Published by Penguin on October 27th 2015
Genres: Business & Economics, General, Happiness, Nonprofit Organizations & Charities, Personal Growth, Self-Help
We often focus on how our gifts can help those in need. But the act of giving actually improves our own lives as well. In The Giving Way to Happiness, Jenny Santi overturns conventional thinking about what it takes to be happy by revealing how giving to others—whether in the form of money, expertise, time, or love—has helped people from all walks of life find purpose and joy. Drawing on the wisdom of great thinkers past and present, as well as cutting-edge scientific research, Santi makes an eloquent and passionate case that oftentimes the answers to the problems that haunt us, and the key to the happiness that eludes us, lie in helping those around us. This book is filled with inspiring stories told firsthand by Academy Award winner Goldie Hawn, Noble Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, supermodel Christy Turlington Burns, Teach for America founder Wendy Kopp, philanthropist Richard Rockefeller, environmentalist Philippe Cousteau, activist Ric O’Barry, bestselling author Isabel Allende, ALS survivor Augie Nieto, and many others from all over the world. Despite their diverse backgrounds, they have all found unexpected happiness and fulfillment through giving. This book tells us not just how they changed the world but also how their acts changed their very own lives. In addition, Santi reveals:- How altruism involves far more than suppressing basic selfish urges. Rather, we are wired to give, as it activates the same pleasure centers of the brain stimulated by food, sex, and drugs- How helping others—whether by walking a friend through a struggle that you’ve also experienced or by supporting a cause to honor a loved one’s memory—can be a healthy way to deal with adversity and process grief - The unexpected reasons why those who “gave it all up” to make a difference, and who face the direst situations, are nevertheless some of the happiest, most fulfilled, and least angst-ridden people you’ll ever meet.- Practical, universally applicable lessons on what kind of giving makes people happy and what doesn’t. How do you discover giving that is unique to you and makes you feel good? In this inspiring book, Santi turns conventional wisdom upside down about what it takes to be happy and reveals the surprising reasons that have led so many people to live lives full of meaning, purpose and happinessFrom the Hardcover edition.
When Hannah sent out an email asking if we wanted to be a part of this feature post, I initially thought maybe not… sometimes it’s uncomfortable when we sit down and list all the ways that we try to give back and to help those around us, but then I thought that maybe if someone reading this can see how simple and easy and painless it could be, well maybe I can influence someone else to give it a try.
So Hannah asked us to share the ways in which we give. Not all giving has to be money… I hope you all realize this. IN fact, a lot of times many organizations really just would love some of your time. Erin and I currently work at a company who urges us to volunteer and give of our time in any way possible. In fact they give us 8 hours a year (4 hours every 6 months) to use towards any volunteer activity that we’d like to do, whether it’s organized by them or us. Unfortunately the event I was supposed to participate in this year landed 2 weeks after I had surgery so I was unable to go, but I’m looking at ways that the team I work on can all go together to use our time and bond a bit as a team!
Each year for the past three, Liza and Heidi (amazing people) organize an event call the Novel Lunch. All of us book lovers, authors, bloggers whatever, get together and they make an amazing lunch filled with foods that they find in some of their favorite books… while I don’t have a single thing to do with that, they also encourage us attendees to bring a donation of books for a wonderful charity that they are sponsoring that year. In the past, we’ve helped stock a new school’s library, but this year I’m especially excited, because the books we’re going to donate will be going to the Sojurner Family Peace Center. See what I mean… something as simple as taking the books you’ve read off your shelves and providing them to a place that would be so grateful for them is super easy and pretty much costs us nothing and the amazing way you feel after you’ve done something like this is just the best.
One other way we give back at this time of year, my co-workers and I ‘adopt’ local families who are struggling to make ends meet, parents and children who would have nothing under their tree without our help. This year, we’ll be providing gifts for 6 different families and we’re so excited that many of the items on their lists have already been claimed!!
There are so many ways to give back and it doesn’t have to just be in the form of a charity… I’m sure we all do something in some way more often than we actually think. Helping an author promote a book, participating in a blog tour, baking some cookies for your co-workers, or buying a coffee for the person in line at Starbucks for the person behind you, sending a fellow reader a book simply because you want to be nice and not expecting anything in exchange… it all counts and doesn’t it make you feel amazing?
So Hannah suggested highlighting a charity or cause that we feel strongly about, and I actually have quite a few that mean a lot to me. That said, I’m going to provide you guys with a link to Heidi & Liza’s charity Sojurner House of Peace that we’ll be helping this year because this is a place that always can use help in any way, shape or form. If you have things you’d like to donate, check out your local churches or other companies that thrive on donations at this time of year. I know most of us bloggers have more books than we know what to do with and there are so many schools who can always use more, whether it’s in the library or the classroom, reach out and offer them up!
We also wanted to take this opportunity to highlight Giving Tuesday! Giving Tuesday is a global initiative that promotes the generosity of people who are giving around the holidays. Directly following BlackFriday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is an event started by the 92 Street Y in New York City, which hoped to connect a diverse and well-rounded network of people, foundations and organizations. On December 1, 2015, we encourage you to use #MyGivingStory to promote the charity/non-profit organization that you’re helping to support/spotlightt this Holiday Season and to promote it alongside the post in your Giving Blitz. You can link up to the site and learn more about Giving Tuesday here: http://