How do you define wealth? Do you instantly think about bank notes and coins, account balances and world-wide real estate? The most common perspective on “being rich” is to associate wealth with monetary value. But even if we tend to forget it, financial wealth is not the only richness exists, and definitely not the most important.
Wealth can be measured in knowledge, friendships and happiness. Being rich can be interpreted as being spiritual or educated, or being full of empathy and grace. And richness of wellbeing is certainly a state that many people seek.
But if the old saying, “the rich get richer” is true, does it also apply to wealth that is not related to money?
Absolutely. Varied types of abundance and wealth are likely to keep expanding with the given intention. From Karma and the Law of Attraction all the way to cultivating personal wellbeing — here are a few examples to that illustrate this wonderful news.
In his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, Deepak Chopra describes the Law of Karma as the following: “Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind…what we sow is what we reap. And when we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our Karma is happiness and success”.
By using the Law of Karma, we make our choices consciously and consider how our choices effect other people and the surroundings. The beauty of Karma lies in the mutual effect: while we create abundance for others, we allow more abundance to flow into our own lives.
Though the concept of creating wealth (not necessarily financial wealth) for the sake of others, might stand in contrast to the competitive environment we live and work in — it is, in fact, just an assumption of scarcity that is often proven as wrong. All that is required is a shift in thinking towards the “abundance mentality” or “abundance mindset”, to use the terms coined by Stephen Covey in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. According to Covey, an abundance mindset is one “in which a person believes there are enough resources and successes to share with others.”
When we believe that there is enough for all, it helps us overcome the competitive assumption that we need to keep it all (or most of it) to ourselves in order to have more. The core of pursuing good Karma is helping others to have more of what they wish for — and in doing so, we naturally end up having more ourselves.
Here is what happened to me, when I shifted the focus from being self-centered to an abundance mentality. When I first began giving talks and workshops on creating social sustainability, I remember an outstanding piece of advice I was given by a supportive friend. When I shared with her my concern that the turnout would be low for an upcoming talk I was preparing for, in an open stage café, she told me to pick her up the next evening, we were going out. “Where are we going?” I was curious to find out. “We’re going to attend another talk, which will be given in a pub half an hour from here”, she replied.
“What are you talking about?” I was puzzled with her plan. “I just told you that I need to prepare for my talk and to put some extra effort in to reaching out to more potential participants”.
“Yes, but you also need to put some effort in supporting other speakers and show up to their talks — just as you want people to come and to listen to you”, she pointed out.
And so we did. The talk we listened to was truly interesting, and the bonus was that more people than I expected showed up to my talk the week after.
If karma externally focuses on the creation of abundance, then go internal and delve into the Law of Attraction.
Have you ever experienced a deep longing for something to an extent that you kept visualizing in detail how would it happen? And then suddenly a clear path unfolded towards that dream and you ended up realizing it? If that happened, then you’ve probably experienced first-hand the Law of Attraction.
The Law of Attraction is the ability to attract into our lives what we are focusing on. In the words of Katherine Hurst, a global Law of Attraction community manager, “[it] dictates that whatever can be imagined and held in the mind’s eye is achievable if you take action to get to where you want to be. We are acting as human magnets sending out our thoughts and emotions and attracting back more of what we have put out”.
The idea of attracting more of what we invest in and focus on, correlates perfectly with the notion of wealth that begets wealth, and is not limited to money. Once we put our positive attention onto a certain dream or goal — whether it be learning a new skill, becoming a certain person or creating something from scratch — we naturally attract more of what we want and are focusing on. However, this requires a plan.
There are different tools and exercises to help activate the Law of Attraction, such as affirmations, a “vision board” or “dream check”, journaling and more. These are accompanied by a concrete plan that helps us start to attract what we long for.
As evident by testimonials of famous thought leaders like Plato, Newton, Lincoln and Einstein, the law doesn’t lie: when truly focusing on what you wish for — and then manifesting that focus to execute a plan — you are ultimately creating more and more of the desired outcome.
Setting focus and goals are important, but can we also create abundance without intentionally doing so? Let’s take a close look at the following example of volunteering.
Volunteering our time and efforts for a meaningful cause can feel good, but it’s a tricky one. When life is already so hectic and busy, many people struggle with the question of whether they should spend time on an activity that doesn’t generate any income, and often even costs them money (e.g. paying for transportation or equipment).
The intention may be positive, but the dilemma is real — when we struggle to balance work and personal life, is that the right time to volunteer for something which doesn’t fall under the category of business or pleasure?
The answer is yes, and yes again.
Recent research has shown that people who volunteer their time actually feel like they have more time, they develop new skills, they might live longer and their social capital increases. Moreover, volunteering enhances happiness and wellbeing, as reported in a Harvard Business School paper titled Feeling Good about Giving. The positive connection between happiness and giving is highlighted through various studies. For example, volunteering led to increased emotional wellbeing, improved health and a reduced stress-related hormones.
An interesting example of unexpected abundance that came out of volunteering, personally happened to me.
Over the past five years, I’ve became known in my local community as The Sustainability Person — the one that people come to when they want to organize an event related to sustainability, or to ask for an advice in that area.
That expertise wasn’t built overnight. Prior to that, I volunteered locally in varied activities: from organizing second-hand free open markets, hosting knowledge sessions for kids and adults, formulating a sustainability team — based on committed volunteers — to map the local sustainability challenges and tackle them through focused projects.
When I first started, my intention was to donate time and knowledge for the community I live in, in a field which became my profession. It is still my intention, though I was unexpectedly offered a few paid projects from local organizations that heard about these activities from community residents.
Volunteering and good will do pay off — especially when we are genuine in our positive intentions and don’t expect anything in return.
Finally, it is time to explore how simultaneously directing good will towards other humans, should also initiate kindness to ourselves. Nurturing self-wellbeing is another important resource of abundance and diverse wealth.
There is no consensus around a singular definition of wellbeing. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, wellbeing can be described as judging life positively and feeling good.
There are different aspects of wellbeing that include:
● Physical wellbeing
● Economic wellbeing
● Social wellbeing
● Development and activity
● Emotional wellbeing
● Psychological wellbeing
● Life satisfaction
● Domain specific satisfaction
● Engaging activities and work
The connection to the previous section about volunteering time and efforts to help others is becoming clear: while creating wealth for others, you also (sometimes unintendedly) create wealth for yourself, in the form of a healthier, happier and more satisfying life. All of those fit under the umbrella of self-wellbeing and are the ingredients to a better quality of life.
Yet how about intentionally creating self-wellbeing in order to feel well, do well and invite more wellbeing into your life?
“What’s invisible to us is also crucial for our own wellbeing”.
British writer Jeanette Winterson
What we often overlook is as important as what we are aware of. When we correct the situation and intentionally focus on creating and maintaining personal wellbeing, we suddenly realize what we have missed.
There are many reasons why people neglect the habit of self-care. A few that lead the list are that people feel too busy to make the self-dedicated time, or they feel guilty about doing so. In any case, it is a matter of making shifting perception: self-wellbeing is a crucial factor in our continuous motivation, energy, and productivity. By actively seeking ways to enhance our own wellbeing, we make it an integral part of our life.
But here’s the interesting part: by creating self-wellbeing, we enjoy a state of thriving in all different areas (personally, professionally, socially and physically) — an approach which results in renewed energies and motivation to maintain more wellbeing!
Take exercise, for example: You decided to do more sports and start jogging in the evenings after work. It’s hard at first, coming back from a long and busy day, putting on the running clothes and shoes, going outside in a cold or warm weather. Such a hassle for something that doesn’t always make you feel good while you’re doing it. But you don’t want to quit. Gradually you see results: you feel less short of breath, your muscles aren’t as sore as they were in the beginning, even your sleep improves as a result from training. Now you don’t continue just for the sake of not quitting; you continue because you feel the benefits in your body. Your energy increases in so many levels, that it is renewed every time you’re about to go running again. You may even get to the point that you feel worse if you don’t go running!
The same goes for “training” for wellbeing: the more efforts and intentions you put into building and maintaining self-wellbeing — the more you will notice it in the different areas of your life — from health, through calmness, to happiness.
And that, undoubtedly, is the type of abundance that everybody would like to welcome into their lives.
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Keen to read more about creating personal change towards social change? Please visit www.bethechange.org.il for more content and resources
Originally published at medium.com