Generosity–the key to success or vice-versa?

I do a little, you do a little, and together we do a lot.

barnraisingEveryone can do a little, right? But we don’t. We may understand or even believe in the concept of collaboration as simply stated above, but trust issues often get in the way.  In many cultures and controlled situations, we believe incentives cause us to toil in isolation.   This belief dwarfs our rare experiences where the work progresses faster and commands our full attention to the point where we have not notion of ourself, but only feel the dynamics and energy of interactions with others.  Instead, Quid pro quo reasoning dominates our consciousness. Employers and the wider marketplace find it easier to reward individual effort and ventures, which sadly slows rather than accelerate completion of tasks becasue it prevents us from cooperating or sharing what we know. This occurs in spite of the widespread teaching and cultural respect for giving. No wonder we understand the message backward.

Yesterday, Seth Godin in his  post The Generosity boomerang, tries to correct conventional wisdom.

Generosity does make us happy, we feel freer and less burdened. That attitude can be infectious, but so can competition. “See what I did?” inspires envy which often compels us to respond in kind,  if not do better. Striving proves exhausting.  Fundraising activities like many endeavors thrive on this kind of behavior and build valuable reserves for a particular cause.

Collaborating Minds however noticed the power of another very present but less prominent force, the inspirational nature of collaboration. We didn’t begin this endeavor in pursuit of happiness. We merely recognized happiness flows from sharing something of ourselves openly, willingly with others in a productive capacity. A mere smile brings out other smiles. What ever effort, work you make, your doing generates happiness, a successful outcome. It may start small but the contagion effect, the collaborative attitude continues to be our core operating principle, and may bring economic rewards.

Generosity begins with action. not intention. It requires participation and willingness to share yourself and what you know with others. These actions are the hallmarks of generosity, which Collaborating Minds expects  will lead to wider success tackling complex problems, which is really a byproduct of happiness or whatever positive energy comes from people willingly interacting and wrestling to understand and makes sense of what they see with what they know. The doing together makes acheivement possible, happy in the interim and ultimately make you successful.

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