My take – On being happier and more successful
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Just the other day I was talking about of the relief efforts which were going on towards a national disaster and how important it is as a nation for us to contribute through this relief effort in some way or the other. It then occurred it me in discussions with a few friends that “giving” as a concept does not come naturally to us. It is like it’s almost the norm to get something back, either in terms of a favor returned or expecting a better karma if you were to look at Indian spiritual context.
When I was a kid, I was told stories about how you need to work together, share and be nice to people around you. Then I didn’t take these concepts seriously and was very competitive. I always wanted to win no matter what others felt and if I lost, I felt miserable. I used to be selfish to score good marks in my class compared to my immediate peers and didn’t share my notes with them. Winning was everything for me. I didn’t realize that may be if I shared my notes with my classmate, both of us would have scored well and I would have scored better compared to what I did. I’m sure many of us have gone through this phase, where getting ahead and being on top is all that mattered; sometimes at any cost.
As I aged and became more mature especially after I joined the insurance industry, I realized that the pleasure of giving and the peace of sharing is much more than unrest of taking things away. If there’s prosperity and happiness around you, you yourself prosper and become happy. This philosophy changed my outlook completely about the people and things around me. I heard this very interesting story once about a farmer who had the best seeds which resulted into best crops in the town. He would also share the same seeds with neighboring farmers. One day somebody asked him, why did you give away the best seeds you have to other farmers rather than keep them to yourself? In reply he said that, I have never thought about it any other way, but let me tell you that since I have started sharing the seeds my crop is getting better by the day. From this story, I understood that giving makes you a better person and because of your contribution people around you prosper. When the environment and people are good around you, you will have a better quality of life. It is interesting to note what has been mentioned in so many manuscripts & old books which combine human wisdom, one must do good without the expectation of it coming back to you; eventually it will.
We take so much time to understand such simple things. We end up fighting our entire life to become the best without realizing that you cannot become the best till the people around you become better. If you don’t contribute and don’t make a difference to the people around you, you really cannot make it to where you want to be. This simple fact of life takes so many years to understand, but I’m thankful and happy that I learnt it quite early in my life.
I believe that the more you give the less likely you are to be consumed by your worries and challenges. It gives you an opportunity to look at the bigger picture which is way beyond your own concerns. Giving is one of the best investments you can make in your life, which will not only help you grow but also the others whom you help in growing. It also helps you stay positive and look at the brighter side.
It’s human to want more, but be thankful for what you have as others may not have the same. We need to move from the trap of need and want; look towards giving back and sharing.
The gift of giving will come to you when you give yourself to others and be selfless and content. Our life is all about what contribution we make in the life of others, it is the biggest asset we leave behind, it is our legacy. Let’s use this gift we all have and bring in happiness around us. It really works. Do try it and let me know how you feel, for true altruism stems the very route of what sets us apart as a species.