Common Sense Success
Mental Success

The Bonus B: Benevolence

Benevolence is defined as an act of kindness linked to some form of giving of Time, Talent or Treasure.

Every generation has its public heros who go beyond their celebrity status to make the world a better place. But you don’t have to be Winston Churchill saving the world from an evil empire. You don’t have to be Angelina Jolie or Audrey Hepburn tending orphans in Africa. Or Paul Newman starting a company totally for charity in order to share. Everyone can learn to practice giving. Doing so will actually make you more successful.

Financial Success not only frees you to practice benevolence in greater ways, in many ways it is generosity that helps build your financial success in the first place.

One of the Five Fundamentals of Common Sense Success is People Skills. On page 159 of the book Common Sense Success it says, “Your ability to get along with people can either make or break your career.” There is no better way to develop your People Skills than to generate a culture of sharing in your life.

When you develop the culture of generosity in your life—not only with finances but with all of what you have, your Time, Talent and Treasure—you will find it helps you in all aspects of your Financial Success. Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” Conrad Hilton said, “Charity is a supreme virtue, and the great channel through which the mercy of God is passed on to mankind. It is the virtue that unites men and inspires their noblest efforts.”

When you learn to be generous with your Time, Talents and Treasure you begin to develop the kind of life that is really worth living. Dr. Karl Menninger said, “Money giving is a very good criterion, in a way, of a person’s mental health. Generous people are rarely mentally ill people.”

Benevolence does not mean you give away blindly. You must be wise in your giving otherwise your generosity will be wasteful. Aristotle said, “To give away money is an easy matter, and in any man’s power. But to decide to whom to give it, and how large and when, and for what purpose and how, is neither in every man’s power-nor an easy matter. Hence it is that such excellence is rare, praiseworthy and noble.”

Benevolence is not always an easy trait to build. Time is precious, our Talents and skills are also precious and we value the respect we receive for their use. And Treasure is earned through toil, sweat, tears and creativity. Only a fool gives everything away without a thought. Ted Turner was on his way to becoming the richest man in the world. He knew the title was really meaningless, but he also knew how hard he had worked in his life to achieve the level of Financial Success he had. It would have been nice to be recognized with the title “richest man in the world.” But Ted Turner chose Benevolence over his desire to achieve the “richest man” title. Ted Turner said, “Over a three year period, I gave away half of what I had. To be honest, my hands shook as I signed it away. I knew I was taking myself out of the race to be the richest man in the world.” And in the end he was the better man for it. You may not see Ted Turner’s name in the news as much as some other of the world’s wealthiest people for amassing more wealth. But Ted sleeps better at night knowing some of his riches are helping other people achieve their life success too.

You don’t have to be wealthy to give. Everyone has something they can share. What is important isn’t the dollar amount or even the hours you can give. What is important is that you make a habit out of sharing. Look for ways to contribute to make the world a better place and your life will improve too.

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Common Sense Success: The Book

In the book Common Sense Success, Entrepreneur and Fortune 100 trainer Bill Arnold reveals the everyday practices behind his family's success both at work and at home.


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Bill Arnold, author of The Five of Fundamentals of Common Sense Success, shares common sense practices in these short videos to help you Find Your Way in business and life. Inspiring, instructing, entertaining.

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