Five Rules of Giving


I don’t always get it right. That was pretty obvious yesterday when I opened a “thank you” email. Although happy to be the recipient of some gratitude, I felt a twinge of shame. You see, in the spirit of giving, I extended a stranger a profession courtesy, no charge, no strings attached, just to be helpful and practice kindness. I like doing that. Later I grumbled in my head for at least 48 hours about the silence. Where was a gracious show of appreciation? I wanted something in return. Nothing much, just a thank you.

My “Aha” Moment

After receiving the email I realized the need to make some changes.  Obviously, due to my desire for gratitude, my act of kindness had a string attached.  A true and sincere giver expects nothing in return. Not only did I want a “thanks a lot,” I wanted it in my defined time frame. Like NOW! When I didn’t get it, I indulged in negative thoughts about allowing others to take advantage of me.

As this wasn’t the first time I found my  face red over fake selfless acts, I decided to teach myself a lesson and immediately  and began plotting to overcome my desire for give and take.

The result of my self-assigned homework, is my “List of Five.” Yep…five life rules I’m putting into action.


Rule Number One

If you’ve ever been to a second grader’s softball game, you may have noticed no one keeps score. Based on that philosophy, number one on my list of corrective action items is, “Throw away the scoreboard.”  That’s right. No more quid pro quo. No longer will I use a mental clipboard to keep score.

Passing On a Good Deed

Coupling my new rule with a familiar phrase and philosophy I penned, “Pay it forward,” as number two on my list. We’ve all been the recipient of kind acts. Passing on a random act of kindness makes our world a little brighter. My new mantra was kindness, whenever possible. As I considering it for a moment, I underlined it…TWICE!

One Way Giving

Often my expectations run high. Had I given freely, with no agenda, the thank you email would have been a sweet surprise making number three on my list, “Set no expectations.” 

Abundant Kindness

Reviewing my list, I smiled. Then another thought occurred to me. There is no such thing as too much kindness. Quickly I penned my number four, “Give, give and give some more.” 


Be My Best Self

Five seemed like the right number so the last thing I wrote is directed at being my best self. Any success I’ve experienced in my career was because I took my job seriously. Got it! My fifth and final rule is, “It is my job to be kind.”

This week I’m determined to put my big five into practice. Thanks for reading this post. I’d love to hear about your top five.

Overcoming a Lack of Motivation

Ever find yourself in a motivational slump? Last week as I viewed large pockets of free time on my calendar I was practically doing back flips thinking of the precious hours I could spend advancing on my goals. Turns out, it didn’t happen that way. What happened was a total lack of motivation, followed by frittering the hours away, ending in a period of zero progress.










Determined not to let this happen again, I resorted to research. Needing stimulation beyond my own self coaching  I scanned through some motivational blogs and came up short. Everything read like the same old blah, blah, blah that ran through my head. Nothing signaled a brain spark until I noticed a post by Olympic athlete, Inga Stasiulionyte.

Now I was onto something. If anyone could help me carve a path out of this listless do-nothing fog, a javelin thrower turned executive coach had a chance. Obviously anyone who followed her dream all the way to the Beijing Olympic Games knows something about victory.









As I studied her approach to success, it all boiled down to one common theme. Discipline. Okay, nothing new, we all know it takes commitment and focus to get to the goal line, however, in this simple sentence Inga offered up a key to get me back on track. “Build a no-matter what mindset.” Aha! You see all week long I gave myself permission goof-off. I decided if I could permit a lax attitude, I could also create a no-matter what mindset.

While testing it out the next day I encountered some resistance. After working on my top priority for twenty minutes, I found myself cleaning out a desk drawer. Obviously my brain preferring to operate on auto-pilot wasn’t buying into this new mindset thing. Faced with the choice of rearranging my desk or returning to work I vacillated for a moment. As I surveyed the objects in the drawer I spied a big black marker.  Grabbing the fat pen and a sheet of paper I wrote in large black letters “no matter what” and stuck it on the wall in front of me. Eyeing that powerful phrase was exactly what I needed to kick me back into action.

This new mindset worked again the next day. You see, I live in the desert and was late getting out for my power walk. Feeling like the heat was getting to me I considered cutting my trek short. Taking a deep breath I looked up at the sun and proclaimed (yep…you guessed it) no matter what! It was all I needed to suck it up and finish my walk.











Let’s face it. Human beings fall into slumps that thwart progress. When the doldrums take over, search out a role model who didn’t give up. Grab on to a motivational mantra and push yourself forward. Although I cannot correctly  pronounce Inga’s last name, I assure you I will never forget her for inspiring a “no-matter what” mindset. Game on!


Change to The Future

Grabbing a magazine I stuffed it in my purse on my way out the door. I knew there would be a wait and it was an ideal time to catch up on reading one of the many periodicals delivered to my door. Full disclosure, I had to force myself to select this particular magazine.


I hadn’t read an issue in months and I knew why. The publication converted from a typical shiny cover to a stock parchment with a different look and feel. Even the pages between the cover lost their luster.

As I began leafing through the periodical in search of an interesting article, I soon settled on one about an editor who attempted to conquer her biggest fear: performing stand-up comedy. By third paragraph I forgot about missing the tactical feel of the journal.  After reading three articles in the time allotted, I experience an “aha” moment. When I stopped to think about the untouched back issues piling up in my office, I realized I was avoiding change. Something that was no longer shiny, smooth and familiar was left ignored because it was different.

Having prided myself on being a change agent, I was faced with a reality causing me to examine some other areas of my life. Running through my memory bank I wondered, did I always drive the same route, hang out with the same friends and frequent the same restaurants? Had I stopped searching out the new and different?

choose change to future or same the past

At the end of my reverie I came up guilty as charged. I sighed and vowed to start changing things up in my everyday life.

Why do we avoid change? The answer is easy. It takes energy. It means removing ourselves from auto-pilot. I’ve read enough books about changing habits to know the limbic part of our brain doesn’t like change and would be blissfully happy to do the same things over and over again.

Brain cell

Want to change something in your life? Here’s the good news. There are only three parts to implementing change: desire, intent and persistence.  You must do the work; it doesn’t happen on its own.

Action, Changes, Things 4


Be like the editor who changed her behavior and ended up on an improv stage in a Dallas comedy house. Okay, perhaps stand-up isn’t your game, but you can experience and accomplish something new and different. So kick it up a notch or two and make your life more exciting.

Don’t try, just do. I did. Sometimes even a life coach needs some inspiration and I found it in the book: “The 52 Weeks: How Two Women Got Unstuck, Got Inspired and Got Going,” by Pam Godwin and Karen Amster-Young. Since breezing through this manual on moving forward, I’ve changed my hair style, revamped my wardrobe and as you’ve discovered by now, arranged for my blog to have a facelift.

Comfort Zone - Success signpost drawn on white paper


The process has been fun and invigorating. So what changes will you make in your life this week? Leave a comment and let me know. I encourage you to move out of your comfort zone and go where the magic happens.

P.S. A big shout out to Online Business Manager, Kippy Flur who gave Life on The Sunny Side a new look!