Give to Receive: The Two Great Strengths of Generosity and Gratitude

If you want to receive, we suggest you get really comfortable with giving. 

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and the holiday season in general, the topics of generosity and gratitude are all abuzz. What’s more, you’ve probably seen these words pop up in the Polymath Planner’s online presence before. These are not new values to us; however, we’re taking on these concepts a little differently today. 

Here’s the question that you’re secretly wondering and we’re ready to answer; what personal gains can come from generosity and gratitude?


If you want good fortune, generosity should be your new favorite hobby. 

According to Psychology Today, generosity is a proven way to increase your lifespan. It has the same effects that a good diet and consistent exercise can have on your body! That alone is reason enough to give thanks — but not the only one worth reaping. 

Here’s why generosity feels so damn good:

Generosity takes us out of the toxic practices we feel the need to put on ourselves. The more you give and feel purposeful in the act of, the less time you’ll spend hanging out with your inner critic. When you spend your time nurturing someone else, you’re less likely to have the time and energy to craft up doubt and self-hatred. It’s a focus shift that stops psychological distress before it starts. 

In addition, giving also connects us with the beautifully imperfect idea of humankind. By showing support for other people, it becomes clear that all people have insecurities andalsoneed help from time to time. It’s pretty silly that we as individuals tend to forget this. Although, getting caught up in our own stuff has a way of drawing a line between ourselves and others. 

Another essential point — the more you give, the more opportunities you create for yourself. Generosity will cause you to meet new people, establish meaningful relationships, and build a top-notch reputation in your community. People will want to reward you for your efforts or pay forward the support you gave them. If you’re coming from a good place, you can bet that you’ll be met with the same earnest generosity.

Give Freely, but Make Sure it Feels Right

Not to sound hokey, but you have to give to yourself before you give to others. If you’re not filling up your cup first, generosity turns into a forced disaster that will cause more stress in your life than not. Here are a few tips to make sure you’re on the right track when it comes to giving — one that feels comfortable to you.

1. Generosity towards oneself is crucial.

Generosity is not necessarily complete selflessness. Unless you’re a literal saint, this aspiration simply isn’t sustainable. Loosen your grip around the fears that come with giving freely, but don’t forget to hold space for yourself as well.

2. Bring awareness to the results of your efforts. 

Receiving should not be the end goal when it comes to generosity. With that being said, allowing yourself to witness the positive results of your actions will make you want to give more. You’ll feel more comfortable knowing you’re taken care of and you’re taking care of others even when it feels like a sacrifice.

3. Give intentionally.

Generosity is an energy transfer. The acts of giving you choose to partake in should have serious heart and soul behind them. Be intentional about the difference you want to make, and you’ll feel way more connected to the cause in both passion and purpose.


If you’re not currently taking the time to give thanks, gratitude could possibly be a missing link to happiness in your life. That’s not to say you’re a good person or a bad person depending on how grateful you are; this is a shame-free zone. Like anything else, this practice is nothing personal. It takes habitual work to make it a part of your life. 

We will say — once you do make it a point to pick up this piece, you’ll see your gratitude grow exponentially. As stated in an article written by Psychology Today, “the more you choose to be grateful, the more you will find to appreciate.” This, my friends, is the power of positivity. Gratitude is a pair of rose-colored glasses — once you choose this perspective, things in general just get a little sunnier. ☀️

Choose optimism, and you’ll become centered in your purpose and your ability to get there. You’ll inevitably meet tough obstacles in this messy thing called life, but with gratitude, you’ll be able to shine light on the support you currently have. This will also allow you to recognize glimmers of hope and guidance in the future. 

Put it into Play with the Polymath Planner

The Polymath Planner makes the practice of gratitude pretty much as easy as can be. 

For each day, the Polymath Planner provides space to answer the question “what are you grateful for?” Although this portion of the planner is surprisingly simple, it gets the gratitude job done. The key here is repetition and reflection. 

By keeping this question fresh in your mind every day, you’ll start to automatically generate it on your own. We’re hardwired to get distracted by the things in life that are negative — stress and bad vibes are signs that danger is near (whether it is or not), and that can take precedence in our everyday occurring thoughts. However, if you remind yourself to not overlook the good things, you can retrain your brain into having more joyful and meaningful musings. 

This section of the planner also offers the opportunity of reflection. By jotting down what you’re thankful for, you’re charting a journey towards positivity and purpose. Great days aren’t always guaranteed — we’re all going to have moments where gratitude and optimism are really hard to lean into. When that time comes, having a gratitude list to refer to can be a fantastic tool for getting out of a funk.

Too Much of a Good Thing

Like generosity, there are wrong ways to practice gratitude. Beware of toxic positivity — this stuff will get you stuck. 

The Subconscious is very sneaky — it loves to create stories to keep you from facing your fears. If you’re involved with situations, people, or pathways that aren’t right for you, facing this reality may not be so clear at first. This can partly be due to the misuse of gratitude, and the fallacy that being grateful means accepting whatis.Meet yourself where you’re at, but be careful to not give up on your goals out of shame, fear, or lack mentality.

How do you tell the difference between positive and negative gratitude? Let your pal Intuition play referee. If you’re fighting what feels right as a way to maintain gratitude, that’s how you know it’s time to shift your perception. 

When Two Become One

Now that you know the benefits and many expressions of these two core values, get ready to take the world by storm! ⚡ Helping your community and appreciating your time spent on earth will help you tune into why you’re here and which steps to take next. 

Actively practice generosity and gratitude, and you’ll notice a ripple effect occur in your life that’s nothing short of magical.