An Excerpt from the forthcoming book THINK AGAIN!

A Collection of Blasphemous and Heretical Articles about
Long-Held Sacred “Secrets” of Success and Personal Development

© 2007, Peter Demarest, CSAC, “Your Head Coach”

Gratitude vs. Havitude (Part 2 of 3)

“Hello.” I said, answering the phone.

“Hi, Peter, this is Dr. Sue.” said a familiar and much-missed voice.

“Hi Susan, how are you?” I asked, happy to hear from her.

“Well, I am calling because I want to give you something. I want to tell you what a difference something you said has made in my life and to give you something back in return.” Susan explained.

“Well, I’d love to hear about it.” I said with anticipation.

Dr. Sue had been a participant in a coaching program the previous year. At the time, she was struggling with a sense of scarcity and lack of abundance. A workaholic, she was never satisfied. She never felt like she was quite good enough, earned enough, or had enough. For ten years she had been keeping a gratitude journal as a reminder to be grateful for what she did have. Yet, even that was not enough.

“About a year ago, you gave me a new perspective on gratitude. You suggested that I stop focusing on being grateful for what I have, what you called havitude, and start first by being grateful for what I give and then for what I receive as a direct result. That’s been my practice ever since. At first it was hard because I doubted the value of my giving, like ‘anybody can do that, what make me so special?’ But I persevered and I’ve come to see that I really do make a difference, sometimes small, sometimes big, always in my own unique way. I’ve also learned to be grateful for what I receive in return and I can clearly see the connection between the two. Of course, abundance doesn’t always come back from the same direction.”

“But, Peter,” she continued, “I had major ah-ha moment recently and I wanted to share it with you.” Susan said, hinting at more to come.

“Really? Tell me about it” I urged.
“I’ve discovered that abundance is maximized only when what I’m giving is related to the fulfillment of my life’s purpose or purposES.” She said emphatically.

My intuition told me that Susan and come upon something intriguingly profound. I encouraged her to keep to going.

She did: “First of all, I don’t have ‘A’ life’s purpose. I have many roles and some of those roles clearly relate to a life’s purpose, others don’t. I’ve discovered that when I’m focused on giving in ways that fulfill one of my true life’s purposes, there doesn’t seem to be any limit to the abundance created.”
I felt a chill in my spine, like you have in that moment just before something either gloriously magical or horrifically scary happens. I had a feeling it would be magical.

She added. “I originally thought, erroneously, that I should run around giving whatever I could think of and doing things for everybody. I figured the more I gave, the more I would get. But it didn’t work!”

Susan paused for effect. “Finally, it hit me. It is the combination of what I give - the things I am on this Earth to give – my purposes –and the spirit in which I give it that brings about real abundance. When I give out of a false sense of duty or obligation, or I’m giving for the purpose of getting, it creates dissonance in my life and things start to go haywire.
“But, when I’m fulfilling all my purposes in life, abundance is the natural result. Fulfilling my purpose inspires me and I aspire to give even more. This, in turn creates more abundance. And it’s the fulfilling of my purpose that really fulfills me, not the just the tangible rewards.”

“Wow. That IS cool!” I responded, the warm joy of discovery lighting me up.

“Conversely,” she continued. “I don’t expect to get paid for doing things that are not my job to do. So when I give in ways not related a life’s purpose, I have no need or expectation of receiving anything in return. I give it freely, joyfully with no strings attached.”

“For example,” she explained. “I spent some time working at a soup kitchen several evenings a week. I kept thinking, ‘look how much I’m giving! Abundance will surely come my way now.’ It didn’t. Oh, it was rewarding at times, but my health and my work suffered. I actually felt even less abundant and more obligated. I sensed something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t put my fingers on it. I stopped working at the soup kitchen and began giving more of myself to my patients. Lo and behold, everything fell together and my abundance went up. I began paying more attention to my kids and abundance went up even higher. I now give money to the soup kitchen, because I can, but my energy and talents go into giving in accordance with my aspirations and what I now know to be my life’s purposes – to be a doctor, a catalyst for health and healing, and to raise kids who discover and fulfill their life’s purposes. Volunteer work, like at a soup kitchen, is noble and is surely part of some peoples’ life purpose, but I don’t think it is what I’m here to do.”

I thought for a few moments. “What I’m hearing is that it’s like the universe hires you at birth for a particular set of roles or jobs for your lifetime and the universe will pay you so long as you do your job. The “pay” could be abundance in any and all its forms: relationships, intimacy, financial, peace of mind, love, wisdom, beauty, etc. Like a job, however, if we don’t do it, we don’t get paid.”

“Bingo!” Susan exclaimed. “That is why it is so important to discover and live your highest purpose in all your roles – doctor, parent, friend, leader, writer – whatever they are.”

The momentum and energy of the moment had me totally enthralled and in flow; my mind racing to comprehend the implications. “If I understand what you’re saying,” I thoughtfully replied, “you have discovered that practicing gratitude for what you give actually keeps you on track, inspired and living into the fulfillment of your purpose. The flow of abundance is like a ticker-tape telling you when you are on-track and when you’re not. When you are on purpose the value of your ‘stock’ goes up, and when you’re not, it goes down. Is that it?”

“Yes!” she said with the excitement of a teacher whose student had just ‘gotten it.’ “Abundance beyond what I could have imagined. Financial abundance to be sure, but the financial rewards are, in fact, quite secondary.”

“And the this form of gratitude, for what you give, also can help you discover your purposes, can’t it?” I exclaimed more than asked.

“Absolutely!” she agreed. “But I have to run now. Can we talk about how that works next time?”

“We certainly can. Let’s connect again soon.”

To the reader: Think, right now, about what you have given today? In what way did you express the gifts you are here to give? Can you feel what an honor and privilege it is that you get to give that gift? Does it inspire you to give more? If, so, follow that inspiration, it may well be a life purpose, something you can be grateful to give. Give it. Love it. Live it!

More about using a gratitude for GIVING to help you discover your life purposes in Part 3.

Author's Bio: 

“Your Head Coach,” Peter Demarest, CSAC, is a co-founder of the 6 Advisors Coaching Academy. He uses the scientific and ground-breaking principles and methodologies of 6 Advisors™ to teach people to think better and to unleash their God-given greatness.