yep! That happened in 2014.
The more I gave, the more speaking and business opportunities came my way, which increased my extra streams of income.
I used this money to settle any remaining debts I had.
I’m proud to announce that the only loan I have left is my mortgage, which is a loan I plan to settle in the next 3 years.
2. I received insane discounts from everyone and everywhere
I bought an apartment I’d been visualizing for months at 80% of its market price.
I even received a crazy discount on my student loans when I paid off everything in one lump sum!
These are two examples of the awesome discounts, but trust me when I say people constantly offered me products and services at discounts without me even asking.
Even my barber, who charges a pittance, makes me pay half price. I asked him why and he shrugged.
I don’t think I’ve paid full price for anything this year and I think it’s because of the gifting project.
3. Gratitude on steroids
I’m not sure how this happened but gratitude has become my predominant emotion.
4. Released envy on a deep level
The more I gave, the more I started to see just how much I have in my life and the more I appreciated the way my journey is unfolding and stopped comparing myself to others.
5. Attracted the things I want with ease
I first learned about the law of giving and receiving when a friend sent me an article by Deepak Chropra after reading my blog post in January.
In short – the law of giving says, if you want to attract something into your life, start giving that thing away.
So if you want more money, start giving money to others, if you want love, start giving love.
The catch is to give from the heart with no expectations.
Of course this is counter intuitive but I can’t convince you of the truth of this until you actually try it for yourself.
6. I connected with my own fears and prejudice
I often joke with my friends that I may be the only person that actively goes looking for beggars to give money or food to, so I can reach my goal of a gift a day.
This a major shift for me because I used to be those people who avoids beggars and gets frustrated and annoyed by people who ask for this.
But for the first time, I started conversing with beggars and random people on the streets because it felt awkward to just give and walk away.
During these conversations, I started to realize how much fear and prejudice I had of other people and have had to work on these unconscious judgements.
7. I challenged deep limiting beliefs
There were days when I believed I didn't have enough to give and I’d feel upset and angry that I’d committed to this project.
I’d think – “who the heck has the resources to give a gift a day?”
On those days, I learned to sit with my thoughts and question my beliefs that I had nothing to give.
What I found was that I always had something to give - advice, time, love, compassion etc.
8. I started to value intangible things
I started off the project to get more material benefits (of course).
By September I found myself asking questions like – what good is material success if I don’t live my purpose, have time to enjoy my life and celebrate with family and friends?
The more I asked these questions, the more I started seeing the value of intangible things - emotional well being, relationships, health...
9. Giving can bring joy
I know I wrote this in my book, but I don’t think I quite believed it. I wrote it because the research said it was true.
When I started challenging myself to give not just material things, but intangible things as well, something shifted in my life.
I started opening my heart and saying things like:
“I feel a reckless joy blooming deep within me.” (Yes, I say this all the time now; I don't recognize myself)
“My aim in this life is to be untameable, wild and unapologetically me."
10. I started to value my time
This is perhaps the most beautiful gift of all.
I started to see time as a gift I can give to others and to myself.
In some weird incredible way, I’ve come to understand my mortality and to question the way I use my time and what I dedicate my time to, which has lead me to really understand what it means to live my truth.
I look forward to hearing what you’ve learned from giving to others.
Please share in the comments section below.