Growing up, society always taught us to be go-getters. Getting and possessing more things seemed to be the quickest way to happiness. And to get more of the things we wanted to have, we had to be pro-active and results-oriented. We had to rise above the competition. This led us to work harder, sacrifice more and conquer more resistance.
We thought we had to work hard to get more things in our lives in order to become happy and successful. We worked hard to get more of our parents’ attention, to get better marks at school, to get into more prestigious schools, to get more secure and highly-paid jobs, to get bigger homes.
Our lives became centered around trying to get more things. And yet the key driver of our desire to have more was actually our desire to simply be happy and fulfilled.
But, did we really become happy, or happier by getting more?
Having more of the same things in bigger, faster, cooler, newer formats doesn’t make us happier or more fulfilled in the long-term. And what often follows after an event of ‘getting’ and ‘having’ is this – losing.
When we want something, we feel that getting it will make us happy. But things are temporary, and we lose the desire to keep them eventually. Many people’s houses are so full of trash nowadays that they even have difficulty getting rid of things. As soon as they are done with the things they tried so hard to get, they quickly go back on the merry-go-round of getting more things: newer, bigger, faster, cooler things. We look around and see that we are surrounded by others who have more, who try to get more than what we have. There is always an underlying feeling that we do not have enough; a feeling of deficiency.
But let’s look at another possibility.
What if, instead, we start from having– being grateful and appreciating what we have. And because we recognize that we already have what we want, we feel we have enough. We are happy to give some of the things we have to others. We find joy in seeing others being fulfilled.
We should pay more attention to opportunities to give than opportunities to get. And interestingly, when we create a giving tendency around us, we are likely to receive things we want more naturally and effortlessly. This cycle of giving creates an ongoing sense of sufficiency and gratitude. When we live in this cycle, we attract people who are also givers. They too pay attention to more opportunities to give. The cycle of giving perpetuates and grows. As a result, we feel more content, grateful and generous.
You have a choice; to belong to a ‘world of getting’ where everyone is trying to get more and as a result, never feel satisfied, or a ‘world of giving’ where everyone is trying to give more, and as a result feel satisfied and content.
Which would you choose?
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