To receive without asking
It has become a joke between my daughter and me that, Sherman, my husband, always gets preferential treatment at holiday buffets. For example, several years ago, Sherman and I were on a cruise of the Nile. I was standing in a long line of people waiting for the chef to prepare an omelette. Sherman is not even in the queue, he is helping himself to a bread roll close by the omelette station. The chef calls him over and, with a grin and a wink, slides a fluffy omelette onto his plate. Why? Why does Sherman get his needs met without having to ask? I know it doesn’t seem fair.
We have been married for thirty-five years and I have learnt that shop assistants, strangers in cafés, and people we occasionally pass on the street, all want to talk to Sherman. Faces light up when he approaches. We visited a pub on one occasion whilst on holiday in Whitby, Yorkshire. Seven years later we returned to the same pub and the publican greeted Sherman recalling his last visit. I know that Sherman would have bought him a pint when they first met and would probably have made him laugh. But beneath his banter is a man who genuinely cares. He notices people and makes them feel special and included. He doesn’t do it for any kind of return. He loves people and has a generous nature.
My daughter told me that she tried the ‘Sherman technique’ whilst on holiday hoping that she would get preferential treatment at the buffet, and was disappointed to find that it didn’t work. And there is the trick – the lesson to be learned.
If you do something hoping to be rewarded in kind, you will be disappointed. Life doesn’t work like that. When I first started this blog, I checked the statistics a few times each week driving myself crazy with negative thoughts. Why would anyone follow my blog when there were more experienced people out there writing much more interesting stuff than me? Was I wasting my time?
Then I had a revelation, and I have Lauryn Trimmer prostorybuilders.wordpress.com to thank for that. In a blog, Lauryn said quite simply, Don’t look at the view count on stats. Just don’t do it. That was all it needed. I went for a run and thought, why am I worrying about the stats? I am doing something that I love. The blog, sharing thoughts and ideas with like-minded people on social media, reading and reviewing other authors’ work, being part of a readers’ and writers’ community – I love these experiences and opportunities. By the end of that run, my mind set had changed. Now, I commit to all of these things for the joy that they bring – not for any expected return.
The law of abundance
Meditation teaches us that gratitude, love, and joy bring abundance into our lives. That people are attracted to positive energy. Abundance does not work like a weighing scale with each good deed or good thought rewarded in kind. By being happy with where you are and who you are, you radiate positivity.
If you have been following my blogs, you will know that I started this journey as an Indie author/creative entrepreneur with mixed feelings: excited by the possibilities, but daunted by the challenge that lay ahead. It is still early days, but as I relax and enjoy connecting with other creatives without expectation, just a willingness to support others on a similar journey, people and opportunities have come into my life that I could not have anticipated.
Social media can be a valuable tool for networking and may lead to more meaningful connections with others. It can also be soul destroying if you value your worth by how many followers or ‘likes’ that you have. Take pleasure in the process. Be kind. Be authentic. Don’t expect any return– but don’t be surprised when you are called to the front of the line to receive an omelette before having to ask.
I am ending this week’s blog with a favourite poem of mine. Many years ago, this was pinned above my desk as the words really resonate with me. It is by Robert Muller, former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Decide to Network
Decide to network
Use every letter you write
Every conversation you have
Every meeting you attend
To express your fundamental beliefs and dreams
Affirm to others the vision of the world you want
Network through thought
Network through action
Network through love
Network through the spirit
You are the center of the world
You are a free, immensely powerful source
of life and goodness
Think day and night about it
And you will see a miracle happen:
the greatness of your own life.
In a world of big powers, media, and monopolies
But of six billion individuals
Networking is the new freedom
the new democracy
a new form of happiness.