Would you like to know how to make your birthday more meaningful?
The answer is simple; Instead of Happy Birthday, be Birthday Happy!! Be thankful for your opportunity to be alive. Give on your birthday instead of expecting to receive.
I know this sounds kind of crazy, right? We all enjoy getting gifts, and birthdays are the one day a year we’ve deemed it acceptable for people to expect to receive them. It’s a sign of acknowledgement and validation. This is MY day and it's all about ME!! And therein lies my problem.
Over the last few years I have been developing a philosophy of REFUZE and Living on Purpose. The quality of our lives is our option. This option is realized by "creating your life one intentional decision at a time.” Our lives are nothing more than the reflections of these decisions. I believe, and science has confirmed, if you make these decisions leading from a place of thankfulness and giving, this approach will have the most profoundly positive impact on every aspect of your life.
How we celebrate our birthday is one of these recognizable decisions we make each year. This is the perfect place to make a bold statement who you are and how you are intentionally choosing to live your life. This year, I've made the decision to Give in appreciation for my birthday and I’m inviting you to do the same.
What does that mean?
It doesn't really change anything you might normally do over the course of the year. It’s about the “when” and more importantly the “why” you do what you do. Here are three simple and specific ways for you to give in appreciation of your birthday.
Give #1 – Thank your parents
Two individuals brought you into this world. When was the last time you went out of your way to thank them? Yes, your parents and especially your mom considering she went the extra mile to carry you for nine months... Not to take away from Dads, but Mother’s hold an incredibly wonderful place in my heart, and though they can often be as crazy as they want to be, one thing you can never take from them is without them, you wouldn’t be here. Period.
Give #2 – Cultivating your Generosity
This one flows throughout the year. Start with the closest people in your life who are willingly there to promote your successes and grieve in your losses. Recognize these relationships genuinely by making the conscious effort to keep them in your “giving mind”, not requiring to receive from them. Every day becomes the perfect day to say thanks. Be it a gift, be it a hug, or be it nothing more than a lending ear…. Don’t wait for a birthday; don’t wait for a “holiday”. When the feeling strikes, act. Don’t wait for when it’s mandatory and don't look for reciprocation. Imagine true honest relationships where giving and receiving is natural and organic and there are no expectations other than the expectation you place on yourself to be thankful to have them in your life.
Give #3 – Throw a Gratitude Party
Now comes the party! Birthday parties can be a great time, but from now on, create your celebration as a way to say thanks, NOT just the specific day and time you can drop off my presents. Allow it to be a benefit to others not their burden. Instead of asking for PRESENTS, ask your friends to simply honor your day of gratitude with their presence. Let it be known gifts will NOT be accepted; their friendship throughout the year has been plenty gift enough.
Life is full of gifts. Just look around you. When you begin to see the world from this perspective, everything begins to present itself as a gift and the last thing your conscious would require is yet another one. Giving is the new mindset I’m hoping you will adopt for your next birthday. I know this is a difficult proposition, considering the social conditioning of our current standard, but as we move forward into a more enlightened world, we've long established the path to fulfillment and genuine pleasure being guided by gratitude. As you are able to recognize and be thankful for everything the world presents you as a gift; you become more willing to reciprocate by means of expanding yourself through giving and creating value for others.
Today is my birthday, and this is my gift to you….. thank you.