The Importance of Regifting

I received the following words of wisdom in an email from my cherished friend, Art Holst, which lifted my spirit and made my day. It said, “I just wanted you to know that at the tender age of 91, I had my first hole in one on #14 at the Eagle Ridge Golf Club. Remember, if you don’t swing at the ball, it has no chance of going in.” Art Holst and I are members of Speaker’s Roundtable and he continues to inspire me with his sense of humor, zest for life, and love for others. He was an infantry captain in World War II, a referee in the NFL for 15 years and an extraordinary speaker. Art has been a mentor of mine since I began my inspirational speaking career 30 years ago. Here is one of my favorite Art Holst lines, “I have been young, but you haven’t been old.”

Recently, I asked Art this question, “How do you maintain such a vibrant life at the age of 91?” He said, “Roger, always have something to do for someone else. Regardless of our age, we all have gifts inside each of us waiting to be unwrapped and shared with others.” Art’s words taught me the value of being a life-long regifter. The word regifting is the act of taking a gift you have been given and then giving it to someone else. These are not necessarily material gifts, most often they come in the form of wisdom, guidance, knowledge or friendship. Art helped me understand that aging elegantly and living fully meant more than staying busy with activities that are self-focused. Rather, it is looking for opportunities to positively impact others.

Think of how your life has been shaped by the act of someone regifting. Likely, they are people you will never forget. Perhaps it was a teacher, co-worker, mentor or someone you met briefly. Regardless of who that person was, they gave you something that influenced and inspired you.

So, how about you? What talents, skills, or experience do you want to regift? In the history of the world, there has never been or will ever be anyone quite like you. Therefore, we all have distinctive gifts to offer. Perhaps your gifts consist of encouragement, positive perspective or sharing a unique experience. We all have the ability to choose whether we want our life to make a difference, and what we want to leave behind. By making a personal investment in others, we can inspire them to envision a future full of promise and hope.

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