The Art of Abundance: Giving Back More Than You Take

When we choose to make our contribution bigger than our reward, we engage in the practice of generosity. It allows us to transcend the mundane transactions of daily life and transforms our existence into a masterpiece of shared joy, kindness, and empathy.

Title Photo by Marta Ortigosa

Make a Bigger Contribution

As you and I seek to make an Excelerated Contribution™, it behooves us to remember this timeless principle, articulated by Dan Sullivan and Catherine Nomura in The Laws of Lifetime Growth: “Always make your contribution bigger than your reward.” [Sullivan] These words invite us to craft a legacy of abundance by giving more than we receive. In a world often measured by individual success and personal gain, this principle serves as a guiding light, illuminating the path toward a richer, more fulfilling existence.

A Life of Generosity

Imagine life as an intricate journey. For some of us, the journey will be long and cover many years. For some of us, it will be a shorter trip. But no matter the length of our individual lives, we all are given an opportunity to contribute, to make a positive impact on the world around us, to create a legacy of shared joy and kindness. Much like any other journey, the steps we take through life are interconnected with other travelers, creating a rhythm that resonates with the universal symphony of giving and receiving.

When we choose to make our contribution bigger than our reward, we engage in the practice of generosity. It allows us to transcend the mundane transactions of daily life and transforms our existence into a masterpiece of shared joy, kindness, and empathy.

The Ripple Effect

Every act of generosity, no matter how small, sends ripples through the fabric of reality. Much like dropping a pebble into a pond, the effects of our contributions spread far beyond the initial point of contact. A single act can inspire a cascade of positive events, touching lives in ways beyond our comprehension and in ways we may never know.

In acts of giving, the true magic lies in the exponential nature. A single act can set off a chain reaction, sparking a sequence of positive events. Through our contributions, we become architects of a legacy that extends beyond our individual lifetimes, shaping a world characterized by compassion, understanding, and interconnectedness.

The Gift of Purpose

Prioritizing giving over receiving unwraps the gift of purpose. It transcends material wealth, offering a profound sense of fulfillment derived from making a difference in the lives of others. Purpose is the compass that guides our actions and turns ordinary moments into extraordinary opportunities for contribution.

Contrary to the notion that wealth and success are measured solely in possessions or accolades, the true measure lies in the positive impact we leave on the world. Purpose becomes the music that orchestrates our steps, transforming each day into a celebration of meaningful contributions.

contribution bigger reward

Photo by RDNE Stock project

Navigating Challenges

Embracing the principle of giving back more than we take doesn’t exempt us from life’s challenges. Instead, it equips us with a powerful mindset that enables us to navigate adversity with grace and resilience. Challenges become stepping stones, opportunities to demonstrate the strength of our commitment to contribute, even in the face of difficulty. “The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”

In moments of hardship, our generosity becomes a source of strength, providing solace and reminding us of the transformative power of our contributions.

Cultivating a Culture of Contribution

Making our contribution bigger than our reward contributes not only to individual lives but also to the collective evolution of humanity. Cultivating a culture of contribution creates an environment where acts of kindness become the norm.

In families, communities, and societies, acts of generosity shape the narrative of progress, with an emphasis on collaboration and mutual support. Each person becomes a vital participant in this grand dance, contributing their unique steps to the collective rhythm of shared abundance.

Practical Steps to Amplify Contribution

As you seek to make your contribution bigger than your reward, consider these ideas.

  • Identify Your Strengths: Recognize your unique strengths, talents, and skills. Consider how you can leverage them for positive impact.
  • Be Present: Actively listen and engage with the needs of others. Being present helps identify opportunities for contribution that may otherwise go unnoticed.
  • Small Acts, Big Impact: Small acts of kindness can create significant positive change. Don’t underestimate the power of a smile, a kind word, or a thoughtful gesture.
  • Create Meaningful Connections: Foster relationships built on trust and empathy. Meaningful connections amplify the impact of your contributions and create a supportive network.
  • Set Contribution Goals: Establish specific goals for your contributions, whether they involve volunteering, mentoring, or supporting charitable causes. Setting goals provides direction and clarity.
  • Lead by Example: Inspire others to join the dance of generosity by leading through example. Your actions have the potential to ignite the spirit of contribution in those around you.

Practice Generosity and Share Abundance

As you and I seek to embrace the Excelerated Life™, the practice of generosity beckons us to give back more than we take, creating a culture of shared abundance and purpose. As we embrace the principle of making our contribution bigger than our reward, we step into a world where acts of kindness become the currency of connection, and the legacy we leave is measured not in possessions but in the positive impact on the lives of others. In doing this, we discover the essence of a life well-lived — one marked by the art of abundance, where giving becomes the ultimate reward.

So, let us dance with purpose, you and I, each step resonating with the rhythm of contribution, creating a harmonious cadence that spreads throughout our lives and the lives of those around us. For in this dance of generosity, we find the true essence of a life well-lived. And that is one step in embracing your Excelerated Life™!

What is one thing you can do to make your contribution “bigger than your reward”?
How could you begin that today?
Share your comments below.

Excelerated Contribution™ — achieving meaningful objectives while giving back more than you take — is one practice for creating your Excelerated Life™, a life of flourishing and well-being, and a life of meaning, purpose, and service.

Read more about the Excelerated Life.


Sullivan, Dan and Catherine Nomura. The Laws of Lifetime Growth: Always Make Your Future Bigger Than Your Past (2nd Edition). Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc., 2016.

This blog post includes research information and suggestions provided by ChatGPT, an AI language model developed by OpenAI. The content was generated with AI assistance and is intended to provide information and guidance. Please note that the suggestions are not official statements from OpenAI. To learn more about ChatGPT and its capabilities, you can visit the OpenAI website.

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