Think Simple Now — a moment of clarity

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How to Have Everything You Want

Photo of Gala Darling by Made U Look Photography

Two weeks ago my husband drove me to hospital, checked me in, and lovingly kissed me goodbye, whispering, “Don’t worry, everything will be fine.”

I am normally a person who is well adjusted and at ease with the world around me, but as time drew near, for the operation, my heart began to shudder; the thought of having a part of my body removed was positively daunting.

I had to remind myself that many women had gone through this operation in the past and came out feeling much better than before.

As I changed into “the gown” I took a deep breath, calmed my nerves and surrendered to what was about to happen.

I decided to get out of my head and stop worrying. And start seeing things as they are, not as I would like them to be.

Witness The World

I chose to observe what was going on around me — the male nurse who rolled me down the corridor and into the lift, not once taking his eyes off where he was going; the people who sympathetically smiled at me as we went past; the nurse who told me how I would feel much better afterwards.

This ability to witness the world around me proved positively positive. By the time I was rolled into the operating theatre, all my apprehension had vanished.

The surgery was bright and buzzing with professionals. The surgeon greeted me with a smile and explained, once again, what he was about to do. Rather than feeling all tied up in knots, I felt at ease. The last thing I remember was Dr. Robinson saying, “Meredith, you’ll now feel a sight sensation in your arm…”

A minute later, actually three hours later, I woke up. It was all over.

The Most Important Lesson

The build up to the operation started a month ago when I complained of a back pain that soon became an acute throbbing ache. The doctor’s diagnosis was shocking, and when he told me that I needed surgery I began to honestly look at my daily habits.

Not that I was doing anything wrong, it was more about what I wasn’t doing. So I decided to write an article on The Value Of Health and vowed to dedicate this chapter of my life to personal growth and development.

So far the journey has been highly beneficial, full of valuable lessons, but by far the most significant lesson has been:

To GIVE without expectation of return.

This lesson revealed itself when I, ever so slightly (and that’s more than enough to agitate the mind), expected certain people to visit me in hospital and they didn’t! They didn’t even bother to phone!

“After all that I’ve done for them,” I thought.

You can imagine my initial disappointment. Fortunately, I managed to turn things around by focusing on correcting my own thoughts and actions, rather than focusing on theirs.

I began by contemplating on my statement: “After all that I’ve done for them!” Yes, I had given them a lot. However, what stands out here is that little one-letter word: I. And that can mean only one thing: expectations.

Interwoven into what I’d given them was an expectation of return. I expected something from them, even if it was just visiting me in hospital.

“Wow,” I thought. It’s so insignificant, yet it is most significant.

No matter how small an expectation is it’s enough to create ripples of agitation in our mind. Most of us would miss it and suffer from disappointment, but the lesson here is not to overlook expectations. They creep in when we’re not watching.

So for our own wellbeing, we must learn to be aware of the expectations we place on ourselves, on others, and on the world around us; and to minimize them to a point where they are within our control.

What expectations are you placing on yourself, your family, friends and colleagues. Write your answers down. This exercise will reveal things about yourself that you weren’t aware of consciously.

By creating awareness of your expectations you reveal areas in your life where you could improve in order to live a happier, healthier and more peaceful life.

Learn to Give

The next thing I contemplated on was what Zig Ziglar said:

“You can have everything in life that you want, if you just give enough other people what they want.”

What a statement!

What he’s saying here is: we can have everything that we want in life, if we just give other people what they want!

Could it be so simple?

Yes, however there is something very important in this quote, and if we miss it we could suffer great disappointment. It’s all about where we place our focus.

If we focus on “You can have everything in life that you want,” then we could easily fall into the trap of “giving” to others and expecting a return. If this is our motive, then how can we say that we are giving? We’re “giving” only to TAKE!

True giving is accomplished when we give without expectation of return.

If, on the other hand, we focus on giving people what they want, without expectation of return, then we will gain everything that we want—and it will come from the most unexpected sources.

* What do you think? Share your thoughts and stories in the comment section below. See you there?

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About the author

Meredith Forder is the founder and CEO (constant enthusiasm officer) of Clear Thinking, an organization dedicated to helping people take control of their life and realize their true potential. Through Clear Thinking, Meredith teaches people how to discover their purpose and manage their mind, so that they can be less stressed and more productive, resulting in greater success and happiness. You can also find her on facebook.

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13 thoughts on How to Have Everything You Want

  1. So true. Pertinent as I am practicing non judgement of others and myself. For as I judge , I create so much unhappiness. Reading this post takes it deeper. I judge as I have expectations of others and myself. Of life too. I can drop it all to create peace , i hope. Thank u for the reminder.

  2. The moral of your story is very inspiring.

    It is like asking only how much you can handle.

  3. moncochon

    yeah, good things come to you w/o u realizing it.
    “it” come to u when u least expected it.

  4. Meredith, thank you for this article! It couldn’t come at a better time for me. I struggle to give without expectation and (not so coincidentally it seems) also struggle to get what I want!

    The idea of giving without expectation is an excellent one. I’m going to start working on it immediately :)

  5. Thank you for your comments :)

    Dropping judgement and expectations will definitely bring you peace of mind. It isn’t easy, but it’s pure gold when you get it.

    You will be amazed at how your life fills up when you GIVE without expectations.

    All the best x

  6. Thanks Tina for posting the article x

  7. Thank you for saying this. I am a strong proponent of giving with out the expectation of getting something in return. It turns your giving into a business instead of a friendship. Plus you end up feeling tons of resented when they don’t give you anything for your “work”.

    I didn’t catch what you had surgery on… would you mind sharing that with us?

    Thanks again for your post

  8. Hi Karen, I absolutely agree. Expecting a return does turn a kind gesture into a business deal! Well said :)

    I’d love to share more about the surgery, but privately :)

  9. Marcie Joseph

    I just came across your webpage and got totally excited… Let me know how to be a part of all your advice…I think I seriously need some type of “life coach”

  10. it really is all about giving and learning to stay in the present. thanks for such a timely reminder as we head into the holiday season : )

  11. Michelle

    I like a lot of what is said at this website, and I am very glad if these statements are true for you. However, I disagree that they are universally true. I also think they can be damaging statements for people who are already damaged in someway. Many people, especially people from dysfunctional families of origin, are programed to give. In fact, they give of themselves so much hoping to find solace in that, and they never give to themselves. To take the time to nuture themselves. Perhaps this “truism” quote, for lack of a better description, is helpful to people that are well adjusted beings from a nurturing environment, but some generalizations can actual be more harmful than helpful to individuals in distinct circumstances. I don’t mean to offend you with my comment, but I do hope you will think about it.

  12. JC

    “True giving is accomplished when we give without expectation of return.”

    I am near tears. It’s not about YOU. Altruism. By giving selfLESSly, you can get what you want, expect and intend. It’s all about Karma.

    Give in love, receive in love.

    Thank you so much. It was what I needed.

  13. Dear Meredith,

    I related so much to your story. I have been many times reaching the conclusion that I need to learn to give without expecting anything in return.

    There is one more thing that I learned in this type of situations when support from friends would be welcome: to communicate to them explicitly that I would need their support.

    By doing that, it does not make us weak. People need people! Asking for help is an SOS to those friends whose lives are too busy to remember that there is a friend in need. :)

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