Love is the Ultimate Gift

This post celebrates the second anniversary of Influence PEOPLE. It’s been a great two years and I look forward to many more. I love blogging and social media because it’s opened up so many doors, helped me reconnect with old friends, and allowed me to meet so many new people I never would have otherwise.

One of my best stories is Sean Patrick. I met Sean on Facebook because we had sales training backgrounds and a passion for the science of influence and persuasion. There’s nothing too amazing about that but when Sean came to America last October and stayed with Jane and I for a week it made me realize that never would have happened without the technology we have today and in particular, social media.
I opened by saying I love blogging and social media. Love might be too strong a word, especially when I think about its use as compared to how I feel about my wife and daughter. And my wife, Jane, was the inspiration for today’s post because she’s had me thinking about love lately.
Love engages reciprocity because I believe love is the ultimate gift. As a Christian I’m taught that love seeks the good of another more than it does the giver. In other words, when it comes to love, whatever I do I should do for your benefit, not my own. That’s not to say there may not be a return of some kind because giving engages the principle of reciprocity. When we do a kind deed, a loving deed, quite often people feel like they should respond in some way.
Several weeks ago Stella Collins asked a question in response to my post “The Most Expensive Gift of All – Free.” Her question was whether or not I thought asking someone to “pay it forward” was an act of reciprocity. I believe it is because it simply redirects someone’s desire to “return the favor” and points it toward another person. It allows people to unburden themselves from the feeling of obligation reciprocity creates and helps someone else in the process. I think the world would be a better place if we all did a little more redirecting.
So how did Jane become the inspiration for this post? At the beginning of April, I turned 47, and Jane threw me a surprise party at one of our favorite hangouts in Columbus, The Pub. It was a great night and tons of fun to see so many good friends. The next night we went to a wedding and after a few Newcastles she was able to convince me to slow dance. As we danced we laughed and joked and I felt like I did when we first met 25 years ago. For me it was one of those magical times I’d love to put into a bottle and hang onto forever.
So that weekend made me think about love and reciprocity. I can’t manufacture something like that weekend for Jane but I found myself wanting to give to her however I could. It ended up being simple; finding a card that expressed much of how I feel for her. Because no card can perfectly express our feelings I added a few words of my own to the card. Of course a card with a note can never encapsulate all I feel but sometimes it’s the effort that counts. The point is, because of what she gave I wanted to give back in some way.My encouragement to you this week is to love somebody. That doesn’t necessarily mean romantic feelings but rather look for ways to unconditionally give to another or do something that genuinely benefits someone else without expectation of anything in return. If they feel the need to do something in return then direct them to someone else and have them pay it forward. If we all do this some wonderful things can happen this week.

Brian, CMCT
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.


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