Why giving is selfish (and why you should do more of it)

One cold July evening back in 1994, I was seated in the warmth and grandeur of Sydney’s State Theatre, having travelled almost 900kms by road to hear some of the top personal development speakers from around the world.

One of them was a caricature of a man called Charlie Tremendous Jones. umbrella-1588167_1920

He was, by any measure, your typical rah-rah American motivational guy.

His demeanour and his extroversion grated on me, but I quickly warmed to the sincerity and power of his messages.

One of my favourites was this:

“Sometimes the only thing that’ll stop you going crazy is music. Other times it’ll be your family, and sometimes, your work; and each will take turns in saving your life.”

Perhaps this is why I’m so happy most of the time.

I work at home, close to my family, and usually with music playing in the background.

Another thing Charlie said – a message that relates to the title of this story:

 “Everyone’s got problems. No matter how successful you become, you’re not gonna to get out of problems. Your job is not to avoid problems.

Your job is to find bigger ones and better ones, then give those little ones to someone else to solve!”

He went on to say that people focus on small, unimportant problems and never stand back far enough to see the big picture and the opportunities it offers.

Because of this, a lot of people have a misguided view of giving and the role it plays in the bigger picture.

Charlie continued, “If you aren’t generous when you have nothing, you won’t be generous when you have everything.”

This resonated with me.

As an example, a struggling single parent who gives $20 to Unicef is infinitely more generous than a middle-aged man on a good salary who gives $200.success invest

I truly believe that charity (in all its forms) is one of the keys to a successful life.

If you want more out of life, if you want a better life, giving more of yourself and the resources at your disposal (anonymously, if possible) is a worthy goal.

Don’t be a gold star chaser.

Do it knowing that your reward comes to you the moment you give.

Understand too, that although your rewards may not come from those you serve, they will come from some place.

Earl Nightingale called it one of the great laws of prosperity and success.

Part of this comes from the mind-set it creates (abundance), because believing you have enough to give seems to create more for yourself, as if by magic.

Conversely, a scarcity mind-set says, “I don’t have any spare time or money,” and so appropriately, you’re rewarded with less of both. Families by state

I’ve long believed that anonymous charity is one of the most selfish but honourable things you can do.

Selfish, because through the law of reciprocity, it always comes back to you over and above what you give; and honourable, because it helps someone else at the same time.

So even if you’re a cold-hearted pragmatist with personal abundance as your north star, start giving more.

If you can do it without anyone knowing, even better.


Subscribe & don’t miss a single episode of Michael Yardney’s podcast

Hear Michael & a select panel of guest experts discuss property investment, success & money related topics. Subscribe now, whether you're on an Apple or Android handset.

Need help listening to Michael Yardney’s podcast from your phone or tablet?

We have created easy to follow instructions for you whether you're on iPhone / iPad or an Android device.


Prefer to subscribe via email?

Join Michael Yardney's inner circle of daily subscribers and get into the head of Australia's best property investment advisor and a wide team of leading property researchers and commentators.

Peter Fritz


Peter Fritz is the founder Office Anywhere. He believes you should be able to work where, when and how you want; to work and live on your terms. He’s a dad, a husband, an ex-husband; a photographer and outdoorsy guy. Visit .Visit https://officeanywhere.co/ You can also listen to Peter's podcasts on https://officeanywhere.co/peter-fritz-office-anywhere-podcast/

'Why giving is selfish (and why you should do more of it)' have 4 comments


    April 21, 2017 Wisdom Of Truth

    You say in your book Michael, that to be wealthy or rich is to be in debt and more the better. I think not, to be wealthy means so much more than money. I will say this a Slave is always reliant on borrowing from the Master. But the Master is also Slave to the borrower. They a both interconnected! until the debt is cleared! So while the majority of people go further into debt. I will be going in the opposite direction to be debt free (money wise). While the system we live in is a game. I am one who does not wish to play the game. Whether i am in the game or not. Why would I want to play a game with a persons life. Life is precious. I will not sell my soul, not at any price!! I believe in working, but i will not put my life in debt(Death by financial strangulation!)

    Wisdom Of Truth


      Michael Yardney

      April 21, 2017 Michael Yardney

      Thanks for leaving your comment, but I think you have misquoted me – I’m not sure which book you mean.

      I don’t agree that the more debt the better – it has to be good debt borrowed against income producing appreciating assets.

      And I know too well that money, properties, shares or businesses don’t equate to wealth.

      True wealth is much more than money. I often say that money is important in those areas where it is important and not at all important areas where it’s not important.

      I’m interested in your final comments about you will not put your life into debt. Clearly you don’t know how to use it wisely because I agree that most Australians get into trouble with debt, while the rich know how to use it wisely



    April 21, 2017 jeff

    Giving is a very full filling emotion , the thought of knowing that you have helped someone better their life whether financially, spiritually, emotionally or physically is one of the greatest gifts any human can give to another.


Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.


Copyright © Michael Yardney’s Property Investment Update Important Information
Content Marketing by GridConcepts