SOS BOOK (Chapter 4.14) Giving our Gratitude – a strategy for success
GRATITUDE & GIVING:
GRATITUDE WILL SUSTAIN OUR SUCCESS.
Being grateful is an essential strategy for inner transformation! This attitude is central to maintaining and further enhancing our future success. Without gratitude we just won’t be able to sustain our success. In personal growth, gratitude is also the correct consolation for what we have received. We will discuss what we mean by consolation and why this is so!
GRATITUDE MANIFESTS AS AN URGE TO BE OF SERVICE.
We become deeply grateful for what we learn, and the inner progress we make. This happens naturally & spontaneously! We are especially grateful for the permanent joy & inner peace that builds in our life. This gratitude manifests externally through an urge to give and be of service to others. All this happens effortlessly if we are on track!
GIVING SO MUCH OF OUR SELF SEEMS COUNTER-INTUITIVE.
This process might seem a little strange at first. Surely the primary beneficiary of our success should be ourselves? Why else would we do it? Why would we champion an ‘attitude of gratitude’ that promotes freely giving it all away?
MOST BUSINESSES ARE NOT DRIVEN BY GIVING.
Business people often donate a little to others at their discretion. That’s if they feel so inclined! Sometimes philanthropy is seen as a social responsibility, but it’s not a driving force for business success. There is no pervasive business rationale for giving away a large proportion of wealth except sometimes as a final legacy or bequest.
CAN WE RECEIVE MORE BY GIVING MORE?
So then why is ‘giving more than we receive’ a beneficial strategy for personal growth? This seems counter intuitive, but surprisingly the answer relies on its inner sustainability. There are two parts to this rationale. First, the ‘loving quality’ of our giving & service attracts even more of the same. It relies on the universal spiritual law of attraction that states ‘like attracts like’! Giving out of inner gratitude is a powerful positive ‘attractor’. So, our giving and being of service attracts larger & increasing benefits for us. We indirectly receive more than we give. So, it’s a considerable net gain!
GIVING OUR UNIQUE TALENT OFFERS A SPECIAL TYPE OF SATISFACTION.
Secondly, there is a feeling of satisfaction, joy, and contentment from giving to others and being of service. We feel especially fulfilled when we give of our own special talent & ability. This results in the highest levels of permanent wellbeing.
THE WRONG GOALS:
MONEY & MATERIAL WEALTH IS NOT SATISFYING ENOUGH.
Earning lots of money or being successful just for the sake of the material benefits is just not satisfying enough. Even extreme wealth is not enough, especially in the long term! The buffer of financial safety that material success provides, is not real security.
FORCE & INFLUENCE IS AN UNHEALTHY OBSESSION.
Even commanding enormous force or influence eventually loses its thrill. It becomes more of an obsession and a mental disorder. This provides only temporary forms of pleasure & safety. This force of control must increasingly be maintained and increased. It eventually crashes, leaving us vulnerable, dependent and craving for something more. Even the highest levels of pleasure that we can achieve with absolute control, influence and notoriety will not suffice.
Finally, even chemical and biological agents will not longer satisfy. People have even become acclimatized to all that. They become numb to this high level of addictive pleasure.
THESE OBSESSIONS LEAD TO DESTRUCTION.
All these unsustainable measures mean so little in the end! But they are almost impossible to stop! The process then controls the person! They are terrorized by the fear of losing wealth, control, the retribution, the chemical withdrawal, and other dire consequences.
THE RIGHT CONSOLATION:
Our material or ego based success could be thought of a considerable responsibility or even a burden to bear. Just offering our-self more material rewards in contrast only brings a ‘cold comfort’.
To live a sustainable happy life, we need to have the correct consolation. We need to target the right form of relief and comfort that will support our true life purpose. Could offering our profound gratitude for our talent & ability be the correct consolation?
WHAT IS THE CORRECT CONSOLATION IN PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT?
The word consolation sometimes conjures up images of a secondary prize or some lesser reward. An example would be the term ‘receiving a consolation prize’ for an event, rather than winning. This is far from the truth in the context of personal development. What appears to be a foolish strategy – that of gratitude and giving away our material wealth to others – is in fact the wisest one! This strategy is essential for retaining and maintaining our long-term inner wealth. The real fortune is our permanent happiness, inner fulfillment, and deep inner peace. This is the correct consolation to choose!
THE RIGHT CONSOLATION PROVIDES COMFORT & RELIEF.
The term ‘consolation’, in a developmental context, can also be thought of as conveying a form of relief and benefit. The best form of consolation is permanent comfort and lasting cheer. This corresponds to inner security, lasting happiness and joy. This is not another temporary pleasure which is addictive, and not sustainable long term. Without the correct consolation or solace, all else slowly becomes meaningless. All material accumulation inevitably devalues in our own eyes. By the time of our inevitable demise at our death bed, it is all worthless. We can’t take it with us!
WHAT TYPE OF LEGACY ARE YOU REALLY LEAVING?
The only conceivable material justification we usually come up with, is that we leave a legacy to our children or heirs. But is leaving such a legacy of control, enslavement, and suffering really a meaningful legacy? Was all that effort & suffering justifiable? Could we defend our moral behaviour at some independent high court?
TRUE CONSOLATION EASES THE BURDEN OF SUCCESS.
Only the correct consolation will sustain us for the long term, right up to the moment of our death and perhaps far beyond. This correct motivation gives us an alternative extraordinary form of comfort and relief, to ease the burden of our enormous success.
GRATITUDE PROMOTES CONTENTMENT & INNER PEACE.
The best antidote to this ‘success’ is the consolation of ‘our gratitude’. To protect us, it must be truly felt and correctly expressed! It will provide us a sustainable and permanent comfort. It can further build ever higher levels of happiness, deep contentment, & true inner peace.
GRATITUDE LEADS TO MORE JOY.
This path is analogous to choosing between temporary pleasure or permanent joy. One just distracts us from our emptiness and suffering. The alternative provides for an accumulation of lasting happiness & joy. This permanent ‘wealth’ does not diminish or devalue and can slowly build in real value. It suffers no degradation, tolerance or extinction with prolonged use. It does not produce dependency or addictive behaviour. We don’t crave another next ‘fix’ or ‘hit’ as with the transient highs of materialistic motivation.
WILL YOU EMBRACE THE ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE?
Thus, a major strategy for maintaining our success long term and to build permanent inner wealth, is to choose the correct consolation. Will you include the ‘giving of gratitude’ to your personal list of strategies for success?
How can we further express our gratitude? It there an even higher order of service that is possible? What would we dedicate our service to? We discuss this final strategy next in subchapter 4.15