I just returned from a most unusual conference in Hong Kong.  Attended by around one hundred HNW families from around the world, the event focused entirely on celebrating generosity.  The speakers all shared how becoming more generous in every area of life had transformed their marriages, families and businesses and led to more satisfaction and fulfillment than they ever imagined possible.

A couple from India with a thriving business explained how they had capped their lifestyle in order to give more money and time to, among other causes, children suffering from cancer,  a man from Hong Kong shared the freedom he felt in liquidating assets to support several causes he cares about and an entrepreneur from South Africa explained why he gave a majority stake in his successful business to a Foundation.

While the stories were unique, they all expressed the same principle – doing something beyond and bigger than themselves rather than just for themselves led to a more fulfilling life.

I listened, I must admit, feeling a little skeptical. That is until I talked to some of the speakers off stage.  How can generosity be so personally enriching I asked? They responded saying that by becoming more loving and selfless towards strangers they became more thankful and content in every area of life.  Less anxious, more patient, more empathetic – qualities which make them better spouses, bosses and friends.

More proof that generosity does not just help others it transforms us.

The words that best capture this idea for me are from Jesus some 2000 years ago.

“It is more blessed to give than to receive”.

It seems to me that these words make no sense at all until, like those I met at the conference, we put them into practice.

Worth a try?