December, especially the end of December, is a magical time when people enjoy dreaming about how the next year will be different from the previous one. They give themselves promises and commit impetuously to become better persons.
Are you among them? Do you have a habit of making New Years’ resolutions? Never done it before, but want to try?
[Sales Agent mode on]
I’ve got one to suggest you! It’s a great idea, million dollar idea! You’ll like it, I guarantee it. The most exclusive and unique offer in the world! Only for you! And I give it to you for free!
[Sales Agent mode off]
Not so long ago an unpleasant sequence of events took place in my life. Those events led me to see some people I know in a different way. “In a different way,” in this case, this phrase has a negative meaning. In short, I did not get any support I was expecting and counting on from them. Perhaps, if my life situation was different, I would react more calmly or had not noticed anything at all. However, as the old wise saying goes, if only grandma had a [censored], she would have been a grandpa. My life situation was the way it was (and it haven’t changed for now).
I was keeping all the resentment and wrath inside for the whole week, until I decided to bring down all my righteous anger upon these people here, at this site. But no such luck. When it came to putting my thoughts on paper, emotions had died down, and the rational part of my mind started working at its full capacity.
Firstly, I thought, an article full of complaints about the unfairness of life is infantile, and therefore is of little interest to my readers. Articles and blog posts, in which authors are feeling sorry for themselves throughout the text, are a dime a dozen on the Internet.
Second, hatred and bile that I would fill this article with: it is destructive in its nature, and again, is of no use to my readers.
So I made a decision to push off from the original plan as a toilet brush from the bottom of the bowl, and changing the motion vector, come to the surface with a more constructive idea for the article.
The Give & Share Experiment
You’ve probably heard about the Universal Intergalactic Equilibrium Theory? In a nutshell: you give more, you receive more; you give less, you receive less. Many personal development gurus claim that this theory works. Most people, who learn about this theory, first think about how they can apply it to receive more money, of course. Let’s not judge them (because we do the same, don’t we?! 😉 ).
And here I thought: what if the Universal Balance, the favorite topic of such a big amount of personal development gurus, really exists? What if it functions with the declared 1:1 exchange rate?
Regarding me, during the last year I have no luck with money. I was fired in January, the new business I’m trying to set up has not brought a penny yet. Have been doing a low-paid work since March, 2014.
What about you? Would you like to bring positive changes to some area of your life as well: earn more money, improve interpersonal relationships, improve your health, become happier overall?
I suggest we check this theory making it a New Year’s resolution. What d’you say?
Within a set period of time we’re going to share our assets (tangible or intangible) with someone or something who/that matters to us.
For convenience, I’ve given it a straightforward name “The Give & Share Experiment”.
Then, below, I will draw a picture of methods I am going to use to Give & Share. Do you like them? Take and use them in good health. You don’t? – come up with those, which will reverberate louder in your heart.
Personally, I see a number of ways how you can Give & Share more. Some of them involve spending your tangible assets (e.g., money), others – intangible ones (time, creative energy, etc.). The good news is that there are ways, which let the receiver to get a material resource (it’s a safe bet to say that majority of those, whom you share resources with, value this kind of assets the most) without you giving away yours. And your intangible assets almost are not spent as well.
Let’s start with accustomed online options. How you can Give & Share, without quitting your Internet-browser.
I’ve put the Give & Share ways in such an order that those ones, which yield the greatest material value to the recipient, go first.
- A generous donation. The best option, from the material world point of view. Suitable for a comparatively well-to-do guys. Involves spending tangible assets. The word “generous” in this case means “greater than the amount you would have spent on the purchase of the recipient’s product.” For example, someone created and released a series of lectures on “How Cockroaches Help Improve the Economy of the State” and sells it for $100. Donate $150 to him/her. Or, perhaps, you’re interested in this topic? Buy the course for $100 and donate $50.
- Purchase a product. If you like the product (goods or service), which a recipient produces, you may buy it. For example, someone wrote a book; other one creates wonderful designs for web-sites.
- If the money at your disposal is not enough to buy some product, but you have some spare cash in your pocket, and are ready to share it, this option is for you. There’s a variety of online digital wallets, such as PayPal, which let you donate a sum of money as small as one cent. However, those payment systems charge a transaction fee. Regarding PayPal, it’s 3.9% + 30 cents for each transfer. So it makes no sense in donating less than $1. This way of Give & Share assumes you spend a tiny part of your material resources.
- Visit and explore advertiser’s site. If the recipient is trying to make some money putting ads on his/her web-site, it’s a good opportunity to help him/her with clicking on an ad you’re interested in. This is the way which does not assume you share your tangible asset, while the recipient acquires a material resource.Then, who shares the material resource? The advertiser, who also wins, because you click an ad you are interested in. You are a potential client, and subsequently you may become a real client for the advertiser, what his actual goal is.
However, if you click on an ad just for the purpose of clicking, you are a thief, stealing money. The worst part is that you change the Universal Balance in a disadvantageous way. You are breaking the Balance, taking away resources from the company, which paid for advertising, and giving nothing in return. In order it to be a win-win situation for all involved parties, it is important to click an ad you are attracted to.
Sometimes I press F5 (Refresh page) a couple of times, so that the advertising network would generate an advertisement I’m really interested in. If it does not, well, I just leave this site until the next time.
Do not bother with clicking like crazy, otherwise all your clicks will be considered fraudulent. One click now and then is more than enough.
- A positive comment. Everyone loves receiving an approval of his/her personality or work. No need to be original or compose a long epistle. Express your gratitude in your own words.
- A facile click on the “Like” or “Share” button will inspire the recipient to Give & Share more as well.
I will give you a brief example of what I intend to focus the lion’s share of resources available to me on. I want to focus my Give & Share experiment on the area of computer games. Specifically, I want to help independent developers who develop those games.
At the beginning of this year I lost my job without any chance to get a similar position. I got severely depressed. Three months later, I ran out of money and had to take the janitor job. Now my monthly salary is $113. However, in May-June 2014 I finally made a decision to start doing what I was dreaming of as a child. Until it is too late, I started developing my first computer game as an indie game developer.
This is my passion for the last 7 months. I think about my game all the time. That is why my main Give & Share Experiment’s focus is to help independent game developers and give them what I’d be happy to receive for myself. It will include sharing news about game development, voting for games on Steam, buying games, highlighting games’ advantages and strengths in the positive feedback, supporting game projects under development.
You are in turn free to choose some other area you want to focus on, something your heart and soul resonate with.
What about offline options for Give & Share? I will leave this point to your discretion as the offline world offers an infinite number of opportunities to Give & Share on daily basis. Just let me give you a little example.
Believe it or not, the opportunity to Give & Share popped up literally immediately, as soon as I made a sketch of the experiment, outlining its main points in my notebook today. While I was taking out the trash (I’m the janitor, remember?), I met a woman who was looking for her missing cat. She left me her phone number in case I suddenly find her cat.
No, I have not found the cat. However I spent five minutes making a simple ad in a text editor. Then I gave it to the staff of the company I work for. A sort of offline-repost!
If you have assets you are willing to share, but no worthy recipients around, go to Kickstarter or Indiegogo! They’ve got plenty to choose from.
Or check out online-shops. Usually they have some kind of a gift certificate on sale, which you can buy and give to another person. Recently I’ve signed up to the Amazon.com Associates programme. They provided me with a list of products I can offer to my web-site’s visitors. I looked through the list and picked those items, my readers will benefit from the most. Among them the Gift Card, that I suppose, is best suited for this Give & Share Experiment.
The great thing about it is that you can set your own amount of money you want this card to be equivalent to. Also, it is delivered by e-mail, so the recepient, the person you want to share with, will get it almost instantly. If you click the banner below, you will be redirected to Amazon.com, where you can customize your gift card (as shown in the picture above).
Also I define kinds of “recipients” who will receive slightly less than nothing from me.
These are the people (or organizations) who take your resource, but never give anyone their own, either because they are not able to create it, or do not want to share it. When it is their turn to give, they will likely not do that. Starting from lazy parasites unwilling to work and ending with political parties. If you are going to join the experiment, I strongly recommend you to make kind of a ban-list. Put on this list everyone who falls into this category. Having such a list, in your head or on paper, will make it much harder for them to catch you off guard and capitalize on your confusion and kindness.
Some people keep the promises they made for a week, a few can hold on for a month, most forget about their resolutions on January the 1st morning. I do not insist you to follow through on this New Year’s resolution for the whole year. Set an interval of time you feel is realistic for you. My interval is quite short: 21 days. If I can hold on longer, well, it will be a nice bonus
An important condition of the Give & Share experiment: do not demand anything in return. In a perfect world, you should renounce your own selfish goals, do it without a second thought, give and share with all your heart, and be completely altruistic. Is it possible? I doubt it.
The very essence of human nature does not let do that. Any act of a human being can be explained by three basic motives: food, reproduction, domination. When we talk about altruism, we talk about domination.
Domination does not necessary mean a cool car, busty chick and a chop of cash in the pocket. Everyone is looking for his own way of dominating other people. Someone will learn the Latin language, someone will undress and walk down the street naked, well, and someone will donate all his fortune to charity.
So why, looking up at the endless blue sky with innocent eyes, lie to yourself/God/Universe and pretend that you (I, we) expect nothing in return?
It’s an open secret that obtaining benefits (instantaneous or delayed) is a natural component of any action. I will say even more, this is the main, basic reason why people do interact with each other.
But it does not mean that we should not try to cast aside our selfish motives!
If you give more than you receive, according to this theory, “The Universe” will compensate for this difference by giving you something in return. How will it be manifested? Perhaps, you will get rich, or will live a hundred years. Can’t say for sure. At the discretion of “The Universe”, “God”, whatever you call it. That’s how it works.
That’s all for now.
Thank you for your attention. Happy holidays! And what is more important, do not forget to Give & Share with your family and loved ones!
Those of you who became interested in the described above New Year’s resolution – please read on as I’m going to give you a useful tool to track your progress.
The Give & Share Experiment Journal
If, for some reason, you’re still reading this article, then please do not break for a couple of minutes, because I want to Give & Share with you right now.
In order the experiment you’re conducting to be more objective and… scientific, I’ve prepared a simple yet helpful material for you. In fact, it’s a diary, in which you can write down good, unselfish deeds that you perform as a part of the Give & Share commitment.
OK, you may be thinking, that now I’m going to sweet-talk you into buying this journal of mine to carry out the experiment successfully. No.
This journal is so simple and obvious that even a clinical idiot could make it. I somehow feel ashamed to take money for it and to benefit from it directly. However, its creation is great as an unselfish deed for the Give & Share Experiment: I’ve already checked it in my journal. 😉
The Give & Share Experiment Journal consists of only 3 pages.
The first page: the journal’s cover. Here you specify the start date of the Experiment, as well as its duration (in days).
The second page is the main page of the journal. It represents the actual day itself. Here you write how exactly you Gave & Shared on the particular day. You need to print as many pages as days your experiment lasts.
There’s no need to Give & Share every day. You can Give & Share one single day so much, that it counts for a year! Choose the pace that suits you. Along with the good deeds you perform, equally importantly, you write down them. Why? The human’s memory is very unreliable data storage. If you do not use some piece of information over and over again, you tend to forget it eventually. If you do not put unselfish deeds you perform on paper, you may end up wondering: “Have I done anything worthwhile during this experiment at all?” Not because you haven’t, but because you’ve forgotten. You will end up feeling unsatisfied, like you’ve wasted your time, when in fact you’ve accomplished a lot. So do not skip this step.
The Give & Share Experiment Journal is available as PDF (if you prefer to print it out), and as DOC and ODT (if you want to keep it in an electronic form).
The last page: conclusions and results of the experiment. You can fill out this page while the experiment is being conducted as well as when it’s completed. You can update it even a year after it was finished, since the Theory of Balance does not claim that you get something (after you give something) instantly. Describe here: have you noticed any positive changes in your life? How did they manifest themselves? Perhaps, everything turned out to be the opposite: you lost something? Write it down either.
Also you are welcome to share your results in the comment section below this article. Or in a private manner, via the Contact form.
Download The Give & Share Experiment Journal (Dropbox)