The Art of Generosity and Optimism: Meet Dave Ibis
As autumn wanes and the first signs of winter begin to glimmer on the horizon, we find ourselves at the cusp of a special time of year. For different faiths and cultures around the world, December marks the beginning of the winter holidays. And in many ways, it’s the perfect time to reflect upon all that truly matters.
For all of us here at Profi, helping the helpers maximize their impact is central to what we do. But it only scratches the surface of all that we are. We are innovators, change-makers and status-quo shakers. And we are idealists too!
“You see, idealism detached from action is just a dream. But idealism allied with pragmatism, with rolling up your sleeves and making the world bend a bit, is very exciting.” — Bono
As Bono famously said, “You see, idealism detached from action is just a dream. But idealism allied with pragmatism, with rolling up your sleeves and making the world bend a bit, is very exciting.”
Bono’s words couldn’t be more fitting, especially considering that two of the ideals we hold close to our hearts at Profi are generosity and optimism (macro-optimism, to be precise). They are among Profi's core values, and each of us carries pieces of them with us throughout the day. But none more so than Profi’s very own Dave Ibis, vice president of sales operations.
A Passion for Giving Back
To know Dave Ibis is to know the physical manifestation of generosity and optimism.
“Dave’s optimism and passion for giving are infectious,” said Profi Founder and CEO Alina Trigubenko. “All you have to do is spend some time with him and you’ll walk away with an extraordinarily positive outlook on life. And that will leave you wanting to do more for others.”
One doesn’t have to search long to see Dave’s commitment to generosity on full display. This past November, he mustered up as much facial hair as his lip could hold to garner support for Movember, an organization dedicated to reducing the number of men dying prematurely each year. And the organization has found a unique way to bring awareness and support to its focus areas, including mental health, suicide prevention, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
As Dave explains it, “At the beginning of November, you simply shave your face and then start growing a mustache — or Movember Mo as they like to call it. Then throughout the month, you give updates on your Mo’s progress, which encourages people in your network to donate. I like growing mustaches, and it supports a cause that’s near and dear to me, so it’s a win-win.”
Dave’s passion for Movember’s mission was so infectious that it inspired everyone at Profi to get behind the cause as well. And although November is now in the rear-view, you can still join in support of men’s health by visiting Dave’s Movember page or Profi’s Movember page.
Although Dave’s enthusiasm for generosity is abundantly clear, it was a chance encounter with a podcast that ignited the flame.
“I listened to a lot of podcasts, and one of my favorites had a guy named Scott Harrison on as a guest,” said Dave. “He runs a charitable organization called charity: water. And that was the first cause I put my heart and soul into. He had a cool story that I could relate to, so I went all in.”
Founded by Scott Harrison, charity: water's mission is to bring clean water to everyone living without it. The organization is also working to reinvent charity by being completely transparent about where donations go. And it also operates on a 100% model, where all of the contributions for a project go to the project.
“When I first heard about charity: water, I was managing a team and we would always do holiday gifts,” added Dave. “And so I thought, what if instead of gifts we did charitable donations? In this case, charity: water. And that quickly spread from my team throughout the entire company, and into our personal lives too.”
Dave’s generosity and efforts contributed significantly to helping one community gain access to clean drinking water. And that was exactly the encouragement he needed to make giving back a big part of his life plan.
“We ended up raising about $9,000 for charity: water that year, which was almost enough to give an entire community a new well,” said Dave. “That was the impetus for me, it’s what ignited my passion for charitable work and effective altruism.”
Effective altruism is a philosophy and social movement that advocates using evidence and reasoning to determine the most effective ways to benefit others. GiveWell is an excellent resource for those looking for the charities that save or improve lives the most per dollar. And for those who love podcasts, as Dave does, The Happiness Lab with Dr. Laurie Santos recently released an informative new episode on the topic titled "How to Give More Effectively."
The World Could Use a Little More Optimism
In addition to being generous, those that meet Dave quickly realize he’s also a “cup half full” kind of guy. He’s an eternal optimist and manages to see the positive in any situation. And how he does it comes down to a simple philosophy.
“For me, it's all about focusing on the things that I can control,” he explained. “I know I can’t control a lot of things that happen in life. Literally, anything can happen at any time. But I can control my attitude.”
Dave also says that to maintain an optimistic outlook on life, you have to be okay with going with the flow and seeing where things take you.
“A lot of situations can present themselves as being negative, take for example the pandemic,” Dave added. “And then there's all the other outside pressures and things that happen to us that we just can't control. So if you're focused on those things, it's very easy to go down the cynical, depressing rabbit hole. So to avoid that, you have to take the situation and view it through a different lens, one of change and opportunity.”
In addition to self-guiding one’s attitude, there is a good chance that generosity can help you become more optimistic as well. Or, at the very least, it’s been proven that genersity can increase wellbeing and happiness. According to research by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, generosity is strongly associated with psychological health and wellbeing. For example, the group’s meta-analysis of 37 studies found that adults who volunteered reported a better quality of life.
The analysis also showed there is a strong link between generosity and happiness, even in the workplace. And that explains why someone wholly invested in giving back to society would feel much more optimistic about life and work, especially if work includes giving back. Plus, it’s a great way to bring more meaning to your life.
Why it Pays to Help the Helpers
Researchers with the American Psychological Association have also found that workers who feel a higher calling for their jobs are among the most content. Take kindergarten teachers, for example. Though more than 71% have college degrees, the average salary for a kindergarten teacher is around $39,000 per year.
The typical job description involves cleaning messes, wiping noses and preventing meltdowns. Nonetheless, kindergarten teachers are a passionate bunch. According to a PayScale survey, 91% find significant meaning in their jobs, and 81% are extremely satisfied with their work. A big reason for their job satisfaction is that kindergarten teachers get to build the educational foundations of young minds. It’s an influence that often stays with students into college and beyond.
“I believe work should be meaningful,” said Dave. “And no matter what functions we perform within our jobs, we all have the power to find our higher calling within that. For example, if I look at my job in sales as simply getting people to buy things, that doesn’t bring much meaning to my life — it’s a transaction. But knowing that I am helping the helpers broaden their impact is extremely powerful and fulfilling to me.”
There is no doubt, Profi is a tech company that’s all about making a positive impact. And helping the helpers is what convinced Dave to join the team.
“Profi’s mission aligns with my values and what I do,” added Dave. “I love that we're helping the helpers; the therapists, consultants, trainers, coaches and others. So many of these professionals have helped me during my life. So giving something back to the community is extremely meaningful.”
So if you’re looking to add a little more optimism and meaning to your life, follow Dave’s lead and focus more of your energy on generosity and self-guided optimism. Your heart will thank you, and so will others around you. You never know; it just might start the same spark within someone else. Why not pay it forward?
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