Let your first action of the day be to ask yourself the question,
“How can I give today?”
What good are you capable of doing on this day? What kindness are you able to share? What gesture, what compliment, can you muster by your simple choice and willpower? Which friend may you surprise with a phone call? What passing compliment could you offer to a stranger at the grocery store? How could you will yourself to assume a subtle role of giving and kindness in an otherwise combative or emotionally-empty workplace?
When you ask yourself, “How can I give today?” you immediately begin to channel your attention, mindfulness, awareness and energy into helping other human beings. You stoke a galactic equation to give and receive love.
You are a force for giving. A force for love. A force for God.
And when you fixate your thinking mind upon acts of service, love and giving, your heart swells. The lotus blossoms.
You are hard-wired, biologically and evolutionarily, to love. And by offering slight, simple, quiet acts of love in the form of a smile, a polite word or a random act of kindness, you are not just being “nice” but literally building and expanding your mental and emotional capacities to love.
I believe there are two major factors that make us feel devoid of happiness.
One is when we feel unloved by others: when we feel isolated, alone, misunderstood, on our own, abandoned. The other is when we feel without purpose, unfulfilled in our work, unmotivated, meandering, aimless, just floating through the motions, stuck in the 9-to-5 grind–in other words, we feel that we’re not truly giving our love to the world.
I believe that these two factors that make us feel empty of happiness occur when we feel that we are not receiving love and when we are not giving love.
Love is the currency that drives our world.
Love in all forms–from romantic to platonic, from active to passive, from passionate to pleasant, from lifelong friends to a passing moment upon the street with a stranger–is the reason why you are here.
And when you feel depressed, empty, hollow, purposeless, static, stagnant, stuck, unfulfilled, unhappy or without purpose, it is because one (or both) of these two channels of love is out of sync.
There is an imbalance.
One or both are lacking.
The reason you feel like you have to turn it all around is because you know in your heart of hearts how capable of love you are.
You are infinitely capable of love. Dream it in your mind’s eye, and your heart responds, “Yes, you can. Let’s do this.” That love-scheming is what makes your heart beat. It’s the day-dreaming you get swooped into as you stare idly out the window. You dream that way because it’s true.
No, dreaming it doesn’t mean instant rewards. Just “believing” in it doesn’t promise you results.
It doesn’t promise or guarantee you a damn thing.
Your dreams exist to serve you with a vision to see what is possible. And it is possible. But it takes work, commitment, responsibility, dedication, and an unwavering self-belief to see your dreams through to reality.
In other words, for those dreams to be made real, you’re required to profoundly dedicate yourself to this intricate balance; this galactic equation that moves and fuels our world: to both give and receive love.
If you want to stoke that “equation” on any given day, I like to do it by asking myself, ‘How can I give today?’
You may wonder why the question that I ask is about giving love, instead of receiving it. Receiving love is indeed an active practice. It requires work in the forms of acknowledgment, gratitude and humility–to fully receive love, you have to believe that you feel worthy of love and deserving of love (and happiness).
But the act of giving is not only a power that we always possess–one that we can engage in with such ease and simplicity, just by offering a smile–but it’s also a way that we can actively engage others in the process.
Giving makes us feel connected to other human beings. Connected the world. It makes us feel that our own lives are being felt by others. It reminds us that we matter and that our existence carries its own weight: that we each are our own force of giving, a force of love, a force of God.
If you’re looking to turn things around on any given day, start there. Start with, “How can I give today?” Stoke the galactic equation of love. You’ll start sharing goodness and kindness with the world, and feel the world reciprocate.
Through giving, you invite love in.