What is the greatest gift you can grant another (and yourself)?

Do you really want your life to work?

Do you want your life to work?  Really, truly, deeply do you want your life to work?  Do you really want your life to work or do you want to be right, dominate, have the world work to your wishes, your whims, your point of view?  If you are honest then you’d be present to the latter – your focus on being right, validating yourself, dominating others, insisting that the world work according to your fantasies.  How has that been working out?  Has it brought you peace, freedom to be, self-expression, vitality, connection, love, joy?   Are you up for, really up for, having peace, vitality, connection, love, joy present in your life?  If so then this post is for you.

People matter – are central to the quality of our life, right?

Have you noticed that you are not alone?  Have you noticed that the Earth (amongst other processes) ‘peoples’ and so wherever you are you there are people?  People show up wherever you are, right?  At home, at work, whilst your are walking, driving, shopping, eating, sleeping watching television……  Is it accurate that you cannot escape from people even when you are on a deserted island?  Even on a deserted island, do people show up in your thoughts, do they show up in your feelings?  People matter, our relationships with people matter, connection or the absence of it matters, friction-full or friction-free relationships matter to your living, our experience of life.  Right?

What is the greatest gift you can grant another?

How do you build great relationships with people?  What is the secret?  The secret is to grant them a gift, the greatest gift that you can grant another.   What is this gift?

1.  Let people be.  Let every person that shows up in your world be just as he is and just as he is not.  What is the access to letting people be?  Accept them (looks, clothes, voice, speaking, behaviour, history..) just as they are and just as they are not.  Choose to be totally OK with them just as they are and just as they are not.  If you let people be just as they are and just as they are not what is likely to show up in your world?  Peace?  Freedom?  Ease?

Are you up for going further – putting more into life, making a bigger contribution and indirectly being granted much more than peace, freedom and ease?  Then take on / live / be the following practices:

2.  Be a stand for the wonder and greatness of people – believe in them more than they believe in themselves.  How can I best point out / show what I am talking about?  Read and get present to the following words by Viktor Frankl who has a profound lived understanding /experience of our fellow human beings in all of their manifestations:

If we take man as he really is then we make him worse.  If we overestimate him……overrate man, then we promote him to what he really can be. So we have to be optimists idealists in way so we wind up as the true realists”

If you are willing to make four minutes available to yourself, to treat yourself, then watch this video: http://youtu.be/fD1512_XJEw

3.  Belive in and be enthusiastic about the ‘life projects’ that matter to people.  Your fellow human being, the one that you are thinking about right now, is not simply defined by who he is, where he came from or what he does.  He is much more.  A huge part of him is the future he is living into and the ‘life projects’ that inspires him.  Yes, I get that he is a teacher, a family man, in his late forties.  Do you get that one of his most crucial ‘life projects’ is to be a musician – to pursue a dream he gave up early in life and which really matters to him?  ‘Life projects’ are simply possibilities that we imagine, create and project in the future.  They are hugely important because they give shape to our being today and influence/shape our choices including how we spend our attention/energy/time.  So leave aside your critical mind, your fears, your insecurities and step into the possibilites that you fellow human being (wife, husband, son, daughter, brother, sister, friend, neighbour, colleague, manager…) has created and which give him and his life meaning.  Step into that possibility and be enthusiastic. If you are in position to do so then go further – lend a helping hand, help to open doors, to provide resources (including your encouragement), carry some of the load.

4.  Be there for the people that show up in your life.  Be there during the good times to celebrate – celebrate with them, acknowledge, congratulate, laugh, lift them high ‘onto your shoulders’.  Be there for them during the difficult times when stuff does not turn out as they would like it to.  Provide: an empathic ear;  a solid-warm-friendly shoulder for them to rest their head; create a ladder/scaffold and help them climb up when you judge that the time is right; lead the way up the scaffold, give them your hand and help them to climb up.   Do this freely and wholeheartedly and you and your relationship will never be the same again.  One of my most enduring relationships was built by literally helping a ‘friend’ climb a mountain – giving up the lead, letting others take the lead, providing encouragement to this friend in words, being a little ahead of him when I needed to be and offering him my hand when he found it difficult to climb up the mountain.  We may not speak for many months and the love is there – neither of us have forgotten that day, that experience.

What is the greatest gift you can give yourself?

OK, by now you should be clear that the greatest gift that you can grant the people in your life is made up the following: letting them be just as they are and just as they are not; believing in them more than they believe in themselves; being enthusiastic about and contributing to their life projects; and being there for them.

Now I have as surprise for you.  The greatest gift you can give yourself is to grant this ‘greatest gift’ to the people that show up in your life!  You might be wondering “What?”  Think about it.  When you grant this gift to the people that show up in your life and living you get the following treats:

Peace / Ease / Freedom – you no longer struggle with people because you have giving up ‘resisting’ them as they are and as they are not and that shows up as a heavy burden lifted off your shoulder!

Relatedness / Connection / Enthusiasm / Love / ‘Sense of Adventure‘- by choosing to let people be and enter into their lives through encouraging/supporting/contributing to their ‘life projects’ as well as being there for them through the good times and the difficult times you create the space for relatedness, connection, love, enthusiasm and a sense of adventure to show up in your experience of living.  Whenever we take part in ‘life projects’ we take part in ‘giving birth’ to something new and this shows up as a sense of adventure – we feel more alive!

My guarantee to you and my challenge for you

I guarantee you that the moment that you grant this ‘greatest gift’ your experience of living will be transformed – the quality of your life will be transformed.  To keep this transformed live you have to consciously keep granting this ‘greatest gift’ again and again – every day, every moment.  Are you up for transforming the quality of your life?  Are you up for taking me up on my guarantee?

Author: Maz Iqbal

Experienced management consultant working at the intersection of strategy, customer, and technology. Combine a tendency to think strategically with a penchant for getting my hands dirty at the coalface of implementation.

7 thoughts on “What is the greatest gift you can grant another (and yourself)?”

  1. I like the idea in Buddhism of non-attachment, which means roughly the same as “let people be”.

    There are limits, because humanity is a species that has two-faces, one beautiful and one cruel.

    My life is surrounded by gates, which protects me and keeps at a distance the parasitic types. I can “let people be” but will they let me be? Will they interfere with the things that I am involved in which means I must act to place restrictions upon them.

    It is the darkness and cruelty in mankind which means I will never have an open house approach to others, they are subject to gates.

    One gate operates on the simple rule: both bring a thing to the table of benefit to the other, both leave the table the winner : I call this the trade contract.

    The trade contract defines how I deal with others.

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  2. Hello Alex

    Welcome and thanks for getting into and opening an conversation between us. I get what you are speaking about when you talk about the Buddhist concept of ‘non-attachment’. That is not what I am speaking about when I speak ‘let people be’. The Zen Buddhist idea closest to that is the idea of ‘being like water’ in life – flowing / going with what is so and when encountering ‘obstacles’ going around them rather then ‘confronting them’.

    You say that your life is surrounded by gates. What is the cost of putting these gates in place and living inside of them? I get the benefit – you feel safe from the parasitic types. The question is the cost. What is the cost in its many flavours? Are your present to the cost? And does the cost outweigh that benefit?

    Alex you and I are thrown into this life – the world just as it is and just as it is not. We are in no position to trade, to make bargains. That is just so. Go make a trade contract with your health. I know people who live ‘healthy’ lifestyles totally and have ended up with cancer at early age and then go on and die. I know people who are in ripe old age and have led an ‘unhealthy’ life. Go make a trade contract with the ‘economy’ – one day you feel safe, secure, good job,sound business, lots of money. The next day, the economy tanks due to the ‘greedy bankers’, the ‘greedy credit agencies’, the ‘incompetent regulators’ and you have lost all that you had. One day you are blessed with wife and two children. Later that afternoon you get a call, you go to the hospital, and you are told “Sorry. We did everything we could. None of them made it.” Go ahead strike a bargain, a contract. Who are you going to do that with – to get your family back, to get your life back?

    Control is an illusion. The reality is that to live is to live at risk – always.

    Finally, letting people be means just that letting people be. If you come across someone who is a ‘shark’ let him be a shark. That does not mean that you have to stay there, mix with him and present yourself as a tasty morcel to eat. It means you take care of yourself and your interests and at the same time let people be. How about starting out with whoever you are in relationship with? Or your colleagues at your place of work?

    At your service / with my love
    Maz

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  3. Hello Gautam

    Yes, the world inculding our fellow human beings are a wonder if only we can open our hearts.

    I know that for me there is no gift like the gift of my fellow human being letting me be, taking an interest in me, accepting me/validating me, believing in me and encouraging me to project and pursue my possibilities.

    At your service and with my love
    maz

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  4. What would happen if we moved our attention from “what’s in it for us” to “all of us are in this together?”
    If everyone feels in their inner being, “How can I be of service,” what would a service–oriented life look like?
    When you come from a place of service, it is purely heart-based. It is a mechanism of manifestation. It allows the mechanism of the universe to open up for ALL… Not just for you, but for ALL to be served.
    The possibilities of what we can do together are endless. This energy frequency is always available if you say “yes.” Being in service is a wonderful inclusive energy for you to get what you want and for everyone else to get what they want, too. – Jennifer McLean

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  5. “When your inner mantra becomes ‘How may I serve?’ rather than ‘What am I going to get?’ and ‘Who do I need to defeat?,’ you start to see the unfolding of God in everything and everyone around you and you shift into higher consciousness.” – Wayne Dye

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