Do everything you do with every fiber of your being. This includes important activities, like preparing a presentation for work or expressing love to your spouse or children, but it also includes everyday things like washing the dishes, balancing your checkbook, or talking to the checkout clerk at a store. Most people are so afraid of depleting themselves they constantly hold themselves back. But if you give to the last drop, you’ll be surprised to discover you have more energy than you ever dreamed of.
In fact, you have a source of infinite energy inside you; it can’t be depleted. Weirdly, the way to get more of this energy – is to give more of it away. When you hold back, you lose touch with it. When you feel like you’re running on empty, that’s why.
This inexhaustible source is every human being’s sacred birthright and its energy reflects two aspects of the divine. The first is Love: it has the ability to connect you to the people around you – and them to each other. The second is Creation: it can bring new things into the world. At the end of your life, this outflow of love and creativity is all that will matter, and it is all that will be left of your existence; it is your true legacy.
So far so good. But it’s easier to say “give all of yourself” than it is to do it. Mostly, we focus on what we want to get from the world – money, validation, status, etc. What we have to give seems irrelevant. But whatever you get back means nothing compared to what you give out. We’ve treated patients who’ve gotten more than most of us can imagine – they live in palaces and wear outfits that could feed entire families for a year – and none of it makes them happy or fulfilled. As hard as it is to believe, they have to live by the same rules as you do; to live well, they have to give everything of themselves.
At some point something bad will happen – you’ll lose a loved one, get rejected, or lose your job – and the sheer pain of it will make you want to stop giving. But remember, what defines you is not how much you suffer, but how quickly you recover and resume giving. The whole purpose of life is to break your heart open, because the unbroken heart cannot love or create. So let life sink its spears into you and watch your heart get bigger than you ever imagined it could.
The following code will help you make all of this a reality:
- Do not accept the world as you find it; look for what’s wrong or missing and assume that you were born to give whatever it needs.
- Don’t follow the herd. Set your own course; do not be defined by what others think of you.
- Resist superficial distractions and remain focused on your goals even if you have to sacrifice immediate gratification.
- Don’t be stopped by obstacles; the real enemy is your willingness to quit in the face of them.
We hope you will join us in living by this code. If you do, you’ll be able to face death with only thing that can vanquish death: a life of infinite giving. As Rudolf Steiner said, “Selfless deeds are the foundation of immortality.”
By Bary Michels and Phil Stutz
PHIL STUTZ graduated from City College in New York and received his MD from New York University. He worked as a prison psychiatrist on Rikers Island and then in private practice in New York before moving his practice to Los Angeles in 1982.
BARRY MICHELS has a BA from Harvard, a law degree from University of California, Berkeley, and an MSW from the University of Southern California. He has been in private practice as a psychotherapist since 1986.
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