The Wisdom of a Foolish giver


Timothy Stuurman

One of the many secrets to success is having the ability to give. A lopsided picture that is painted for us throughout our lives (from school, right into our adult lives) is summed up in the phrase, “Work now, Play later.” Unfortunately the reality is that we ‘work now, to hope to work later, to maybe play much later.’  The path to success for most of us is a long one, and by the time the finish line is in sight, we are most likely going to be too old to really enjoy it.

A grim image indeed…


However, flipping this bad hand in your favor and fast-tracking your journey to success is no more difficult that giving your best effort in everything you do… even if your fellow employees may find your behavior foolish. My advice is simple:

  • Give your mind:
    A trap that many people fall into is mindlessly following routine without thinking about how they can complete tasks more effectively and efficiently. Giving your mind to every task you perform, and asking questions in an effort to better understand the processes involved in completing a task will help you gain a deeper understanding of how to improve, and give you the opportunity to become an active contributor in the progress of the company.


  • Give yourself to new challenges:
    We often hear people say, “No, it’s not in my job description” when they are asked to do something that they see as too difficult or too much of an effort. This attitude of mediocrity does not allow for any growth, both personally and within an organization/company. Real success comes from giving yourself to a task regardless of whether it is in your job description or not. Those who give themselves to new challenges, learn and grow in experience and position.


  • Give your time:
    Another common practice is running out of the office in triumph as soon as the clock strikes 5pm at the end of the working day, with no regard for whether or not the tasks given are completed. This attitude shows a lack of commitment to the vision of the company and to the work that needs to be done. Making a true success out of a career comes from giving time to tasks even if you need to work overtime. Yes, we’ve heard it said that “time is money” – which brings me to my next point…


  • Give your money:
    ‘Whoa! Hold on! I’m okay with giving time and effort, but my money too???’ Yes, most certainly! Very often, you may be required to work overtime, or make a purchase out of your own pocket in order to get a task done. By making the initial sacrifice, you are well on your way to investing in a career that will give you a far greater return in the long run.

While it may seem trite or obvious, by going beyond what is expected, you are investing in the future success of your career.


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