Assets, Inventory & Giving

     The 14-Apr post on Lessons from Networking generated some interesting dialogue with those I’ve met in the intervening ten days or so.  A couple of those dialogues made significant impressions on my outlook.  Over the past decade or so I’ve mentally toyed with the idea of writing and sharing more frequently, but I’ve always been reluctant to dive in.  Two reasons would usually stamped out any thoughts of committing to regular sharing.  One, maybe some folks can sit down and rapidly capture meaningful thoughts, but for me it’s a time-consuming and deliberative thought process.  And, two, I was afraid of having little, if anything, to share that others would find interesting or meaningful in their lives.
     The past week has been another example of God intentionally lining up people to hammer a common message into my head like ammo in a gun on full automatic.  As my heart and mind have continued to chew on how to make regular deposits to the emotional bank accounts of the relationships in my life network, I keep getting drawn back to the notion of writing for the purpose of giving.  
     Once my mind headed down this path, I quickly realized that we cannot give something we do not already possess.  On the balance sheet of a business, we categorize things we own as “assets.”  One of the periodic activities of successful people and businesses is that they periodically step away from doing and take an inventory.
     So, what assets do I possess (you will need to conduct your own inventory)?  I narrowed my list down to five big categories.  I do not pretend this list is comprehensive (it ignores tangible assets–monetary or physical assistance); however, this inventory represents elements crucial to any effective relationship–gifts from both the head and the heart.
  1. Time — In this fast-paced world, time for many of us is our most precious asset
  2. Talents — Those traits inherent from birth that make each of us better at some things than most people around me
  3. Training — The lessons life has and continues to teach me
  4. Transparency — Being real and vulnerable with others
  5. Truth — The Natural Laws, designed by our Creator, that govern the affairs of mankind
     I still do not know if anyone will consistently find value in what I share, but that barrier, which previously kept me from starting down this path, is falling in the face of several truths.  First, since I believe that God owns it all, “my” life assets are really His assets to use and hoarding them is a disingenuous lack of faith.  Second, any gift involves relinquishing control.  The outcome is in the hands of the reader/recipient, and not my concern.  Third, I am left with this simple, yet deep question… am I giving (writing in this context) for the best interests of the reader/recipient?
     So What (can I do now)? [Since I’m a huge believer in action-oriented learning (i.e. applying the lessons we are trying to learn), I will usually include in these posts a few suggestions on practical steps you can take to apply the concepts discussed in the post.  Otherwise, it’s just an intellectual dialogue firmly anchored in mid-air.]
  1. Conduct your own periodic inventory of life assets (life is dynamic; so it will change over time)
  2. Decide how you will share those assets into the lives of others in your circle of influence
  3. Put that plan into action
  4. Return to Step 1 and repeat

2 thoughts on “Assets, Inventory & Giving

  1. I commend you greatly for taking this on, Gary. I read last week’s post and had some reservations since it came across as building up a credit balance in a relationship so it can be used for one’s own advantage. I find this week’s article much cleaner and a clearer resonance with my own philosophy, which is that one gives what one has because one doesn’t own it anyway. One helps others simply because it’s the right thing to do. It helps that giving is rewarding in its own right. And that’s really about all we can do; the rest is up to God or Karma or Allah or whatever greater power or order shapes our individual lives. Thank you and keep up the good work!

    • Gareth, Using a relationship credit balance for “one’s own advantage” was not my intent. (I’ll have to work on my writing tone.) Rather, I felt ashamed for at times even attempting to relate at a zero, or worse negative, balance with some in my network. The lesson intensive networking is (re)teaching me is the importance of first and foremost making deposits of value into the lives of others who cross my path. Yes, it would be wonderful if all I (or anyone else) did was give to others, but I’m not that good or powerful. We all need help through life. In my opinion, it is all part of God’s design that individual gaps and weaknesses form the foundation for families and communities that build strength through complementary giving and receiving (that’s different than taking).

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