Givers and takers

Recently I have been thinking a lot about a book I have been reading: Give and Take by Adam Grant.

Why? Simply because the author underlines different styles of interactions with other people and how these styles can ultimately have a surprising impact on our success and quality of life.

The book starts from the evidence that success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others. It turns out that most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers. Whereas takers strive to get as much as possible from others and matchers aim to trade evenly, givers are the rare breed of people who contribute to others without expecting anything in return.

So what am I?
Surely not a taker, probably sometimes a matcher, but truly I consider myself a giver. I have been doing quite a lot of graphic work over the years for charities for free to improve their communication, I have been raising money and awareness for good causes and devoted tons of hours on good causes.

Therefore following the book’s idea I should be fulfilled and successfull just by helping other. Well not quite there…
Why am I feeling burnt out, tired to help, not so willingly helpful as I should be? What’s wrong with me? Am I not doing enough, am I not giving enough? Or maybe I am not a true giver after all.
Thankfully the book has a answer for me: although some givers get exploited and burn out, the rest achieve extraordinary results across a wide range of industries. It all depends on how much you give and the style of your giving and accordingly to some studies there is even a right amount of hours per week.
I won’t go to much in depth about the different styles of giving leaving you the pleasure to read the book yourself, but I want to share with you the right amount of time to devote to giving: 100 hours/year, which it works out roughly at 2 hours/week. Give less and you will not feel the real benefits of giving, give more and you might experience burn out.

Two hours per week might not sound like a lot, but for me it’s great. I can fit the time in my busy schedule, don’t feel like I am giving all of my time to charity work and as well giving a frame of time to work only on pro bono work. It makes me looking forward to it and surely I am more creative, knowing that after all 2 hours can fly pretty easily.

Here is my most recent work for ADMO campaign.