Well-Being//

Adam Grant Shares 3 Simple Ways to Show Generosity Every Day

Paying it forward gives a tangible boost to your well-being.

Marla Aufmuth / Contributor/ Getty Images
Marla Aufmuth / Contributor/ Getty Images

Extending a hand to someone in need allows us to find deeper meaning and connection with others, and even help lower our stress and anxiety. “If you spend time giving care to others, it actually gives you a longevity boost,” Wharton professor and best-selling author Adam Grant tells Thrive Global founder and CEO Arianna Huffington. “It’s easily one of the best things you can do for your health.” 

But amidst our busy schedules, where do we find time to meaningfully give to others every day? Grant insists that it’s easier than we might think. Here are three simple tips he suggests to show your generosity:

1. Make small connections

We often think about giving in terms of traditional volunteering opportunities, but Grant says we can give in so many meaningful ways that involve simply sharing our skills and workplace relationships with others. One way to start is by making small connections in your own network — and offering to help others make introductions when you can. “It’s not just your time or your money. It’s your skills, but it’s also your networks and relationships,” he explains. “Making those interactions is really powerful.” 

2. “Chunk” your giving time

We often think that we need to be giving all of the time, sprinkling it in throughout our week, but Grant argues otherwise. “You want to be a chunker,” he explains — someone who picks one window of time to dedicate to giving back. “You get more of a boost to your energy, your mood, your happiness, if you do all your giving in one particular time period.”

3. Hold others accountable

Giving is more than a one-time act, and it’s not something we need to do on our own. By holding others accountable and urging them to pay it forward, we can create a cycle of kindness and compassion. “Many of us think that if we want to be good givers we have to carry the whole load ourselves,” Grant says. “The more we can build a community or a group of people who share these values, the more likely it is that there’s enough giving available to go around.”

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