You should live generously. It’s important – we’ve all got something different to give to the world, and if you hide it away, never giving, you’ll shrivel. Whereas if you live generously, you’ll live a big life.

That desire that we all have to be significant, important, and successful – if you twist it into ugly ‘me-first’ ambition, you’ve got it backwards. You’re actually meant to be giving of yourself, and in doing so you will become the ‘bigshot’ you deeply desire to be.

Now – I understand this all sounds like airy-fairy philosophical nonsense, right? Like the kind of thing yoda would say. So let me spell it out to you how it works. I just had the realisation the other night.

Go to local meetups in your area of expertise. Or if there is none, start one. I know it’ll take a lot of time and energy, but you can be generous with your time and energy, i’m sure. When you’re there – don’t try to talk to just your friends, or the ‘important’ people there. Say hi to all the new people! Be welcoming and generous with your words.

If you’re shy, and it’s a struggle to be friendly and welcoming to people you’ve never met – make the sacrifice to be friendly. It’s a generous move, and it’s worth doing. The ‘bounce rate’ at meetups in my experience is massive, roughly a third of the people there have never been before, and they probably won’t come again if nobody says hi to them. So be the person who says hi to them.

Just make sure you’re genuine. Be friendly for generosity’s sake, not just because you’re trying to make a name for yourself. Here’s the difference: if you’re being genuinely friendly, you’ll ask about what they’re working on. If you’re trying to make a name for yourself, you’ll never stop talking about what you’re working on – and people will be repulsed.

Give presentations at meetups! This is a huge thing. You’ve got something to share, i’m sure, and people need to hear it. Meetup organisers in general have a hard time finding people to present. And rightfully so: it takes a lot of time and effort to prepare, and a lot of guts to stand up in front of everyone – but do it anyway, be generous and make the effort.

And here’s how it all comes together: In being generous like the above, you’ll feel deeply satisfied in yourself. You’ll make a stack of new friends. You’ll build the community. You’ll become the person that everyone knows and comes to for advice. You’ll be highly regarded because of your contributions and presentations. Opportunities will come your way, inevitably. It’s easy to see how your generosity will come back to you, multiplied, eventually. So there it is – that’s the nuts and bolts of how being generous actually will make you the success you want to be.

But please, don’t be generous only because of what you can get out of it. Do it because (even though you may not realise) it’s who you really are meant to be.

Thanks for reading! And if you want to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you: chris.hulbert at gmail.