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(11) Pearls of Life

What is the purpose of human life? Sadhguru

PL11

Always Say Thank You

I was brought up always to say thank you, and I would feel really uncomfortable if I didn’t, in the same way I’d feel unpleasantly odd if I didn’t brush my teeth as soon as I got up. Actually my mother, who instilled this habit in me, was once given two black marks at school by her teacher-the first one was for bad behavior, and the second one was for being so cheeky as to say thank you for the first one. My mother had explained that she’d been brought up always to say thank you when she was given something. The teacher didn’t appreciate my mother’s sense of humor.

My mother was right though (well, in principle anyway). We may not always notice when we should thank someone else, but we certainly notice when we aren’t thanked. So don’t, for goodness sake, leave other people’s contributions unacknowledged. It doesn’t matter how small they are-no one’s going to complain that they didn’t want to be thanked.

Thanking people makes them feel good, it makes them feel warm and appreciated and cared about. It makes them feel it was worth the bother. Surely giving someone that kind of feeling has to be worthwhile in itself. And, on top of that, it makes them feel they’d be happy to do something for you again, because they know it won’t go unrecognized

 Don’t Do Too Much

 Some people can cope with anything. The world can fall apart about their ears, and somehow they just keep going. They manage a busy job, maybe a large family, plus they volunteer for a couple of charities, sit on one or two committees, and still find time to play tennis twice a week. They are clearly among the world’s copers, and they don’t seem to need any help or backup to get it all done. So no one offers them any support. Obviously. In fact, if you really want something done, they’re the ones to ask.

All of which is great, unless you happen to be one of those people-and you want some help. You won’t get it, you know. Everyone will have decided that you don’t really need it. Presumably, as you’ve actually asked, you could maybe do with a bit of backup in an ideal world, but they needn’t feel any obligation because you don’t actually need them.

You’ll cope. You always do. So what’s the moral of the story? Well, if you need other people to help you get what you want, don’t give the impression that you don’t need help. Drop the urge to look as if you can handle anything, and admit to a bit of human frailty now and again.

People will probably like you all the better for it. People who can handle anything on their own are a bit scary really.

 Give a Bit Extra

 This is a great strategy-I love this one. I enjoy the look on people’s faces when I deliver more than I promised. It makes me feel good and it makes them feel great and everyone gains. How cool is that?

The principle is simple: Whatever you say you’ll do, do a little bit more. When you babysit your neighbor’s kids, do the washing up that you find in the kitchen, too. If you say you’ll deliver your report on Thursday, deliver it on Tuesday. If your partner expects you to buy him dinner on his birthday, give him a dozen roses as well. When you borrow you dad’s car, put it through a car wash before you return it. When your friend wants company after bereavement, take her a couple of meals for the freezer at the same time.

We had a Christmas visitor a couple of year’s back who gave us a lovely thoughtful present in return for her Christmas dinner. Not only that, she’s a very clever seamstress and noticed that the cats had badly torn one of our cushion covers. She insisted on taking

it away with her and repairing it, and it arrived back in the mail within a few days looking as good as new. What a generous gesture, and all the more appreciated on our part because she’d already thanked us amply. You see? Its fun coming up with things you can do to make people’s lives that bit brighter than they’re expecting. It’s wonderful seeing them realize that they’re cared about and valued. It’s bound to make people want to go the extra mile for you but, to be honest; it would be more than worth doing regardless.

 Be Generous

 For some reason when we talk about someone being generous we tend to imply that they’re willing to give or share material things such as money or possessions. That’s certainly a laudible attitude, but not all of us have enough to share, and not everyone needs to share with us. But we do have other things we can be magnanimous with. How about your time? Are you generous with that? If someone asks you to come to a meeting, or spare them a couple of hours, or give them a ride to collect their car from the mechanic, are you always ready to say yes? Or would you prefer to get lost in a good book, or finish the project you’re working on, or just put your feet up at the end of the day with your favorite TV program? Let me tell you; you’ll actually get far more out of helping out-maybe not every time, but certainly on average-because you’ll be stepping out of your routine and anything could happen, from an interesting conversation to a huge adventure. That’s the thing-you never know what will happen next, especially when you do something different, however mundane it might seem.

Here’s something else you can be generous with: knowledge. You must know something that not everyone else does. Surely you could run a session on stop-frame animation at the local youth club, or get a couple of local kids started playing the guitar, or show some of your junior colleagues how to make their PowerPoint presentation stand out, or give a talk about your specialist subject to a local group. You never know, you might even enjoy yourself.

 

 

 

 

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