Generosity. A word that evokes warm and fuzzy feelings. Like a pot of delicious gumbo, generosity goes a long way to fill aches in hearts and bellies. Generosity is a quality we could all use more of, myself included. Giving and receiving generously comes with a side of happiness and contentment. That’s some serious lagniappe.
Ready to get cooking? Here are 3 simple strategies to start creating more generosity in our relationships.
- A wise man once said what you appreciate appreciates. If you want more and want to give more, look at what’s in front of you and appreciate what you have. Starting your day with affirmations of appreciation like Stuart Smalley is one way to surely increase your gratitude. Gratitude goes great with generosity. Try to use “I appreciate…” in your communications with others. Keeping a journal to jot down what you appreciate in your life and what you notice others appreciating will help create more connections.
- Connect more in your daily interactions and conversations by focusing on the person you are speaking with. Ever felt anxious about meeting new people or drawn a blank when trying to have a conversation? Using the FROG 🐸 acronym can help you get to know anyone better and build a relationship.
- F = Family. Ask about the other person’s family and where they are from.
- R = Recreation. Ask the other person about hobbies and what they like to do and where they like to vacation.
- O = Organizations. Ask what the other person does for work and about any organizations they belong to.
- G = Goals. Ask the other person about their aspirations and life goals. It’s always fun to talk about our dreams. 3. Write more handwritten notes. If you don’t write handwritten notes, start. In the age of texting, email and social media handwritten snail mail stands out. Use personal, non branded stationary to write these notes. Be personal and optimistic when you write a note. Avoid using “I and Me” when you communicate. Try to be relational and focus on the person you are writing to. Human beings love to hear positive things about themselves. Writing handwritten notes that are positive and effective in expressing appreciation will set you up to be a great connector.
Building a life and business around generosity creates beneficial relationships for everyone by sharing and supporting each other. Just like the key to a perfect pot of gumbo is having enough hands to stir the roux continuously and add ingredients at just the right time. My friend was generous enough to share her family’s gumbo recipe and I’m honored to share it with you. If all this reading is making you hungry these ingredients will surely make a generous pot gumbo to share.
Louisiana Seafood Gumbo
PREP TIME: 1 Hour
The premier soup of Cajun country, seafood gumbo, is known worldwide as the dish to seek out when visiting South Louisiana. There are as many recipes for this soup as there are people who cook it. This, however, is a favorite.
1 pound (35-count) shrimp, peeled and de-veined
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
2 dozen shucked oysters, reserve liquid
3 quarts shellfish stock
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup diced garlic
1/2 pound sliced andouille sausage
1 pound claw crabmeat
2 cups sliced green onions
1/2 cup chopped parsley
salt and cayenne pepper
Louisiana Gold Pepper Sauce
In a 7-quart cast iron dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in flour and, using a wire whisk, stir constantly until brown roux is achieved. Do not allow roux to scorch. Should black specks appear in roux, discard and begin again. Once roux is golden brown, add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté approximately 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add andouille, blend well into vegetable mixture and sauté an additional 2-3 minutes. Add claw crabmeat and stir into roux. This will begin to add seafood flavor to the mixture. Slowly add hot shellfish stock, one ladle at a time, stirring constantly until all is incorporated. Bring to a low boil, reduce to simmer and cook approximately 30 minutes. Add additional stock if necessary to retain volume. Add green onions and parsley. Season to taste using salt, pepper and Louisiana Gold. Fold shrimp, lump crabmeat, oysters and reserved oyster liquid into soup. Return to a low boil and cook approximately 5 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve over cooked rice.
Cheers to cooking up more gratitude and generosity. Special thanks to Sarahbeth, Mark and Lauren.
P.S. The inspiration for this post came from interviews with former colleagues who shared generously about their personal and professional journeys. A recommended “must read” book was the primary source for this blog post. Many thanks to Michael Maher for 7L: The Seven Levels of Communication. You can follow this link to purchase a copy: