A gift can come in many different forms. When people talk about giving, the immediate inclination is to think of material possessions or a monetary value. However, some of the most generous gifts have nothing to do with money. Good business leaders are giving of their time, advice, and encouragement, and give the gift of empowerment to faithful workers who show aptitude.
One powerful gift that is often overlooked is the gift of a smile. Aaron Walker once did an experiment in which he tested the magnitude of a simple smile. He was sitting by the door in a Panera Bread cafe, writing his blog, and gave a very solemn look to everyone who entered. He got a solemn look back from every single one of them. No one smiled, waved, or tried to engage him in conversation. Then he switched it up. He started giving a huge smile to each person who walked in. After that, each person that saw him grinned in return. A smile has the power to brighten somebody’s day, and one small smile can generate a preponderance of positive energy.
Giving smiles wasn’t the only good deed with which Aaron experimented. There are several more examples in his book View From the Top. Some of these random acts of kindness involve money, such as paying for a stranger’s dinner or for their coffee at Starbucks, or even selecting a random family and paying their utility bill. But not all good deeds have to be related to money. As is the case with a smile, kind words and compliments can be an immeasurable blessing on someone’s day.
Good deeds go a long way. If you truly want to live a life of significance, you must be willing to do random acts of kindness to others. As Aaron puts it in View From the Top, “Where success can be difficult to define, a broad overview of significance is meeting the needs of others and living a life that matters. Taking our focus off of our personal wants and desires is no easy task, but placing that focus on fulfilling the needs of others will return the highest rewards.”
Aaron Walker’s mindset of giving and doing good unto others is shared by some of the greatest leaders of all time. King Solomon, the wealthiest man to ever walk the planet, encouraged giving in the book of Proverbs with sayings such as “The generous man will be prosperous”, “He who gives to the poor will never want”, and “He who is generous will be blessed.” Winston Churchill, one of Britain’s most instrumental figures in the 20th century, said “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”
Even Jesus taught about the rewards of giving, saying “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.”
In the Old Testament, Malachi 3:10 to be exact, God challenges people to give abundantly and promises a great reward. “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
God issued that challenge over 2,000 years ago and it still remains relevant today. Bob Burg, a contemporary of Aaron Walker’s, wrote a book called The Go-Giver which also highlights the rewards of being a cheerful giver. The book contains “Five laws of stratospheric success”, the first of these being the law of value. The law of value states that your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.
To help aspiring leaders increase the significance in their lives by providing value to those around them, Aaron created the 101 Acts of Kindness guide. The guide includes some of the gestures that Aaron covers in View From the Top and contains a list of creative ways to bless others.
To see how Aaron Walker has been rewarded for his unceasing generosity—and to learn more about how you can double down on good deeds and increase the significance of your own life, pre-order your copy of View From the Top today.