“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”― John Wesley
Having traveled extensively to many countries and meeting many many souls, I have noticed one common negative trait in almost 95% of people(for sometime even me!). What is this negative trait?
Here it is: We do good(awesome!), but only because we feel like we are going to get something back in return(not so awesome!). Doing good for personal gain is no good at all.
As an occupational hazard, I tend to analyze everything. So, when someone I know made a huge donation to a charity dear to my heart I was mighty pleased ofcourse….up until this ‘someone’ started talking to press and media about the huge donation they had made. Now I know these people…I know they started out donating money to this charity out of the goodness of their heart. But, almost unconsciously, when that goodness of heart turned into self promotion and self gain is hard to pin point.
Negative or Positive Mental Conditioning
I believe it all starts with our mental conditioning. We have been trained since childhood to be a certain way or do a certain act to please someone else. As children we were told “If you want your teacher to like you, be on your best behavior “, “If you do well is your exams, you will get a new toy.” ….We have been brought up to believe that all good acts we do deserve a gift or remuneration of some sort. While I have nothing against positive reinforcement, we must realize that there is a very fine line between ‘positive reinforcement’ and ‘promoting personal gain’.
What if we were brought up to believe that every good act we do was good for our heart, for our mind and our soul? What is we were brought up to believe that all good acts we do bring immense joy to us and to the person we are doing it for?
Since I have realized this trait was present in me too, I have kept myself in check by asking myself a simple question before I do any GOOD act for anyone. I ask myself “What am I expecting in return?” If a bit of personal gain comes up, I correct that thinking by telling myself “I do all GOOD acts only for JOY.”
With practice we can let go of the negative ‘personal gain’ mindset and just DO good for the joy of it. What a wonderful world that would be :)
Here are 12 ways to Just DO Good for the Joy of it:
- Lend your shoulder to someone who needs it without judging their story.
- Donate a small amount to a charity anonymously.
- Teach someone something they need to learn without making them feel like you know best and they don’t.
- Solve someones problem without rubbing it in their face at anytime in the present or future.
- Appreciate someone even though you know they have never been kind to you.
- Tell someone you believe in them without really expecting the same support back.
- Alter or change your plans for someone you love, without ever expecting the same from them.
- Ask someone, “Can I do something for you today?”…then do it and let it go.
- Allow someone else to teach you a thing a two, even though you might be closed minded about it.
- Forgive someone who has wronged you, not because you are proving to be better than them, but because you have genuine compassion for them.
- Leave an appreciative comment/line in someones inbox. Not because you want to show them you are so nice, but because you genuinely care.
- ………………………this one is for you. Share one way you can just do good for the joy of it in the comments below. Lets learn from each other.
Human tendency dictates that we will make mistakes and we will get on the negative mindset wagon once in a while. And that is ok. The important thing is we started off with good intention hence when this negative mindset sets in, we can make an effort to change it. It gets easier with practice…I promise. I’m living proof of it.
Lets just DO GOOD and teach our children to DO Good too, cause that’s how we are laying the foundation for a truly positive and loving world.
What are your thoughts on this topic? Share your thoughts and your own ways to DO GOOD with me in the comments below. I love learning from your wisdom!
With Immense Love & Gratitude,
Counseling Psychologist/ Spiritual Counselor
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