This article explains how easy it can be to lead a happy personal life, and even a vibrant company team.
Here are two steps which can help:
1) decide to be a cool person
2) surround yourself with talented, passionate cool people
Once Christmas waves bye-bye in Santa’s rear-view mirror, real life resumes for most people.
The malls are no longer blaring carols, the last few slurps of eggnog are rapidly approaching their expiration date, and Grandma’s insurance settlement from that little fender-bender with the reindeer has been processed.
Sadly, one of the downfalls of fading holiday generosity is rapidly-expanding emptiness on the shelves of many food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.
Is there anything wrong with giving at the holidays?
Certainly not. It fuels the soul.
I can’t speak for anyone but myself but I prefer to keep my soul fueled up year round, and I am beyond honored and blessed to have surrounded myself with a growing group of people who feel the same.
They are loosely referred to as ‘The BeachBums’….and I love them all.
The concept of ‘BeachBum Philanthropy’ was hatched in December 2012 when I mentioned to a friend that I wanted to have a place to share ideas on how to give back, pay it forward and generally share kindness (in any direction you choose to send it).
That person asked me: “What is your aspiration in life?”
My instant answer: “I want to be a Beach Bum” (as I had just learned how to surf).
“What does that mean?”
“I want to stop freaking out over things, relax more, and commit at least one act of kindness every day…no matter how small.”
That week, BeachBum Philanthropy got its name, and it’s own page on my website.
Ever since, it has been growing and adding ‘fellow BeachBums’ as we’ve used social media (click here to like our Facebook page) to share ideas, shine a spotlight on people who are making a difference and to share our appreciation for those whom we feel deserve it (often naming them ‘ROCK STAR Givers of the Day’).
As we are NOT an official non-profit (too much paperwork, too many rules), we do not solicit donations and inform people that anything which runs through us cannot be deducted off their taxes.
We are just a sweet little movement of kindness, happy to share the ride with anyone who rocks a similar soul.
This past week, MY soul was rocked by what seemed like any other simple act of kindness.
I was blessed and honored to deliver a car FULL of donations (food, clothing, a tent, a microwave and other helpful items) to Liberty House in Manchester NH, courtesy of my friend Nikki.
The staff at Liberty House bust their butts, with ZERO funding beyond donations (there is an amazing story to shared someday behind THAT decision) to help homeless veterans get back on their feet.
As several of their residents and volunteers helped me unload the car, one of them (whom I’ll refer to as Mr. J) asked:
“Hey Steve, they didn’t give you a shower curtain, did they?”
“Nope, not this time.”
“No problem, just thought I’d check.”
As we finished unpacking, I remembered a giving mission from earlier in the week.
One of our consistently generous BeachBums, ‘Miss B’ had shared a donation with us bearing the instructions: “When a need pops up, please take care if it”.
That Tuesday, that ‘need’ showed up in the form of a homeless veteran desperately in need of boots for winter.
That need was filled, plus two pairs of warm socks.
Thank you Miss B!
What struck me on the Thursday trip was my realization that there were 5-dollars remaining from her donation.
A 5-minute trip across the bridge led me to a store where, for that exact amount of money, I snagged a shower liner and curtain rings.
I’m a guy. Shopping is not among my biggest thrills.
‘BeachBum’ shopping, however, is definitely a joyful experience!
Heading back across the bridge, I found Mr. J and said “Hey, look what I found in my car!”
As he opened the bag and looked inside, his eyes came back up to meet mine, shining with emotion.
“Are you serious?”
“Yup…that’s from The BeachBums.”
His hand came out and I shook it.
“I was ready to just throw a tarp over the shower bar, man.”
I don’t think I stopped smiling the rest of that day.
The next day I was back at Liberty House again (thanks to my BeachBum friends Dawn, Lexi and Doug) with ANOTHER car full of food and clothing.
When I saw Mr. J, I asked him:
“Do you know what my favorite moment from yesterday was?”
His reply: “I know what MINE was!”
We smiled, knowing they were one in the same.
See, it doesn’t take a lot to give.
Believe me, I am struggling to grow my businesses (and pay my bills) just like so many other entrepreneurs.
The key to the ‘BeachBum Philanthropy’ giving mission is this:
1) We seek out even the smallest opportunities to make a difference ever day
2) We surround ourselves with the best people we can find
3) We do our best to educate others (hence the BeachBum Facebook page) as to how easy, and rewarding, giving can be.
At the time of this writing, the Powerball jackpot has crossed the billion-dollar threshold.
So many people are saying: “If I win, I’m going to give back and help people!”
My answer, as explained in this post which which enjoyed more than 1.1 MILLION views and 16,000 shares in less than 72 hours on Facebook:
You can give.
It could rock your soul.
Go ahead, be a BeachBum.
Recognize and celebrate BeachBums at your workplace as well.
It’s a heck of a ride.
Your soul will thank you!