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Giving, Building Pride, & Failing Small

By: Michael Blankenship |

We must give more in order to get more. It is the generous giving of ourselves that produces the generous harvest.

– Orison Swett Marden

Greetings from LA and Oahu!

Today marks the one-year anniversary of The Tonic! 🎉

Thank you so much for being a subscriber. 

To make sure we serve you as effectively as possible in 2022, please take our four-question survey over here — it should just take five minutes of your time and it’ll help us a lot. 🙂

This week we’re talking about how givers get rich, why building pride is underrated, and we’re sharing some powerful insights for 2022 (courtesy of Chris Hladczuk). 


Why Givers Get Rich

Not long ago, the economist Arthur Brooks set out to better understand the relationship between income and charitable giving. He examined data for more than 30,000 Americans and controlled his research for every possible factor that could have an impact on income or charitable giving — age, race, religion, politics, marital status, and so forth. Naturally, higher-income resulted in higher giving. For every $1 increase in income, charitable giving increased by $0.14. 

But when Brooks examined the inverse relationship between income and giving, something more surprising emerged — for every $1 in charitable giving, income increased by $3.75. 

In other words, people who give more money away are statistically more likely to go on to make more money. 

Here’s how he explains it: 

“If you have two families that are exactly identical—in other words, same religion, same race, same number of kids, same town, the same level of education, and everything’s the same—except that one family gives a hundred dollars more to charity than the second family, then the giving family will earn on average $375 more in income than the nongiving family—and that’s statistically attributable to the gift.”

The same is true for our mental well-being…

“It turns out that the data on happiness and charitable giving is beyond dispute. People who give to charity are 43 percent more likely than people who don’t give to say they’re very happy people. People who give blood are twice as likely to say they’re very happy people as people who don’t give blood. People who volunteer are happier. The list goes on. You simply can’t find any kind of service that won’t make you happier.”

Seems crazy? 

Maybe not. After all, many scientific studies have established that charitable giving makes people happier and provides them with a greater sense of meaning — naturally, happy and purpose-driven people go on to make more money than their peers.

The question is, are you giving enough away in your own life to feel happy and fulfilled? If you’re not, then you’re passing up a wonderful (and profitable) investment. 

Here’s a list of top charities to check out

Powerful Insights for 2022

Chris Hladczuk recently shared some awesome (ten, to be specific) insights on Twitter. 

And the entire thread is definitely worth checking out. But there were three of our favorites. 

On failing small… 

On the power of tiny daily gains…  

And on managing stress… 

Building Pride

Maybe you think of pride as a bad thing — as one of the seven deadly sins. 

But it’s difficult to understate how powerful well-placed pride is for personal growth. 

My wife recently started training to run a marathon — something she’s aspired to do but never done before — and the personal pride she experiences after every day of training is spectacular to witness. 

She’s proud of herself because she’s doing something difficult, something she’s never done before. And that pride looks a whole lot like joy. 

Because she’s proud of herself, she’s also starting to work more diligently in other areas of her life as well — as a mother, as a wife, and at University. 

That’s the domino effect of having pride in yourself — pride turns into self-confidence and self-confidence turns into meaningful action. 

And then the cycle repeats. 


How can you become more proud of yourself? 

The best starting place is action — make a commitment and do something that’s just a little bit difficult or outside your comfort zone. 

That could mean training for a marathon, signing up for therapy, reading a book, or purchasing a fitness program. 

It’ll be different for different people. 

But one thing’s for sure… once you take control of one aspect of your life, you’ll feel immense pride and want to take control of other aspects of your life. 

That’s how growth happens. 

This Week’s Photo

Ivan Alvarado / Reuters

“Supporters of Chile’s President-elect Gabriel Boric celebrate after their candidate won the presidential election, in Santiago, Chile, on December 19, 2021.” via The Atlantic

This Week’s Riddle

Here’s this week’s riddle — the answer is at the bottom of the email!

What word contains 26 letters but only has three syllables?

This Week’s Question

Answer this question — either privately or by replying to this email. If your answer inspires us, then we’ll ask for permission to include it in a future email!

Why do you think charitable giving is so impactful for the giver?

This Week’s Challenge

Giving will bring you joy, increase your chances of personal success, and provide you with a powerful sense of purpose. So find an outlet to give more than you did in 2021. That might mean volunteering at the local food bank, donating monthly to a charity of your choosing, or giving time to a cause that you’re passionate about. 

Until next week, 

Mike & Alec

Riddle Answer: the alphabet.

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