One of the first Bible precepts that I learned in Sunday School as a small boy was that it is better to give than to receive. Now, as a little guy, I wasnt a big fan of this concept, especially around my birthday and Christmas. In any case, a few days ago, I was thumbing through a recent copy of Forbes magazine and I came across an article by Michael Norton provocatively titled Yes, Money Can Buy Happiness
If you give it away.
Norton is a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School and he has been researching how changes in income impact well-being. For example, he recently asked 315 Americans to rank their happiness on a 100 point scale and predict how happy they would be if they made ten different incomes, ranging from $5,000 up to $1,000,000. So, for example, he found that those who made $25,000 a year predicted that their happiness would double if they made $55,000. But when he measured their actual happiness, the change was about 7%. Moreover, he found that once people reached the US median income (about $60,000), the happiness return on additional income was very small.
Ironically, he did discover one way to buy more happiness with your money: Give it away. He hypothesized that although making more money helps us accumulate more material things, it does little to give us what the research shows makes us happierquality relationships with others.
To test his theory, he and his team did a little experiment. They approached strangers on the street and gave them different sums of money ($5 or $20) and told them that they had to spend the money by the end of the day. But half were instructed to spend the money on themselves while the others were told to spend it on someone else. At the end of the day, Nortons team learned that those who had to spend the money on themselves bought stuff like coffee and food. However, those who had to spend the money on others did things like donate to the homeless or buy a gift for a loved one.
So, who was happier? Yep, those who gave the money away. Interestingly, there was no difference in reported happiness between those who had to give $5 away verses those who gave $20 away. I guess when it comes to giving, it truly is the thought that counts.
So, why I am sharing all this? Maybe because its fundraising season and NFI needs you to give to us until you are in a state of joyous glee. Good guess, but nope. (Although, we certainly need the support and you can donate here
. And, no gift is too large. :-))
Well, it is because I vividly recall that one of the early words that each of my kids uttered was mine. I seems that children are genetically wired to be self-focused and its a dads job to model and teach their children the joy that can be received from giving. And, you dont need to wait until Sunday to start teaching. That is, if you can spare $5 bucks.
We love the idea of daddy-daughter dates. They help you bond with your daughter and they show her how she should be treated by the men in her life.
This weekend, NFI's Sr. Director of Graphic Design, Paul, took his six-year-old daughter Lillian to a Chick-Fil-A date night. The restaurant regularly sponsors these nights - complete with table service, roses, and dessert.
Here's Paul's take on the event:I appreciated the conversation starter handout that they supplied...and I observed many dads using them to "break the ice".
I was just thrilled that I didn't need any help getting Lillian to open up to me and the fact that I knew my daughters answers to the questions before they were asked really boosted my confidence.
Lillian declined a rose that they were passing out when we entered the event... But she asked for a rose when we were leaving... Only to gift it to me when we got to the car. :)
Have you gone on any daddy-daughter dates? What are your favorite activities?
Some of us were chatting in the lunch room the other day and I was impressed (and amused) with the ingenuity of one of my colleague's kids, so I thought I'd share their brilliant idea for a little inspiration.
Dave, one of the dads here at NFI, was called down to his basement by his three energetic boys - Pierce, age 10, Luke, age 8, and Jeremy, age 6 - to observe their very own NBA skills challenge. His boys love the NBA all-star game and decided to create their very own event.
These budding basketball stars transformed the basement with elevated toy basketball nets, roaming spotlights (provided by an energetic use of flashlights), and a charismatic announcer to present awards and even interview the winners. They even created a skills course with stations like in the real NBA contest by, for instance, cutting a hole in some cardboard as the target for the passing accuracy test. Dave and his wife had front row seats for the all star event.
Next time you're wondering what to do with your family on a rainy day, take some inspiration for Dave's creative kids and make an all star even of your own!The all stars after their event(clockwise from L to R) Pierce, Luke, and Jeremy.