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How Authenticity, Okay-Ness, And Generosity Lead To A Successful Life

How Authenticity, Okay-Ness, And Generosity Lead To A Successful Life
Photo Courtesy: Dr. Nicole F. Roberts

By: Maria Williams

Nestled within the pages of Generosity Wins: How and Why this Game-Changing Superpower Drives Our Success, written by Monte Wood and Dr. Nicole F. Roberts, an aspiring executive Emily Gardner has made her way to the rocky mountains of Colorado to meet Andy Hill, the 8th highly accomplished individual she’s encountered since her journey began—a journey to discover the true meaning of generosity, and the impactful role it plays in every aspect of life. 

“What’s happening is that Emily is, in her own way, going on a hero’s journey, and that’s what we want our readers to do as well. Monte and I are not the heroes, it’s about each person reading the book and deciding to take action for change and betterment and to go on their own journey,” Dr. Roberts explains. 

Dr. Roberts is the founder of Health & Human Rights Strategies, a healthcare and human rights advisory firm, and holds the position of a doctor of public health with a background in neuroscience.

Wood is a business leader and founder of two industry-leading marketing agencies. He is recognized for leading one of Oregon’s Fastest Growing 100 companies, one of Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing 5000 companies, and one of Oregon’s Top 50 Best Workplaces.

Bridging the realms of business, science, and storytelling, Generosity Wins, now a USA Today Best-Seller, is centered around the idea that generosity drives our success in our work and personal lives. 

How Authenticity, Okay-Ness, And Generosity Lead To A Successful Lifes

Photo Courtesy: Monte Wood

But why is Emily on this journey? 

You see, Emily has made somewhat of a reputation since being promoted to property manager for Pinafore—a highly respected global hospitality company. Unfortunately, the way she’s been doing things doesn’t line up with the values of the company, which revolve around generosity, upheld by CEO Don Jenkins. Emily has been more focused on cutting costs to save Pinafore money over employee and customer care. 

“The bottom line isn’t the only measure of success. There are other key ‘metrics,’ if you will, not just in business but in life. One of the most important is a spirit of generosity,” Don said to Emily. 

In her two previous roles, Emily shined because of her spirit of generosity, but since running her own hotel in San Diego, that light had drastically dimmed. But with a strong belief that the flame can be reignited, Don sent Emily on an assignment to travel around the U.S. to meet with successful leaders, educators, artists, scientists, etc, to see how generosity has been the driving force in their lives and success.

And now, we find ourselves in Andy Hill’s office, where Emily has been greeted by a quirky mounted moose head, Morris (a copy of one of seventeen wall-mounted pieces created by Ted Geisel aka Dr. Seuss), and a framed painting of a happy-looking dog named Ozzie. Sitting down in a cozy corner of the room, Emily and Andy share a vulnerable and insightful conversation. 

Growing up in a strict Mormon household, Andy was accustomed to the clearly defined role that was expected of him, and despite being devout to his church—the LDS Church—decided to leave in his mid-thirties. 

“By that time, I’d married a woman and had three kids. I had checked all the boxes and done everything that I was supposed to do, but I still found something missing,” Andy explains. “Often if you leave the LDS Church, your family won’t talk to you again. So I started therapy and really learned a lot about myself.”

“The main thing I gained from that period was that my okay-ness was assured. No matter what happened to me, no matter what went on in my life, I was going to be okay,” he continues. “After that, I let go of a mental barrier to my sexuality as well and allowed myself to go to a place where I could think about the possibility that I was gay. That was never a door for me to open, so what would happen if I opened it?”

For Andy, the path to true happiness lies in authenticity, which is rooted in accepting okay-ness. He chose to open that door, and as a result, people were generous with their love, kindness, and support, which led him to his husband Ben and a healthy and loving relationship with his former wife and children. 

Learning the role generosity plays in how we treat those closest to us, Emily asks Andy, ​​“How do you think generosity pays off in business?”

“I get why it can be scary to be generous. The typical business owner will say, ‘What if I’m generous and the generosity doesn’t come back to me in increased sales or a more productive workforce?” he responds—things Emily has questioned herself. 

“Generosity may not come back exactly when you expect it to or how you expect it to, but it will always come back in some way,” Andy says. “I have had times of worrying or wondering how some act of generosity would come back to me, I just knew that it would—and it did.”

Taking a page from Dr. Seuss’s book “Oh the Places You’ll Go,” Emily learns a very important lesson: How you lead your life will determine the life you live. “Life’s A Great Balancing Act,” requiring care every step of the way. The recipe? Accepting okay-ness, living authentically, and acting generously. 

Once the conversation ends between Emily and Andy, she gets in her car and sends Don a text. “I get it now.”

When generosity is valued, the horizon becomes clear; acts of kindness lead to success in both your life and career. 

To follow along on the rest of Emily’s journey, you can get or gift a copy of Generosity Wins here

Published by: Nelly Chavez

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