Jeanine Cogan
Executive coach

Jeanine Cogan

Heads Cogan Coaching and is on the faculty of the Center for Continuing and Professional Education at Georgetown University.

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Being generous

Q: What accounts for the fat guy's success as an enduring, worldwide symbol of the holiday? The quirky suit? The fawning elves? The antlered entourage? How often do unlikely figures catch fire and seize the popular imagination?

The origins of the now-popular Santa Claus is a real man, St. Nicholas, who was a bishop in Turkey centuries ago. He was known for caring for children and the needy by giving presents to children and gold coins to those less fortunate.

His generosity and kindheartedness are what allowed him to reign in the hearts of people across cultures and decades and become the symbol of "gift giving" at Christmas time. Many people still practice both elements of St. Nicholas this time of year -- giving gifts to children and others, and participating in programs that bring gifts to those who cannot afford them.

Practicing generosity can only support you in your success. Giving feels good for both the giver and the receiver and actually has a physiological impact, releasing the "feel good drug," serotonin, in the brain.

Giving allows us to shift out of our "me, me, me" frame of mind and prioritize the needs and happiness of others. Operating your business from the spirit of giving leads to positive outcomes. My gift this year to all my coaching clients is to donate money to their charity of choice.

By Jeanine Cogan  |  December 22, 2009; 1:27 PM ET  | Category:  branding Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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