Pay it Forward

Sitting at the bar of my favorite restaurant, a lady starts burning money. She literally took the note and put it to the candle flame.

Interesting reactions followed this act. Some said it was against the law, some complained that it could have bought a drink. But overall everybody showed their underlying attachment to money.

Funny thing money, in our society most of us perceive it as the sole means of surviving. Because of this perception we either have a fear or greed attachment to it. Both emotions are deeply rooted in a belief system of want or scarcity.

This map in our brain dictates that our survival is dependent on an external source. A source that is not under our control, so we either live in fear that we will die if the source dries up, or we want to ensure we have as much of it for ourselves before everything is taken.

This is rather crippling would you not agree?

In my mind the healthier and more natural belief system is to accept that there is enough of everything and acknowledging that I am part of the bigger picture. Therefore I have a contribution to make and therefore I may receive what I am in need of.

Let us take an economic lesson from nature. A tree takes freely from the ground what it needs – nourishment, stability etc. and it gives freely –shade, oxygen, fruit etc. This is the natural way of abundance.

Yes, sometimes there are droughts. The tree then takes less and gives less. Sometimes trees die. But even in their death they give. They become the compost for the next generation of trees.

So we see, even in scarcity, the principle of give and receive works. The key learning is that we must seek a win-win way if living.

What I found very interested is that the give and receive (win-win) is not necessarily linear. More often than not what you give comes back in an indirect way. Some people call this the principle of paying it forward.

My good friend Hennie taught me this principle. I am grateful for all the investments he made in my life and I recently started to pay these investments forward.

What a pleasant experience. The immediate ROI was an experience of psychological well-being. Experiencing a quality of life that money cannot buy. The longer term experience I have is that because one’s hand is open in the process of giving, it is also open to receive and be blessed.

Very important to keep in mind is that in between the giving and the receiving is a huge gap that must be filled with hard work (I know you did not think this process happens magically). Remember we are part of the bigger picture and we do have a contribution to make.

May I invite you to tell me about your giving and receiving? Tell me about your hard work and the well-being that you experience?

In Abundance


Patterns of thinking

It is a biological, neuro-scientific fact that not one of us thinks the same.

Unfortunately the beauty of this fact gets lost sometimes. We all have the same brain make up (all of us have a limbic system or a language center), the uniqueness lies in the neurological connections we make.

I find it sad the so many of us do not trust this unique connection we make. We (me included) seem to want external validation for our thoughts. I often hear the questions: “Am I thinking right?” or “Is this the right way of thinking?”

The reality is, even if we think in the exact same words the external validater gives us, the neurological connections would still be unique to us.

That said, we can also identify certain common thinking patterns. One of these is Binary thinking.

Binary thinking is either or thinking. This pattern only recognizes good and bad, black and white. Its motto is: “Those who are not for us are against us.” We see it in extremist and racists. It is us against them.

The ineffectiveness of this type of thinking pattern is that it glues itself to two poor defense mechanisms: Denial and projection.

A binary thinker will deny that he/she is wrong and project that what is ugly in him/herself onto the enemy. We see this in people that accuse other race groups of being rapists, but they keep their own incense a secret. Or see the “terrorist” as a cold blooded murderer, but enjoys watching bloody thrillers.

But we will also find it

in our own thinking.

The healthier and more effective way of thinking is to think “either/and”. Life is not simple, it is complex. When we embrace the either/and way of thinking we celebrate this beautiful complex diversity. Either/and thinking gives us the freedom to choose the option that synchronizes with our unique brain map of the world.

In this freedom we will find the responsibility to take ownership of the beauty inside our own mind.

Either and