Happy New Year! As we enter into a brand new year, I’d like to share a short story with you in the hopes that it will remind you of what you already know.

A few months ago I volunteered to help the homeless. As we were preparing goodie bags to distribute, a young homeless man walked in. He was ragged, thin, unshaven and looked like he’d had more than a few rough nights. We assumed he was here to ask for something from us.

He approached our group, smiled, told us his name was Josh and asked how he could help us. At first we were taken aback by his request. He shared his story of being 24 years old and on the street for a few months. His parents didn’t have the money to help him and he had no friends or family in the area.

To add insult to injury, he’d been mugged the night before, was bruised and now had no money, no coat, no shoes, no ID, and no glasses. He smiled and told us how much it meant to him that people like us would come to help folks like him. He explained how he wanted to be a giver too, and wanted to help us assist his brothers and sisters on the street in any way that he could.

We were dumbfounded. We all came from good neighborhoods, great jobs, and lives of abundance and thought we were pretty cool for doing the right thing to help the homeless. For most of us, the worst thing we could imagine in life would be living destitute on the street. Take our worst fear and compound it, and you’d have this young man’s life. Josh made giving real. I was humbled by his smile and his sense of gratitude for the things he did have in his life- few as they were.

We were so inspired to help Josh, especially because he wanted to give. By the end of the day, not only did he have his basic needs covered, he also received a place to stay, a new job and the experience of helping his homeless friends.

Giving opens up the magic of the Universe. So many times we say we’ll give “when we have a little extra”, or “when we have the time”. Yet here was a giver, who appeared to have nothing to give! Instead of sitting in the park feeling sorry for himself, he took the initiative to make a difference for others, and in doing so, his life changed.

Sometime it doesn’t make sense and even seems the opposite of our normal reaction to circumstance, but I know this to be true. Give time when you’re stressed and too busy and you’ll find you have more time. Write a check when you feel poor and abundance will come your way. Help someone else with his or her problems and yours will disappear. Create opportunities to give.

In 2009, remember to:

- Be grateful for the blessings in your life.
- Realize you are a giver and know that you have the power to make a difference.
- Look for opportunities to give each day.
- Learn to be a good receiver as well as a good giver.
- Enjoy this beautiful new year by giving!

As we enter into a brand new year, remember that no matter where we may be in our life, we can all still be a giver. For in giving, the doors of receiving are opened up to us. The true beauty of life appears when we learn not only how to be good givers, but good receivers as well.

Author's Bio: 

The Self Growth Official Guide to Inspiration is Gail Lynne Goodwin. Gail Lynne Goodwin, known as the Ambassador of Inspiration, has been lifting people's spirits for years. Motivated by mentors like Jack Canfield, Wayne Dyer and others, Gail realized the importance of daily morning inspiration in her own life. After years of gathering and sharing some of the best available inspirational wisdom with others, she founded Inspire Me Today in 2008 to make the Best of the Best Inspiration Daily, easily available to the world. Get daily inspiration and your free "Secrets to Soaring" eBook at InspireMeToday.com Now!

Additional Resources covering Inspiration can be found at:

Website Directory for Inspiration a>
Articles on Inspiration
Products for Inspiration
Discussion Board
Gail Lynn Goodwin, the Official Guide to Inspiration