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Expect Nothing (Get Much in Return)

Updated on August 14, 2012

LEARN TO GIVE WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING BACK

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...AND GET REWARDED ANYWAY

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“The true measure of a man


is how he treats someone





who can do him


absolutely no good.”



--Ann Landers









True Story

A few years ago, the hottest Christmas item was a Nintendo Wii. Every kid wanted one. But they were impossible to get. People (parents mostly) lined up at stores, even camped out overnight, in hopes of landing one.

I was one of those parents.

My son wanted a Wii in the worst way. I exhausted every avenue I could think of, and went to every store I knew of, trying to get one for him. I never camped out, but I waited in lines for longer than I'd like to admit. I got up early, I went late. But everywhere I tried, there weren't enough Wii's to cover all the people waiting. I came up empty-handed every time. One week before Christmas, I made one last attempt at a toy store. I'd heard they'd gotten a truckload of Wii's so I raced there as fast as I could. The line was out the door. As I approached the line, someone let me know I was too late - - -the store had handed out tickets already; all the Wii's were spoken for. I accepted defeat and went inside the store. I noticed the manager doing a fine and professional job, organizing the crowd, ushering people through the registers, and making sure that the lucky ones with Wii's got to their cars safely. I was very impressed with the manager--- it was close to Christmas, nerves were frazzled and people were on edge, but he had it all under control.

A few days later I returned to the same store to buy some wrapping paper. I happened to see that manager again. He was looking a little worn down. "You did a great job the other day with the Wii's," I said to him. "That was a pretty crazy scene and you handled it really well."

Well, judging by his face, you would think I just handed handed him a million dollars. He completely lit up. "Wow, thanks!" he answered, his smile wide and bright. "But I wouldn't announce too loud that you got a Wii, people are crazy right now." He laughed.

"Oh, I didn't get a Wii," I explained, "I tried, but struck out. But I was just really impressed with the way you managed everything. I even went home and told my husband about it. I know that had to be stressful, and you did a great job."

At that, he looked utterly stunned. "You mean you didn't get a Wii, but you're still taking the time to tell me I did a good job?" He sounded baffled.

"Yeah," I replied, smiling. "I just thought you should hear it."

The manager started looking side to side slowly, then spoke quietly. "You know what, we just had someone return a Wii. The wife got one, not knowing the husband did, too. I wasn't even going to put it on the floor cause it would just be nuts. But if you come over to the register by the video games, it's yours."

Now it was my turn to feel stunned. Just two days before Christmas, after all of that running around and so many failed attempts to find one, I was actually going to get a Wii!. Hallelujah! It was a Christmas miracle!

Really, it was an example of the truest form of giving and how it can return to you tenfold. I was giving without expecting anything in return. Yet I was rewarded greatly anyhow.









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Live simply, expect little, give much. Fill your life with love. Scatter sunshine. Forget self, think of others. Do as you would be done by. It's the way to happiness.- H.C. MATTERN

True Giving

When I took the time to compliment that toy store manager, I was doing so only to be kind. I had no motive or intention. It is at times like that, when I offer a kindness or a favor or some help only for the sake of doing so, that I am often rewarded the most. The rewards may not be instant, but they do come. Case in point: I wrote something nice the other day on another writer's work. I didn't know the writer, but I felt compelled to note a selfless thing he had done. Days later he responded back to me with not only a thanks but also some wise words. Those words led me to the idea for this article. For me, that was such a gift.

See how it works? The writer was selfless in what he did. I noticed that and complimented him, expecting nothing back. Yet he responded, and gave me the gift of an idea for my writing. Neither one of us expected anything for our actions, yet we were each rewarded.

Sometimes the reward is not even from the person you were kind to, but the connection to your kindness is always there. For example, I once hired an exterminator because I saw him being kind to our local little league. I happened to be at the ball field when he was removing a bees' nest and spraying for other bugs. I overheard a coach mention that the exterminator had donated his services. I remembered that, and called him when I needed an exterminator. His kindness and generosity got him the job --- even though that wasn't his intention at all.





It's All About Intention

Deepak Chopra explains about "karma" or "cause and effect" in his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. We've all heard the saying, "you sow what you reap". Chopra says, "every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind. . . And when we choose actions that bring happiness and success to others, the fruit of our karma is happiness and success." The key is that our actions have to be solely for the happiness and success of others; our intention can not be for our own selfish motives. If our intention is selfish, we will not get rewarded in return, because selfishness will be returned to us!

WHAT IS TRUE GIVING?

True giving is authentic. It is not influenced by what you think you should do, or what you think others think you should do. It needs no audience. It is aligned with your pure intentions of wanting to do something kind, nice or good, for that reason alone. It is effortless and can't be forced or manipulated. It has no uncertainty. If you are conflicted about doing something for someone, it may be because you are actually concerned with a motive or intention beyond simply wanting to give. You may be thinking of what you are expecting in return. True giving has no such conflict. It brings joy and contentment simply from the act of giving itself. It is its own reward!

PUTTING IT INTO PRACTICE

Practice kindness and generosity in your actions, solely for the sake of doing so. Give for the joy of giving, with no expectation of a gift in return. Give a compliment because you mean it and not because you expect to hear one back. Invite friends to dinner, even if they don't have the means to reciprocate. Donate your extra clothes, just because you know someone can use them, even though you may never hear a thanks. Do a good job because others will benefit, even if you won't get the credit. Choose to do the right thing, even if no one ever sees you do it.

Look for opportunities of true giving-- opportunities when you can give something away, whether in the form of a kind word, a helping hand, some talent or some time, just because your heart is telling you to do so. When the cause is solely for the happiness and success of others, the effect will be the same for you. Just as long as you don't expect it, it really is amazing what will be returned to you.

Expect Nothing, And Get Much in Return

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    • tsmog profile image

      Tim Mitchell 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

      An awesome read of life and the many treasures discovered when not looking and only allowing. Reminds me of reciprocity that so many see as payment, yet universally is really the butterfly affect somewhere else - connections are cosmic not individual.

      Some think that law has to do with giving like with like, yet that is what is learned on street corners and such. The law of reciprocity or actually a theory coming near to Sir. Isaac Newton can be found here. I ask forgiveness for imposing on this hub to share this link. http://www.theory-of-reciprocity.com yet realize this is a gift to a friend, the writer here.

      The theory of reciprocity was conjured long before the laws of attraction came into prevalence of late. Who knows where ideas come from sometimes, eh?

      tim

    • g-girl11 profile image
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      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Exactly!

      It's hard to put these cosmic ideas into words, but you do it so well, and you get it!

      True. Who knows where the ideas come from, or how our kindness, with no strings attached, will be returned.

    • profile image

      KatrineDM 4 years ago

      It's a lovely hub, so inspiring and motivating. I have myself learnt in life that often when we give without expecting anything back we receive or gain much more in a different form.

    • g-girl11 profile image
      Author

      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Thanks Katrine! That is true, the gains may be even bigger, and in forms we didn't expect--because the key is to give without expecting at all!

    • bloggering profile image

      bloggering 4 years ago from Southern California

      Great hub and so true! We often receive when we least expect it, and like you say...detachment (not expecting anything in return) is the secret.

    • g-girl11 profile image
      Author

      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Yes, detachment is the key. And you can't fake it or pretend either! It's all about being genuine, authentic and true -- giving of yourself solely for the purpose of doing just that. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      g-girl, I love your Hub about selfless giving. I try to live by the same belief that we are called to give of ourselves, show kindness and compassion, no matter what the outcome is. We are kind because it's the right thing to do, not to manipulate the situation or gain something in return.

      Thanks for sharing your Wii story! How awesome that by the simple act of showing kindness and encouragement to someone you barely knew, and with no selfish motive, you reaped something wonderful in return.

      "It is more blessed to give than to receive".

    • g-girl11 profile image
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      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Thank you debbiepinkston! I'm glad you enjoyed the Wii story! It is so very true that when we are kind, without manipulation, good things will be returned to us. Thanks for commenting!

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      Ggirl! The story about the store clerk actually made me teary-eyed. This is a beautiful hub and needs to be shared, so I'll do that! I love what you say about karma and it all coming back to you. Well done!

    • g-girl11 profile image
      Author

      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Thanks Victoria! So glad you enjoyed this. It means a lot coming from you!

    • Mommiegee profile image

      Mommiegee 4 years ago from Alabama

      I absolutely enjoyed this hub! I felt as if I were there with you shopping. You never gave up! This is so inspirational. Thanks for writing this article.

    • Angelo52 profile image

      Angelo52 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Great article. Thanks for sharing it.

    • g-girl11 profile image
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      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Thanks mommiegee! So glad you got into the description of that Christmas shopping. It sure was stressful, but my kind words worked magic for me, even though (or because) I wasn't expected anything in return for them.

    • g-girl11 profile image
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      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Thanks mommiegee! So glad you got into the description of that Christmas shopping. It sure was stressful, but my kind words worked magic for me, even though (or because) I wasn't expected anything in return for them.

    • g-girl11 profile image
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      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Thanks mommiegee! So glad you got into the description of that Christmas shopping. It sure was stressful, but my kind words worked magic for me, even though (or because) I wasn't expecting anything in return for them.

    • g-girl11 profile image
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      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Thanks Angelo52! Glad you enjoyed it.

    • ClassicMovieFan profile image

      ClassicMovieFan 4 years ago

      Loved the hub. Thanks for writing and sharing it. I hope it impacts others as well. We need more stories like this.

    • g-girl11 profile image
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      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Thanks ClassicMovieFan! That means a lot . Glad you enjoyed it.

    • g-girl11 profile image
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      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Mommiegee, sorry about the repeat comments. It kept telling me there was a problem in posting, then posted about a million times. I deleted a couple but the others had to stay. Oops!

    • fresh2def05 profile image

      fresh2def05 4 years ago from Louisville, Ky

      Great hub and very true. I think everyone should read this so I'm sharing it. Just be kind. Enjoy to see other people succeed. Be a pleaser for a change. I like your message and I loved the story. Again, great hub, voted up and shared.

    • g-girl11 profile image
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      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Wow thank you so much fresh2defo5! I am so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing it-- I hope it does inspire some to "just be kind".

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Mother Teresa's quote comes to mind: "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness".

    • g-girl11 profile image
      Author

      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Oh I love that! Thanks for sharing debbiepinkston!

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America

      What a perfectly lovely hub. And that Wii...an extra special gift!

    • g-girl11 profile image
      Author

      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Thanks frogyfish! Yes, getting that Wii was an amazing thing!

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Getting back to the title of your Hub "Expect Nothing"...our expectations are what often cause us the most pain. I found out that expecting things to turn out a certain way was definitely not a good thing for me and sometimes the disappointment was crushing. A few years back my husband (my fiance at the time) and I were touring Ireland. I had images in my head of romantic times at certain points of our trip. I even had a jewelry shop in Dublin picked out where we would buy our wedding rings! Oh, it was going to be so romantic and sweet! Needless to say, things happened and it didn't turn out that way. Every time the bus passed the street where the jewelry store was located, I had to fight back the tears of disappointment. I learned so much from that experience, mostly to enjoy life as it comes and not set myself up for disappointment. I also learned that some of the most romantic things happen when I don't expect them and they just happen. My fiance didn't buy me that Irish wedding ring in Dublin, but he has done so many other things that speak of his love for me so much more than a ring.

      We can't help having some expectations in life-that's normal. When we get married we do expect our spouse to be there for us in hard times and to be faithful. We expect our spouse to be a partner with us in life. When we overdo the expectations though, we usually experience disappointment and hurt. Even with our basic outlook on life, if we expect a life of sheer happiness and little pain, we're going to be surprised. If we know from the start that things may be tough and bad things do happen to good people sometimes, we will be delighted when things are going well and good things happen.

    • g-girl11 profile image
      Author

      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Hi debbiepinkston. This is so well-put and so true! It is so often our expectations that set us up for disappointment. Your story about Ireland is the PERFECT example. I am learning not to have expectations, and it truly does make life a lot more enjoyable. I really think your

      response here could be expanded into a full hub. I know I would love reading it! Thanks for taking the time to share...

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      Thanks, I was thinking the same thing about expectations as they relate to relationships and life in general. I don't want to repeat what you have said but I'm sure there is plenty to say on this topic!

    • yoginijoy profile image

      yoginijoy 4 years ago from Mid-Atlantic, USA

      I am with you completely! When you aren't attached to results miracles happen all the time. I find that when we get too rigid and demanding that's when expectations are too high and are impossible to meet which sets us up for disappointment. One of my mantras is "Do not be too attached." It's a buddhist tenet as well.

    • g-girl11 profile image
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      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Love that mantra! I'm going to start using it. Thanks for sharing.

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 4 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      I appreciate that Buddhist mantra. My husband and I talk a lot about attachment and how much of life's heartaches are the result of attachment. Letting go, loosening our grip, setting free, going with the flow, rolling with the punches are all part of peace and contentment.

    • g-girl11 profile image
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      g-girl11 4 years ago

      I agree debbie! All of those things open us up to the magic of life!

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      I appreciate your vision towards life, it's o clear and positive, very positive hub, voted up.

    • g-girl11 profile image
      Author

      g-girl11 4 years ago

      Thank you girishpuri!

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