Is This Good for Me?
As much as we think we live in a society where bad things happen because everyone is out for themselves, my personal observation is quite the opposite. Increasingly I see that bad things happen because people spend too much time doing for others at their own expense.
Yes, that’s right. I’m saying that doing for others can be a bad thing. But before you think I’ve completely lost my mind, allow me to walk you through it.
The Law of Attraction says you attract more of what you focus on. You can tell you are moving toward what will make you happy when you feel positive emotions. When you feel negative emotions, you are moving AWAY from what will make you happy.
So, if doing for others makes you happy, that’s good for you and good for society in general. I’m not talking, however, about the fact that it is supposed to make you feel good. I’m asking, “Does it really make you happy?” Do you feel great when you are doing it?
If the answers are, “No,” then you are only going to attract more circumstances that match how you really feel. This is when you start to attract negative experiences like altercations with bad drivers and rude holiday shoppers, not to mention how badly behaved your co-workers become.
When you do for others out of a sense or obligation or duty instead of joy, it creates ugliness all around you. Why? Because obligation and duty are usually words used to describe burdens, not privileges.
The problem lies in the fact that we mistakenly believe we are successful at hiding our true feelings from those for whom we are sacrificing. We are not.
In the late 60’s, UCLA Professor Albert Mehrabian did a series of studies on how we communicate. He established that the effectiveness of spoken communication is determined as follows:
7% by the words we say
38% by our tone of voice
55% through our body language
What this means is that, even though you tell others that you don’t mind doing things for them or that it gives you pleasure they can always tell if you are really feeling resentment or that somehow you’re being taken advantage of. They certainly would not be able to prove it but they can feel it and react to it.
They react to the negativity you are not hiding at all. Do you really think it would make them happy to get what they want at your expense?
UGH! We think we’re delivering a message of generosity and what we are actually delivering is a message of martyrdom. This doesn’t make for a better world, it makes for a stressed out world full of well-meaning, self-sacrificing victims.
I want to introduce a revolutionary idea and the upcoming holidays are a good time to put it into practice. As you move through your day-to-day life and are faced with the many things you could do, I want you to filter every one of them through this important question:
Is this good for me?
If the answer is, “No,” then do not do it.
Here’s the worst possible response and the one that drives so many: (Gasp!) What would people think?
Who cares? If the answer is, “I care,” then you may want to examine who is running your life and then look in the mirror to see who gave them permission.
Just for the next month, only do what fills you with joy. If it doesn’t make you happy, then don’t do it. The things you end up accomplishing will be genuinely appreciated and no one around you needs to feel guilty because of your sacrifice
Is this good for you? You bet it is!
And it is good for those around you, too.