The Journey

By Shivan Sivakumaran

Is Giving a Cure to Hapiness or a Selfish Act?





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Is Giving a Cure to Hapiness or a Selfish Act?
By Shivan Sivakumaran • Issue #50 • View online
Kia ora e hoa,
Are we rich? We probably are, but we think otherwise. So is our lack of having really true?
Thinking we don’t have enough money is a big barrier to giving. It’s also a stop against happiness.
Our ‘richness’ is derived from social comparison to those around us. “Keeping up the with the Jones’s”. In New Zealand, we are likely surrounded by others who are well off. This creates the idea that what we have isn’t enough.
When we think we’re just getting by (with a full belly and a roof over our heads), we forget about those in the rest of the world, willing to do anything to trade places. As a result, it’s easy to compare us to our neighbour’s big house, our financially savvy friends, and even our colleagues in the same career who always seem ahead on the pay scale.
The comparison entrapment is made worse thanks to people’s access to credit and financial secrecy. Their buying power can increase by many magnitudes. We will have no idea about how much debt they have incurred, only that they have a flashier materialistic appearance.
The less fortunate aren’t immediately around us. That’s the point of the calculator. You will be shocked — like I was — at how highly we rank compared to the rest of the world.
We are rich. We are fortunate. This means we have a surplus. We can give out of duty, but I have a more selfish reason for you.
As we know, “comparison is the thief of joy”. We are the only ones who can hear our own conscience. That includes our negative self-talk. Our low points are a part of us. When we look at others, most project their successes. We are unaware of other’s internal critic. It’s an unfair comparison to ourselves — comparing our life’s good and bad to another’s just good.
Charity relinquishes us from the materialistic comparison, at least. If you’re not affected by others, then when is it enough?
By giving, we tell ourselves that what we have is enough. Selfish? But the end justifies the means. So we help those who are less fortunate along the way.
Truly, we want the feeling of being rich. We can do that without the trailing zeroes on the bank balance. We can do it without the appearance of wealth. All we need to do is create the idea of surplus, and that comes by giving and helping others.
So what do you think? Do you give the charity? Help others regularly? It is selfish to do it for the ‘warm fuzzies?’
Thank you for reading. This is my 50th newsletter!
I want to thank those who have allowed me to occupy their inbox for so long. I’ve enjoyed all the responses I get. It’s an absolute pleasure writing these newsletters, and I’m hoping you benefit from them.
Ngā mihi nui,
Shivan :)

My Favourite Things
  1. Film Dangal (2016) Recommended by a friend, directed and written by Nitesh Tiwari and starring Aamir Khan, this film is based on the true story of the Phogut sisters and their career as wrestlers. What the Phogut sisters had to endure was inspirational to many young women in India. I recommend the watch.
  2. Video DETROIT: Become Human - Behind the Music of Connor - Nima Fakhrara (Part 1) This video shows us the behind the scenes of making the music behind the game, Detroit: Become Human. I usually listen to this music when I’m working away.
  3. Song Light of the Seven by Ramin Djawadi puts me in the zone to focus. The score is originally for Game of Thrones.
Kindle Highlight of the Week
Learn to be difficult when it counts. In school as in life, having a reputation for being assertive will help you receive preferential treatment without having to beg or fight for it every time
Timothy Ferriss, The 4-Hour Work Week
Did you enjoy this issue?
Shivan Sivakumaran

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