These two old G words have been rolling around in my head a lot lately. I seem to be encountering them everywhere. And everywhere, the message is the same.
I think Jeff Goins sums it up best in his newly released book Wrecked: “The less stingy you are with the universe, the less stingy it will be with you.”
Call it karma if you like, or the power of positivity. But it’s absolutely true.
Whether you like it or not, you are already a beneficiary of someone else’s generosity. This premise fueled Chris Guillebeau to launch the Free Lunch Movement. Pretty much everyone has had opportunities handed to them that they did not earn, advice shared with them out of nowhere, and other ludicrous acts of generosity handed to us. I know a whole heaping pile of such gestures have changed and shaped my life.
Despite being showered with blessings throughout my life, my natural reaction to life tends to be to tighten my fist around it—stingy, as Jeff put it.
I hate this about myself. And I’m sick of it. So I’ve decided to change it.
An article in Inc. last week, “The True Secret to Success,” declares that the key to lifelong success is gratitude. It frames the emotion of gratitude as a muscle—you can grow it by exercising it, and over time change your thought patterns.
So I know it sounds cheesy, but I’ve started a gratitude journal. A small pocket-sized notebook. Every night, I am taking a few minutes and writing down five things that I am grateful for that day.
And you know what’s amazing? Even on the worst days when I think I have nothing, once I start writing, I find I have more than enough to fill my five lines.
I’m also adopting the Free Lunch Movement as a general life policy. As Chris explains, we’ve all been given ludicrous handouts in our lives. And because of that, we need to live differently.
We need to live generously. Or as Chris puts it, a life of “dropping keys instead of building cages.”
Because we must find a way to pay it back. And the only way to pay it back is to pay it forward.