I have been watching Oprah’s new prime time show “The Big Give.” I am a fan of Oprah’s intention within the work she does and how she is using her enormous influence to make this world a better place.
Many celebrities have been using their star power towards making a difference in this world. It is inspiring to see this and I love how it is becoming almost en vogue.
Although it is inspiring to watch people running around giving and raising money for others, that really isn’t the only premise of this show. It's not necessarily about what or how much they give; it is how it is done. The judges watch for resourcefulness, determination and creativity. They also watch for how the competitors look for the true need out there, not what they think should happen.
As women, we all spend much of our time giving of ourselves to others. The question is, are we giving to suit our own internal needs or are we being creative, intuitive, and giving with intention and presence?
I have seen this in friends, my clients and myself. We get caught up in all that we feel we must do for others around us to the point where we may not be doing ourselves or anyone else any good. Sometimes we are in such a habit of this that we forget to look at what others are really wanting or needing. In many cases, they don’t want or need our help.
A prime example of this is with our teenage or grown children. We so easily jump into helping them solve all their issues, or what we perceive as issues. When our children make choices that we don’t agree with it doesn’t necessarily mean it is the wrong choice for them. They may choose a harder path than we want to see them on, or maybe an easier one that we perceive as lazy.
If you look back to your own youth, did you want your parents to make all of the choices in your life? If you did allow this, how much resentment do you still carry because of it?
Letting go of our preconceived ideas of what is right for our children is one of the hardest things to do as a parent.
Remember: “Nobody hears the answers to questions they did not ask.”
My challenge for you is this. The next time you feel yourself wanting to jump in with your advice towards someone, stop and ask yourself “Is this about me and my egotistical need to be right?” and then ask “What do they really need in this moment?” That is what great leaders and parents do, they play big and empathize by looking beyond their own egos.
You may be surprised that all your children really need is to be heard and be given the space to be themselves.
That truly is a “big give.”