How Giving Changed My Life

How Giving Changed My Life

Jack Gibson

My hand was shaking.

In it, I held a check for $4500 made out to Lory’s Place.

I felt like Whoopi Goldberg’s character in the classic movie “Ghost”, where she had to give a check for $10 million to the nuns, or the bad guys would find her.

She just couldn’t release it. It would be too life-changing to give it up without a fight. And then Patrick Swayze’s character finally yells, “Give her the damn check!” And Whoopi ended up releasing her firm grip; the Sister glanced at the amount and instantly fainted on the city sidewalk.

Here, I released my grip on the check, but the maximum dramatic effect I got out of it was the manager looking up in disbelief.

You see, a few months prior, our friends Tony and Katie lost their 5-year-old son to a 2-year battle with cancer.

Their son was born the same day as ours. This could have been us.

Not knowing how else we could help, besides encouragement and love, we made the donation to Lory’s Place, which was an organization founded by a tragedy, whose mission was to help grieving families.

This seemed like the perfect place to make our first major charitable donation.

When I walked out the door, I can honestly say my life was never, ever the same.

There was simply no going back to the life I had previously lived.

Unknowingly, I had just made a jump to the Second Mountain. (In his book, David Brooks explains how most of us spend our life on the First Mountain, which is the climb for personal success.)

It’s not necessarily a negative thing to chase personal success. In fact, I’m still very much hungry for success, but it is rather limited to our own self-serving interests.

The Second Mountain is the climb for fulfillment through giving and blessing others. It certainly does not have to be financial in nature, but it typically involves some sort of life changing event that plucks us off the First Mountain and throws us onto the Second, where we can refocus our life Purpose on making a difference.

To be honest, I’d say I oscillate between being on the First and the Second. I’m human.

I had a year end review and projections for 2023 of where I think we are going all teed up for you.

But being Christmas Eve, the Holiday of giving, I could think of no better time to share my thoughts on how giving leads to a wealthy life.

So let’s dive in.

Building Your Giving Muscle

We all know that money can’t buy happiness, but what if I told you that giving away some of your hard-earned cash could actually improve your financial life?

Believe it or not, research has shown that when people give to others—whether in the form of donations to charity or simply buying a gift for a friend—they experience an increase in their own wealth.

Giving to others is not only beneficial for those who receive the gift, but it can also have positive effects on your own financial life. This phenomenon is known as the "giving effect," and understanding how it works can help you take advantage of its potential benefits.

It’s true: Giving positively changes your financial life.

But first, I understand this content can be very challenging. It’s very difficult to do, especially when you don’t have all your own needs and wants met.

But it’s just like building muscle in the gym.

Building muscle and giving are two activities that may seem unrelated, but they actually have a lot in common. Both involve investing time and effort with no immediate reward; both require consistent focus and dedication over an extended period of time; and both can bring about unexpected rewards through their combined effects.

In the gym, building muscle takes hard work - pushing yourself to lift heavier weights or do more reps than you’re used to doing. Over time, this commitment pays off as your muscles grow stronger.

Similarly, giving requires selflessness – donating your money or time without expecting anything in return. And while it may not feel immediately rewarding, helping others can lead to greater joy down the line when we see how our efforts have made a difference in someone else's life.

This past summer, I did not hit the gym much. We had 5 trips, my youngest son Tyler had over 40 baseball games, and on top of that, golfing outdoors seems 10x more appealing than the gym.

When I got restarted this fall, I didn’t go back to my normal routine. I started with half the intensity. Why?

My muscles were weaker. I didn’t want to go so hard to be so sore I can’t walk, or worse, create an injury. I didn’t want to burn myself out and lose the desire to go.

The same is true for your giving muscle. If you haven’t been giving, that muscle is extremely weak. Jumping from no giving to 10% of your income may be hard to stick to.

So start smaller, and watch the things that happen in your life. There will be some signs that you’re on the right track.

It could be simply the way you feel. Or it may be an unexpected blessing. It could be that you get bailed out of a jam. As these things unfold, you’ll naturally want more of it. You’ll want to give more.

You’ll see that you’re living better on the 99% than you did on the 100%. You’ll see that you’re being blessed.

Pearl Jam Tickets:  How Paying Too Much Built My Belief

It was 8 years ago, and my assistant, only with me for a couple months, was given a task to buy Pearl Jam tickets at 10pm when they went on sale.

For anyone in their 40’s, Pearl Jam was by far the most popular band growing up. And tickets were in extreme demand (still are actually, I tried to get them outside the Nashville venue two months ago and they were totally sold out and none listed online).

She ended up buying 4 tickets for $4,000. I thought they were backstage passes and front row seats, but not even close. What made matters worse, besides not wanting to spend that much on tickets, we were set to close on our dream home the week of the concert.

Because we chose to rent out our current home and wait for the market to recover, I wouldn’t get the equity out of that home for the down payment on the dream home. I needed every bit of money I could find.

It was about a week out, and my tickets had still not sold. I dropped the price, and apparently there weren’t too many other idiots that paid as much as I did.

No buyers.

I had been holding out on telling my wife, because I didn’t want to stress her out. No, actually, that’s not true.

I was scared.

Those who know my sweet wife Kara all agree she is extremely loving and kind. But when I fuck up, I’m scared of her. I do not want to let her down.

I was set to tell her, when I got a surprise email.

I’ll never forget it. It read “your tickets have been lost in shipment. We see you have tried to list them, so instead of issuing replacements, we’re going to refund 100% of your money.”

The one package in my life that I wanted to get lost in shipment, got lost in shipment.

God, the Universe, Infinite Intelligence, whatever your beliefs are, I am convinced was showing me that if I give and take care of others, He will take care of me.

Positive Impacts on Mental Health

Giving to others can have a positive impact on your mental health as well. Studies have shown that when people give away some of their hard-earned money, they experience an increase in feelings of happiness and contentment.

This is because giving creates a sense of purpose and satisfaction, which can help to reduce stress levels and improve overall well being.

This past Sunday, I was in Phoenix to see the new Church, Fixate Phoenix, that my wife and I made a generous donation to. (Yes, I wanted to golf in December too).

I got to see firsthand what giving did for the 300 young college age attendees. They were so happy and fulfilled to have a modern, energetic, relevant place to get Spiritually nourished.

Seeing that makes me want to give more. To Fixate, and to others.

I’m going to aggressively grow my income in 2023 so I can give more.

I’m clear on my Purpose.

To quote myself from one of my podcasts “We’re Building Churches, Bitches.” (If you’re offended, just know that both my Pastors laugh hysterically about that. So can’t be that bad!).

Build Relationships and Strengthen Social Ties

Giving helps build relationships with those you care about and strengthens social ties within communities. Giving to others is not only beneficial for those receiving the gift, but also for the giver themselves.

Furthermore, donating funds or items to charity can also provide a feeling of connection with those less fortunate than ourselves while strengthening social bonds with our local community.

About five years ago, Southwest Michigan was hit with a 100 year flood. Conditions had to line up perfectly (or rather imperfectly) where there was fast rising temps that melted a lot of snow fast, along with extremely high levels of rain.

It literally wiped out entire trailer parks sitting along the St. Joseph River. The damage was massive. An entire golf course was flooded and had to permanently close.

We made individual donations to anyone we knew affected, and we made a $5,000 matching donation to the Red Cross that year. They ended up raising nearly $20,000, their largest raise to that point.

It was very satisfying to know we had made a difference for distressed people, in our own community, hit with bad luck.

Personal Growth Through Generosity

Giving provides an opportunity for personal growth by teaching us how to be generous with our resources and ourselves. Through giving, we can learn more about the value of our own possessions and how it feels to give away something that has been earned through hard work.

This can help us cultivate a mindset of abundance and generosity, which in turn leads to improved financial wellbeing as well as increased feelings of happiness and contentment.

All these effects combined demonstrate how giving has the power to improve not only individual lives but entire communities as well.

And this leads me to probably my most important point: It’s not the amount you give, but the condition of your heart.

It’s how much of a sacrifice you’re making that matters.

My very good friend April who I call “an annoying little sister” gives more to our Church each month than I do, as a percentage of her income.

So even though the amount I give is 3x larger, her gift is more generous. When I found this out the other day, I had to really pause and think about how to step my own game up.

I’m giving out of my abundance, whereas she’s giving from sacrifice.

I’ll get better.

We can all get better.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all you silent lurkers of my content that don’t ever interact or give me any feedback.  : )

I hope it helps you make 2023 your best year yet.

Whenever you're ready, there are 5 ways I can help you:

1. Learn the strategies to create multiple streams of passive income with my new book, Building Indestructible Wealth, here.

2. Build the foundation of your plan with my online learning course, The Indestructible Wealth Builder here.

3. Develop and implement specific strategies in real estate, stocks, and crypto to generate income. Learn how to buy early-stage assets that can 10x in value with my Advanced Indestructible Wealth Builder online learning course here.

4. Invest along with me. Join my private Premiere Mastermind group to get real-time alerts on pre-IPO's, stocks, real estate, and crypto.

5. Work 1:1 with me to get focused, intense guidance to turbocharge your results.