Everything changes if you can see the thing you’re doing as a gift.
Doing it as a gift transforms
- the thing you don’t want to do, or don’t want to do right now;
- the thing you don’t want to do in the way you know you should do it;
- the thing you said yes to that seemed like a good idea at the time;
- the thing that makes you nervous, that will make you feel stupid if it goes wrong;
- the work you put in early, building momentum when it isn’t urgent;
- the work you do late, putting in extra hours to get it done on time;
- the thing that you might really be doing for yourself, but that could be for them;
- the chances that what you do might bring about the change that you seek.
Suddenly you’re not
- doing your duty, but being generous to another person;
- grinding out an obligation, but choosing to do something well;
- a fool who should have known better, but someone who offered to show up;
- at the same risk of embarrassment – if you look foolish, you’ll be a likeable, generous fool;
- spending time on something because you have to, but preparing an act of kindness;
- pulling a ridiculous all-nighter, but staying up to wrap a present;
- thinking about what will make it go well for you, but focusing on what will make it useful/fun/a good gift for the gift’s recipients;
- trying to change anyone per se, but to make them richer by sharing something you’ve made.
- are free (gratis) to the recipient because they’re paid for by the giver;
- are free (libre) to be received or left;
- are best if specific (“it’s for you“) rather than generic (“who wants this?”);
- aren’t designed to create obligation, but to create new possibilities, generate multiplying gifts.
Happy Christmas 2018.