It doesn’t seem that long ago that I was cupping my left hand around my exam papers in primary school. A makeshift shield to guard my answers from whoever was sitting next to me. I strangled my pen as I rapidly moved my right hand over the page — my heart beating heavy in my chest. Faster, faster. I kept encouraging myself. I had studied enough though. I was confident. Mrs Glasson’s voice sliced through the silence. ‘Okay everyone, finish up. Ten minutes to go.’ Even though my eyes were focused on the page, I trusted my peripheral vision to identify any heads that turned in my direction. Heads that could steal my precious answers.
Do you know anyone who has achieved everything they ever dreamed of, but still feels unhappy? If you are familiar with international life coach, Tony Robbins, this dissatisfaction can be easily explained. He posits that there are six human needs. The four basic ones that we all crave on some level; 1) certainty, 2) uncertainty, 3) love and connection, and 4) significance. Even if all four of these needs are met on a regular basis, one will not be fulfilled without the additional two; 5) growth, and 6) contribution.
When our life is filled with things (material and otherwise) that only serve to benefit ourselves, we may feel instant gratification - but it never lasts long. We can only be truly satisfied when we are experiencing personal growth, and when we contribute to our earthly sisters and brothers.
As we go through life, our greatest blessing is what we share with others. Of course, we can give away material things, but there is so much more. Experiences, time, love, knowledge — things that can’t be passed down like jewellery when we are no longer around. It’s the way we make others feel, that enriches their lives. That’s how they will remember us.
In 2004, when I first heard about the six human needs, I didn’t have the means for significant monetary donations, so I began to give blood and have done many times since. We can find endless ways to contribute. When you think you have nothing to give, you aren’t searching hard enough. It may be a warm smile to a stranger, or a genuine compliment to someone who isn’t expecting one. If you hold things inside, you are denying others of gratifying experiences. A simple gesture could make someone’s day. Keeping things to ourself is, I suppose… selfish.
We may underestimate the value of the abundant knowledge that we acquire through our life. There is endless information in the world. Information that is circling. Available for us all to pick up and pass on when we are ready to receive and listen. When you have an epiphany, chances are others will find value in your realisation too.
If we hold onto what we have and know, we haven’t affected the greater consciousness of the universe. We will leave without having touched other people’s lives. The satisfaction we feel when we are generous can be explained by our connectedness with each other. The interdependency of all of us. We came from one original source. It’s natural that we are drawn to reconnect with each other on a deep and spiritual level.
Below is my summary of how we can contribute to humanity:-
G — give away what you learn to help others on their path
I — impact other people by spending quality time with them
V — vulnerability in your connections so others feel less alone
E — emerge as a generous soul with an abundance mentality
My behaviour at school was motivated by my sense of ‘lack.’ Believing that the knowledge was ‘mine’ and I was the only one who possessed the answers. I left behind my scarcity mentality as I grew older. I began to understand that there is an abundance of everything. Enough to go around. It’s there for all of us. To raise each other up. And the joy is in the sharing, not the hoarding. Things aren’t missing when we give them away, but something will always be missing if we don’t.
I’ve come a long way since that primary school classroom. Instead of cupping my hands, I now open them. My heart is open too. It’s my offering. I’m excited to share all that I’ve learnt. It’s the infinite gifts from giving that make me feel whole. I urge you to think of one way you can make a heartfelt contribution today.
Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts. If you want to hear more from me, please like my ‘Lisa Benson Author’ page on Facebook or follow me (lisabensonauthor) on Instagram.