“You need to give to get what you want.” Let’s highlight the keywords in that phrase: give and get. The concept seems intuitive, doesn’t it? Perhaps even simple.
In practice, however, giving something in order to get something can be difficult to do and very few people I know have mastered this critical life skill, critical in that it has the ability to transform every facet of our lives from our personal relationships to our professional successes.
Recent experiences have led me to write about this phenomenon because I’m curious to understand: what makes this concept difficult to adopt?; how do you give to get what you want?; and how could we benefit from this approach to living?
What makes this difficult
We wait: most of us have a tendency to wait for someone or something else to fill our needs. At its best, the waiting breeds impatience and frustration and at it’s worst, the waiting leaves us with feelings of disempowerment.
We expect reciprocation: arguably the hardest part of this practice is to give without the expectation of reciprocation. We live in an instant gratification society so accepting the fact that we can’t always get what we want, when we want it, isn’t always easy to stomach
We feel “drained” or taken advantage of: this correlates to the point above. When our act of giving is not reciprocated, we tend to bail out prematurely and express how we feel drained or taken advantage of. A fair point, most certainly, but not if you adopt the right perspective about your motivations behind giving and managing your own expectations
How to do it
Be transparent: set boundaries and clearly define the terms of what you are and are not willing to give
Be proactive: what’s the solution to not waiting? YOU taking the initiative. If you’re not getting what you want, take ownership over the process and take initiative to find that someone or something that will fill your need (or find it within yourself of course!)
Be consistent: consistency is underrated! We often become overwhelmed by the seemingly massive task of making any life change or getting what we really want, when in reality we can just break that mega task down into something more palatable. A few small, simple actions that we can do each day, each week, each month. The compounding affect of this is incredible. If you want to really nerd out, then track the changes over time and let the data points speak for themselves
What you’ll get
Best case scenario: you’ll get what you hoped for in the first place
Worst case scenario: you’ll find empowerment knowing that you’ve done everything within your locus of control to make favorable change in your life
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts!