Saturday, April 02, 2011


Some years ago, I picked up Tim Sanders' Love is the Killer App an dug his message about the importance of of sharing one's knowledge, network, and compassion.

When I found out that Tim had a new book coming out, I was intrigued by the title and asked him to send me a copy so I could write about it for Creative Times. He said "Yes," and promptly popped it in the mail. (A man of his word is Tim, which is a good thing because one of the messages of his new book is to follow up on your promises.)

When I received the shiny red metallic gift in the mail, I dug right in to Today We Are Rich: Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence.

One of the things that makes Tim and his book interesting is his openness about having been abandoned by his mom at a young age and raised by a loving, religious, and principled grandmother. He had mentioned this piece of his story in Love, but makes it a central focus in Today. Every chapter focuses on a mindset or way of living life instilled in him by his grandmother, Billye.

Billye taught Tim that he was always rich because he was always in a position to give of time and money, no matter how much or little he had (or thought he had) at any given moment. Tim has carried that message forward into his adult life, and stresses to his readers the crucialness of being generous, no matter how tight or despairing things feel. Tim's mandate is to be generous without keeping tabs, hoping for something in return, or trying to one-up or trump a gift received.

I like this quotation about generosity in particular: "The difference between grateful and ungrateful lives in perception: One sees a life of beauty; the other sees a life of lack."

Some other Billye-inspired messages that Tim puts forth:

* Have constructive, positive-toned conversations with yourself and with others - discussions that are based on confidence as opposed to despair or feelings of powerlessness. Use your words to move things forward.

* Keep your promises.

* Go deep when you pursue new knowledge. Don't just roam the internet and skim articles. Read lots of books, mark them up, make them your own, and talk about them with others.

* Find and act on your purpose, your purpose being the intersection of your strengths or what helps others, and what gives you meaning.

In a time when people are frightened about being able to make a living, there's something useful about a book that is full of back-to-basic ideas about what it means to live a principled life.

My own perception about Tim is that because he had Billye, who made a huge difference to him, he is very clear about the impact that an individual person can make - including a person of modest material resources - by giving of herself, sticking to her promises, and acting confidently on her convictions.
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