Do you remember when you were a child? Waking up on your birthday or a holiday with anticipation to open presents was an unrivaled thrill. Yet, that excitement faded once the presents were opened.
As we matured, we started to learn that “getting” was a fleeting experience. By contrast, “giving” brings its own anticipation followed by long-lasting fulfillment. The lesson learned? Giving is better than receiving.
This month, I am preparing for a trip to Thailand. After I spend time with some of our top distributor leaders at our annual Discovery Club trip, I’ll head to Chonburi, Thailand with the Operation Smile team. We’ll spend a week working to provide multiple surgeries to children of the farmers who harvest mangosteen fruit for XanGo Juice.
Anyone who knows the XanGo story knows that giving is part of our company DNA. We’ve supported causes for children and families around the world since the day we founded the company. We knew that to achieve true success – lasting success – we needed to be a company that would lead with the heart, giving back to worthy causes.
Yet, today, I’m going to write about what the experience has given me personally. I can tell you that I’ve been inspired and humbled by being part of the work in our global philanthropic program.
And I can tell you, without doubt, that giving can be an amazing part of your comeback…part of your resurgence in life. I was taught as a child that if ever I was feeling unhappy…those feelings would go away if I did something nice for someone else.
Revered writer and poet Kahlil Gibran tells us: “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”
It’s one thing for XanGo to write checks to charitable causes. We should give back. Many successful companies do. It’s another thing to block out time on your calendar, roll up your sleeves and get involved. I love how XanGo nation has embraced this very concept…at all levels.
As I prepare for Thailand, I feel excited and reflective and I even feel some pretty big butterflies. This trip will be difficult. We’re heading to a place where we will confront a “need” that is a powerful reminder of how lucky many of us are.
I’ll spend part of my week working at an orphanage where many of the children never had a chance to even be held by their mothers. As I write this post on Mother’s Day, that thought seems especially hard to grasp. I’ll get to work with the doctors of Operation Smile as they perform surgeries in children born with a cleft palate, a painful and debilitating condition. Did you know each year more than 200,000 mothers give birth to a child with the cleft lip or cleft palate?
Every time I make a trip like this, I come home even more grateful for my children and their good health. I’m even more grateful for my wife and my mom. I feel especially humbled to be so blessed. I’m grateful to work with such tremendous souls who make it a core part of their business practice to raise funds for work like this.
And I’m especially grateful for the people I meet…the children, the parents, the doctors and the organizers of these expeditions…people who have come through tremendous challenges to represent strength, goodness and hope against all odds.
For me, giving has been a reminder of where I’ve come from and the road I’ve chosen in life. It’s been an affirmation that reminds me, especially on those days when business is a grind or I’m waging a personal battle, to take a deep breath and put things in perspective.
Giving is a privilege and, yes, it’s a sacrifice.
For many of you who continue to trudge through some monumental life challenges, giving can be a game-changer. You don’t have to go all the way to Thailand to do it. There are needs in your community where your talents, your passions and your drive can serve a significant cause.
There are local causes that need your help. Whether you’re making phone calls, organizing events, delivering care packages or even just talking to those who don’t have someone to talk to…there is something you can do to serve. By doing so you’ll be reminded of all that you have to offer.
While the doctors are performing surgeries in Thailand, I’ll again be sterilizing their tools and serving patient needs. I’ll be a nurse’s aide. And, in that challenging environment, I will again be reminded of how little actions can make a big difference.
I’ll be sharing some of these experiences here on my blog, so check back often. I welcome your thoughts and support in this journey.
And, perhaps you’ll consider the role giving can play in your comeback. Giving gives back in such unexpected ways.