Generosity is the Best Policy

man-arms-spread-sunriseA woman called me once seeking advice on her freelance writing career. She was just starting out and wanted to know what she should charge a particular client for writing catalog copy. When I asked her what company she was going to work for, she asked me why I wanted to know that. I explained that I charged different hourly rates at the catalog companies I had worked for because of a number of variables, and that I needed to understand the circumstances of her situation in order to give her an accurate estimate.

She refused to tell me the name of the client. “If I tell you,” she said, “you’ll try to take the job away from me.” Whoa. When I began explaining to her that her attitude was the antithesis of what a successful freelancer needed, she hung up on me. I never heard from her again but I doubt she managed to survive as a freelance writer.

Her attitude reminds me of Barry Bonds, the baseball superstar who was universally disliked by his peers. Whenever a teammate asked for some advice, Bonds always refused, explaining that the player might end up on an opposing team someday and use that information against Bonds’ team.

Proponents of this line of thinking have a scarcity consciousness. They see the world as a zero-sum game–that is, there’s only so much pie to go around, and if I share any of mine with you, I end up with less.

If you circle your wagons to protect what you have, you can’t venture forward to what you desire.
Suzanne Zoglio

Such reasoning is horribly misguided and wrongheaded. Who you are and how you see the world determine what you attract—and a scarcity consciousness is founded in fear. If you believe that you better get yours while the getting’s good and the hell with everyone else because the world is menacing and chaotic, no one can be trusted, and life is an endless series of bad breaks and hard knocks, you will attract the people, situations, and events that reinforce that worldview.

Each such encounter or incident will strengthen your beliefs, thereby providing even more “proof” that the way you perceive the world is the way the world actually is. Your core beliefs will always be perpetuated because people tend to “see” only what they believe or what they can make sense of.

The only reason the same thing keeps happening is that you keep focusing on what happened.
Alan Cohen

This is why negative thinkers cling so tightly to their bad attitude and blame everyone else for their misfortune. After all, throw mental daggers at your boss and you will continue to be the target of his fault-finding missions, never imagining for a moment that you are contributing mightily to your own misery.

Remember, your every thought, word, and deed magnetically draws to you more of the same in even greater abundance. So, paradoxical as it may sound, the best way to get what you want is to give away what you’ve already got. The message you are sending to the universe when you give to others is, I have an abundant supply of this. Like attracts like, so the universe responds by bringing you more of it.

To receive everything, one must open one’s hands and give.
Taisen Deshimaru

For example, whenever I can’t take a freelance assignment, I refer the client to someone I know who will do a capable job in my stead. I expect nothing in return, but universal law will see to it that such a favor will be returned to me in some way down the road.

I cannot emphasize this enough: The law of attraction operates in direct proportion to your purity of intent. You will only receive more of what you give away if you offer it with caring detachment, a loving heart, and no expectations. When you expect something—anything—in return, even a grateful nod or a smile, your motives are not pure and you disrupt the flow of energy that otherwise would be delivering more abundance into your life.

Actually, I could have summed up this entire post in just three words: The Golden Rule. Sometimes, it’s just that simple.



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6 Responses to “Generosity is the Best Policy”

  1. Secret Key Candace Says:

    Those who blame others and live in constant negativity find it easier to hide from their real selves. This way there is a barrier and they don’t have to take responsibility for their actions. Through self improvement and the journey to personal happiness those can break out and stop hiding behind others.

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Well said. Unfortunately, the people who are hiding from themselves are the last to know it.

  3. Deb Reilly Says:

    I agree with the ‘generosity first’ policy.

    Years ago I lived in rural Pennsylvania. Opportunities for gainful employment were limited and I had little kids at home, so I decided to start an at-home soap making business. After careful research, painstaking experiments, some failures and some successes, I had a beautiful product to market.

    One place I sold my wares was at a farmer’s market. A young woman who helped her father sell produce befriended me. Shyly, she asked me if I’d teach her how to make soap, saying she couldn’t afford to buy it but wanted to try her hand at it. I gave her a few bars and enjoyed answering all of her questions. (Soap-makers LOVE talking soap!)

    That fall at a craft fair, who do you think was positioned right across the isle from me? Yep. She wouldn’t look me in the face. At first I was annoyed, but I forced myself to approach her with a friendly smile. Looking at her product, I easily saw the defects. As the day wore on, she looked more and more disappointed. She wasn’t dong much business, and packed up and left after lunch.

    There’s enough good stuff out there for all of us. Through generosity, we usually end up getting more than we give. If someone tries to take a short-cut by taking advantage, the lessons are there to learn.

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    An excellent story, Deb. Good for you for approaching her with a friendly smile. Even if she had an excellent product and diverted sales that would have gone to you, there would have been opportunities. For instance, perhaps you would have brainstormed to make your product or packaging even better. That’s the beauty of the free market—competition forces us to be more creative and more ingenious than we thought we were!

  5. attract wealth Says:

    Such is the difference between a competitive and creative mindset. Competitive thinking comes from a place of fear and creative thinking comes from a place of faith. Generosity makes us feel good, helps others, and helps ourselves all at the same time. Not a bad deal :)

    Thanks for sharing your insight Phil. Ryan

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Well said. Thank you, Ryan!

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