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Live in Abundance and Get Repaid in Ways You Never Imagined

Live in Abundance and Get Repaid in Ways You Never Imagined

July 15, 2008

You've probably heard me talk before about what I call "living in abundance." It's about living with a giving heart and not worrying about what you might get back in return.

It's unfortunate but I think many of us "live in scarcity." You probably know people like this, or have even felt this way yourself at times. One gentleman I know lives like this and it's driving him nuts and everyone around him.

He always feels like there's never enough of anything to go around. There's never enough money. And there's never enough time. He constantly interrupts customers in mid-sentence because he feels he has to hurry to save the next deal. He eats nothing but junk food because he doesn't feel he has time to prepare a balanced meal. His family is on their last nerve because they never feel like they get much of his attention because he's always stressed about making more money or making up for lost time.

That's no way to live.

A better way to live

Fortunately, he's beginning to change his outlook - and his life!

He's still working on it, but he's now starting to take more time with customers and clients and not be as worried about running to the next appointment. Because he's spending more time with his customers, they feel as if he appreciates and business is beginning to improve. His health is improving because he's taking the time to eat well. And his family is beginning to feel like they're getting more of his attention because he's taking the time to spend more time with them.

He's also starting to give things away to prospects and some of his customers - and he's not expecting one thing in return! This was tough for him. Someone who lives in a world of scarcity is constantly keeping a tally. And that's just what my friend did. If he sent you a CD or just a card, he made a mental note of it and was disappointed and sometimes angry if you didn't return the favor.

But when you live in a world of abundance, you give something - and don't expect anything in return - just because you want to. It makes you feel good as well as everyone around you.

"The hand that you feed is not necessarily the hand that will feed you"

And for whatever reason, whether it's spiritual or metaphysical, the simple act of giving always seems to get repaid somehow. I've learned that the hand you feed is not necessarily the hand that will feed you.

I could tell you some amazing stories of how I did things for other people expecting nothing in return, but was eventually repaid a hundred-fold in ways that I never could have imagined at the time! It may not occur right away, but somehow the act of giving comes back to repay you.

I'm reminded of the movie, Pay it Forward. What a movie! It starred Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt and a young boy, Haley Joel Osment (he's the same boy who played alongside Bruce Willis and made the line "I see dead people" famous in the movie in the Sixth Sense).

In the movie, the boy came up with a school project in which he planned to help three people when he can. He wouldn't ask for anything in return and just told them that they should also help three more people when they need it. Eventually, those acts of giving would change the world.

It's a powerful concept. What's fascinating is how the idea for the story came about.

"I'm dead!"

The writer, Catherine Ryan Hyde, says the inspiration for the story came about more than 20 years ago while driving an old Datsun in Los Angeles. She drove the car for work and had put a lot of miles on it when one day it just died at the end of a freeway off-ramp. The headlights, dashboard and all the controls shut down and the car began to fill with smoke.

She jumped out of the car and saw two men running towards her and one was carrying a blanket and she said her first reaction was, "I'm dead!" Instead, they pushed past her and popped open the hood. Her engine was on fire and flames were shooting from the throttle line, but the man smothered the blaze with his blanket. The car could have exploded, killing all of them, but the strangers proceeded to control the flames. The fire department arrived soon afterwards and extinguished the fire and when she looked for the men to thank them, they were gone. They sacrificed their lives and didn't ask for anything in return.

Afterwards, she said if she couldn't repay the men who helped her, she would try to help someone else who needed help like she did. "I believed that brand of caring could be contagious," she said in an interview.

When she did have the opportunity to help someone, Hyde said it didn't seem that dramatic at first. A woman's car had broken down along the side of the road in the dark. But as she drove away with the stranded woman in the car with her, it became clear that she had been in a life-threatening situation and had survived some kind violence or assault.

Don't pay me back, "pay it forward"

And the fact that someone had stopped to help her, and not cause her any harm was a "life-and-death flip of the coin for her," Hyde said. The woman asked if she could repay her with money, and Hyde responded, "Don't pay it back to me. Pay it forward to someone else."

Now that's living in abundance!

As business leaders, we have the opportunity to do just that every day and not always worry about how we may benefit. A simple way to do that is to simply send a book you recently enjoyed to prospects or customers you think may enjoy it too. Or, send an email or something in the mail to every prospect you talk with.

What are some ways you can live in abundance? I'll bet you'll find yourself repaid in ways you never imagined!

Always taking you from where you are to where you want to go,

Jon