Perhaps the single most powerful way to succeed in life is to have more concern for our fellow human beings. Normally, we are overwhelmingly concerned about ourselves, driven by our own personal motives and ambitions. However, the happiest people literally lose themselves in the feelings, thoughts, and aspirations of others.
Are you ready to "forget yourself" and be genuinely interested in the welfare of others? Are you willing to be tolerant and kind to others, listen attentively and silently to their words, and be non-judgmental and open to their opinions and points of view? If you are, you are an excellent candidate for great success in life, not to mention ever-increasing personal happiness and joy.
Try a little experiment. When you meet with another person, try put yourself in their shoes. Think only of what they are interested in and concerned with. Listen carefully to their thoughts and feelings, and show genuine concern and empathy as necessary. Take this approach for the entire meeting.
Then observe if the energy level of the other person has increased. Also notice if any unthought of or unexpected fresh points of view took place that energized the conversation.
But there's more. If you pay very close attention, you are likely to experience an added "response from life." For example, during the conversation, someone might call to report that a wonderful new project has come up that you are to be involved in; or several hours later you learn about a dramatic positive development in a work situation that had been problematic for years. These are examples of life "responding" to your earlier concern for another individual. Through your kind, generous, munificent gesture, you have opened the portals of possibility for yourself. By taking a step out of the local domain of self-interest and ego, you have opened yourself to the universal, non-local plane, where the infinite potentials of life rush in. Such positive response to selfless and self-givingness happens all of the time in every walk of life, in every field. Here are several true-life examples: Out of concern for the success of his people, a manager decided to train his illiterate workers. As a result of that effort, they became much happier happy and far more energized. That atmosphere was infectious and permeated the business. The energy was so high that even the machines they were trained to work with started operating at double their earlier capacity, even though no improvements were made to their functioning!
A tried to fix the computer keyboard of B, but did not succeed. However, B felt a degree of gratitude for A’s effort and offered to compensate A for his efforts. Though thankful for B's thought, A wouldn't accept money from B. A few days later B’s computer went dead and it would not start. So the next morning B called A and asked him for urgent help to repair the computer again. A took it and very quickly was able to discover that the problem was the electrical adapter, which A managed to replace very quickly within 24 hours. B was very happy about this quick solution to his computer. (B’s appreciation and desire to remunerate A, enabled A to quickly fix the computer when it went dead.)
A client was having trouble making an electronic, web-based payment for a product from a company. The representative out of concern for the client was willing to make an exception in this case and give him access to the product now because the client so eagerly wanted it. The client was grateful for this response by the sales rep of the company, and then paid for it through another means.
Before the conversation ended, the new client pointed out the fact that the phone number at the company’s site was in error, a potentially devastating fact for the company, who made have blundered and lost a number of customers! After getting over the shock, the sales rep was grateful that the client caught the error, thereby preventing any future loss of revenue. (The client coming forth and providing the news of the error was a positive response to the sales reps’ concern for the customer when he gave the client the product without payment forgoing the normal payment routine.)
Whenever you shift your focus from yourself to others, positive conditions suddenly reveal themselves. Negatives are cancelled, unthought of possibilities reveal themselves, and other unfathomable positive conditions appear out of the blue. The more intense and heartfelt the positive feelings are toward the other individual or party, the greater the response from life.
In addition to focusing on the needs and concerns of others, there are several other ways to express selfless and self-giving behavior.
Take the Other Person’s Point of View
Are you willing to take on this spiritual challenge? In the next few days, when you are in conversation or discussion or debate with another, switch your point of reference, and take the other person's point of view. Accept it completely in your mind. If you are able to do that, you have in essence had a spiritual experience.
Taking the other person's view is to shift out of ego, and away from the exclusivity of mind, which sees one part of the whole and takes it to be the entire thing. It is a movement toward unity and oneness of being; toward integral perception and knowledge, as we recognize that there are other parts of the truth we are unconscious of that can be expressed through others.
In addition, by embracing the other person’s position, the conversation or interaction will attract positive conditions from the world around us. Taking the other person’s point of view moves us from the limited ego plane to the universal domain, where good fortune suddenly moves towards us.
Give Greater Attention
Another way to practice self-givingness is to give others greater attention. People, objects, stocks of inventory, and money are but a few things that respond to our attention. For example, if we give more attention to our neglected accounting books or to unsold stocks, money will fly in our direction. This same approach works for people. Give them more attention, and they will respond in the most unexpected ways. An instructor noticed that whenever he gave a little added attention and encouragement to a slower student, the student brightened, became more enthusiastic about what was being learned, and gave the instructor a perfect score at the end of the day.
That same instructor one day committed to giving all of his students greater attention. On the day of the class, before he had the chance to implement his plan all of the students started talking about the subject matter in an extraordinarily animated way. In fact, for the rest of the day he hardly said anything, as they were so energized on their own to embrace the subject matter. In addition, they gave him high evaluations, even though he hardly did anything.
When we give others greater attention we us from the local domain of ego and separateness to a wider domain of harmony and oneness, where energies flow and align at startling speed with corresponding positive conditions. Others benefit from our attention, as do we: not only from the joy we feel from their positive experiences, but from the startling life responses we experience in return.
Feel, Express Goodwill
Another powerful was to be self-giving is to express our goodwill and affection towards others. Goodwill is a higher vibration and movement of life that establishes harmony and oneness between the parties, attracting the very best of conditions for both.
One person felt goodwill for a business associate of his over several years. Then one day, he was shocked to learn that through that company he had earned by the greatest referral fee of his life! That is the power of goodwill towards another person. It raises the quality of the atmosphere and in the process attracts sudden good fortune from the environment -- for the beneficiary and the benefactor.
Another individual gathered his emotions and feelings and inwardly sent vibrations of goodwill and gratitude to various clients and friends around the world. Soon thereafter, there was an avalanche of good news from each of them -- in terms of sales, money, and other forms of positive development.
Feel, Express Gratitude
A very powerful way to express self-givingness in life is to show our deepest thanks and appreciation -- i.e. our gratitude. Gratitude is, in essence, the expression of a thought in which our heartfelt emotions go out to others for the role they have played in bringing about good fortune in our lives.
The object of our appreciation and thanks may be one other person, a group of people, a social entity, or even life itself. (In its highest form, it is to recognize a Divine hand at work -- i.e. Grace.) Because gratitude is a higher emotion, a spiritual emotion and attitude of the soul, it has the power to not only create deep, powerful bonds between parties, but it can elicit startling life response results. Here is one person’s experience:
“One day after completing a training class for a client, I handed a staff member an invoice so she could find out when I would be paid. As I patiently waited for an answer, I figured it would likely take 30 days to process the bill, which is common in business. In the mean time, I had stuck up a conversation with one of the people who attended my class. At one point in the conversation, I expressed my admiration for the work Microsoft had done in the past: in particular, how the company consistently went the extra mile to insure that each new iteration of its software was backwardly compatible. That in turn has helped customers bring their older, “legacy” data forward into the newer, more dynamic environment. I then went on to express my sincere gratitude to Microsoft for having performed this great service for society.
Well, at the very instant I finished that sentence, the individual appeared on the scene with word about my invoice. However, instead of being given a future date for remuneration, I was paid by check on the spot! In addition, it was for an amount that exceeded my expectations. To put it simply, it was life responding to my expression of gratitude to a company that has brought so much benefit to myself and the world.”
That is the life response power of expressing our gratitude in life. It creates a bind of harmony between parties, while eliciting startling positive developments from the world around us.
--Roy Posner 19:52, 14 April 2009 (UTC)