Living in Buenos Aires, you don’t always get access to all the great educators of our time who are touring and speaking throughout the US. However, last week I had the pleasure of hearing a talk by Geshe Michael Roach, founder of the $250 million dollar company, Andin Diamond Corporation (recently purchased by Warren Buffet), and author the worldwide best selling book, The Diamond Cutter. Roach is a fully ordained Tibetan Buddhist monk and became successful using these ancient teachings and wisdom and applying them to not only business, but also to life.
One of the key principles that Roach teaches is that success in any area is the result of what you do for others. So, if you want money for example, you must give money away to others. If you want love, give love to someone else. If you want good health, take care of someone else who has health problems. If you want a relationship, spend time with someone who also feels lonely. By giving to others, you actually plant a “seed” inside yourself that begins to grow and attract to you what you desire most.
Although many might argue that giving in order to receive is inauthentic, when done with love, it would be almost impossible not to feel the positive effects of making a difference for another no matter what the motives might be. In my own life experience, the times when I contributed to someone were in turn some of my most fulfilling ones and actually redirected my life purpose. It’s amazing how good we can feel knowing we’ve done something good no matter how small or big it might be. So, don’t worry too much about why you’re giving and just start practicing the act itself and let yourself be surprised by how it makes you feel and what comes back to you.
In his teachings, Roach explains that there are ways to attract the life you want through giving that will produce more seeds and faster results. The first is to give to people or organizations that are powerful in their ability to contribute to others, but are in an emergency situation preventing them from being able to do so. This also fulfills the second point, which is to really think about who you’re giving to. The more you think about who you want to give to, the more seeds get planted inside of you. The third is to teach them how to also give away what they are seeking so that the phenomenon spreads and makes abundance and happiness available to all. For me, this is like the “pay it forward” concept. Give to those who can give to others and in turn teach others to do the same. The final point is to really meditate and think about the good deed you did afterwards. Allow yourself to feel the benefits of giving fully and acknowledge yourself for your contribution. These good feelings also plant more seeds.
While listening to Roach’s talk, I was reminded of a time when I experienced his teachings first hand. While living in NY, I made a decision one day to donate a percentage of my paycheck to an organization dedicated to ending hunger through empowerment and personal responsibility. Deciding to donate $100 per month seemed significant to me at that time and required a little self-talk for me to say yes to giving. However, I can distinctly recall the good feelings I felt as I returned to my apartment that evening while reflecting on the decision I had made. To my surprise, when I opened my mailbox that night, I found a check for over $2,000 waiting for me. It was a final payment from a previous job I had recently left which I was unaware was coming my way. Immediately, I smiled at the coincidence and never forgot that moment.
If you’re like me, it sometimes requires a conscious effort to look out for others consistently, especially in moments where we’re feeling that we ourselves don’t have enough of something in our own lives. Inspired by the reminder of the power of giving, I’ve decided to begin to look for ways outside of my work to make a difference for another. Already I’ve been amused by how much me, me, me time goes on in my mind while doing my day-to-day activities. Switching that thought process to the search for someone in need has been fun and uplifting and I’m already starting to reap the rewards, even if its just a better feeling overall. Give it a try and see what happens. If you’re inspired to share, we would love to hear what shows up for you in your own life.
About Geshe Michael Roach:
Published On: January 31, 2011