Try Giving Yourself Away

In the 1940’s David Dunn wrote an article for Forbes Magazine called “Try Giving Yourself Away.” In 1947 it was expanded and published as a book.

Dunn says he began a hobby of ‘giving himself away’ because he found that it enriched his life immeasurably. Below are his strategies and suggestions for those who wish to take up this enriching hobby.

  • Pass on helpful ideas to others. For example, if you think of something that might benefit a local business, let them know.
  • Thank wait staff for good service, chefs for delicious meals, mail carriers for delivering your letters, and so on.
  • Rather than give money, donate your time and effort to others.
  • Obey your giving impulses and act quickly when the situation presents itself.
  • Start giving yourself away as early in the day as possible.
  • You don’t need a lot of extra time – even a few minutes a day makes such a difference.
  • Put yourself in the shoes of every person you encounter.
  • Smile often.
  • Send letters and postcards daily.
  • Leave a trail of appreciation in your wake.
  • Be specific when you thank and compliment others.
  • Cultivate the habit of noticing things and becoming more alert to the world around you.
  • Spread your giving among everyone you encounter. Create an ever-widening giving circle.

“It seems to be the law of life that we enrich ourselves most when we give ourselves most fully and freely.”

Go out into the world and give yourself away. The rewards are sure to be appreciated by others as well as yourself.

Exerpt taken from the book Naikan by Gregg Krech.