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Eight Steps Of Effective Giving

A new experiment is completely changing lives in the rural areas of India by bringing luminosity where there used to be darkness.

The New York Times published a piece named, “Husk Power for India”. Power, which is common in the lives of most in advanced countries, is a rare bonus in far-flung areas of underdeveloped countries. What was once cattle feed is now used to generate power – rice husks.

Being brought up in the pastoral Bihar State, Manoj Sinha knew what it was like to be without light at night. Being an engineer with Intel Corporation he had all the competence to bring a lifelong idea to fruition. He led the creation of his power generation equipment from rice husks and other wastes from farms and now he sells power to rural areas across India.

Sinha is what could be called a social entrepreneur because he feels business is a solution to key social issues. “Business leaders must realise that the world’s poor need investments more than handouts,” he says, adding, “these are customers, not victims.”

The article motivated me to think about offering things in a different way that made me ask myself, “what is the most perfect form of giving?” Is it edification, commerce or disaster aid? There are so many ways to create a difference. One way of giving can seem more productive or practical than other ways depending on the way it is given expression, viewed or put into practice.

I then came to define there were eight parts to giving as a way to look at this. So, let me map out the eight distinctions; which in effect are often ‘stages’ of giving as well.

Stage one: Necessity – saving and helping others who are afflicted by natural catastrophe, contagious diseases or other unmanageable conditions.

Stage two: Relief – providing relief from long-standing hunger, poverty, diseases, handicaps or discrimination which otherwise would continue or worsened because of the lack of information, education or resources.

Stage three: Healing and protection – mentally, physically and emotionally. Many people carry traumas that may be invisible but severely limiting their lives. Giving the healing to release the deep-rooted pain creates more opportunities for them while giving suitable protection gives them a sense of security.

Phase four: Edification – giving better edification, awareness and skill imparting to create empowered and innovative solutions to generating resources while helping people to discover their exclusive talent to succeed.

Stage five: Creative investment – lending a hand, money or resources to those who have great potential to make a difference. This gets leveraged many times as the resources increase and passed on to many others who again make more out of the opportunities given.

Phase six: Maintainability – working collectively involving the people in the local surroundings, creating maintainable society – ecologically and communally.

Stage seven: Empowerment – empowering and inspiring the people to unleash their true potential and motivation to make a difference. In this group of giving, the aim of giving changes from ‘giving to the people who are in need’ to ‘giving people opportunity to give to others’ and to the community.

Stage eight: Cherishing – just doing whatever we like to do to tend and care for others. No approach or expected upshot exists in this stage of offering. ‘Giving’ does not even exist here in the physical sense of the word, as there is no sense of owning or decision or craving to modify things. This is where we do not even have to consider anything, we give out of a sense of our own fulfilling sensations.

What we also perceive is that at each one of these eight stages of giving there are distinctive things that the donor gets back.

One: Sense of connection

Two: Sense of comfort

Three: Relief from pain (our own)

Four: Gratitude for our own knowledge, skills and circumstances

Five: Long-term sense of contribution and satisfaction for our own life

Six: Improved environment for our own life and for the lives for all those we love and care for

Seven: Soul gratifying encouragement and devotion to our own purpose

Eight: Love

Sharing has many stages and sensations based upon the donor and getter. And the ‘phases’ do not detail which one is of more importance than the other. All are mandatory.

I was lucky to have an experience early in 2008 while journeying with a group of devoted entrepreneurs across India to see how we could be more productive in our helping. I was particularly happy to have one outstanding encounter that led me to think about what ‘actual giving’ really meant.

We were in a small town one day. Four of us had just called a taxi to take us to another town in the vicinities. We bargained with the driver with care as our hotel staff had told us beforehand that we could be duped since we were not local.

We chose to stop in front of the local train station for a short interval en route to the town. While the others went to use restrooms, I struck up a conversation with the driver of the taxi, standing nearby. With his limited English vocabulary and a smiling face that showed his black front teeth to advantage, he told me that he lived in the outskirts of the town and that he had a young wife and two kids who attended the local school – I began to feel a relationship with him.

I congratulated him on having such a loving family and told him that I also had two children similar ages to his. When the others returned he spontaneously invited us to come to his house for lunch. I thought it was just a friendly courtesy he wanted to show at first. However, after dropping us off in the town centre, he insisted that he would wait for us until we finished our exploration in town. And he did. I was actually quite surprised to see him still waiting at the side of the road standing next to his taxi more than hour later. We jumped back into the taxi and he zoomed off up the road to where his family lived.

When we landed there we were quite surprised to see the way he was living. It was in fact quite similar (if not worse) to the existence of the slum dwellers we had visited before that. From the bright new taxi he was driving, who could have pictured this

As he drove into the narrow unsealed street between small houses that were made with roughcast concrete blocks and mud painted walls, we almost regretted about saying yes to his invite. For a brief moment I felt pangs of guilt. “How could I go to this man’s home who didn’t seem to have anything and I didn’t even bring any food or gifts for his family”, I thought.

As we got into his house, we saw a small pot and a stove on the mud floor. His shy sweet wife smiled and blushed at the sight of visitors and vanished into the cupboard sized storeroom of the house. As I looked around, I saw the man’s neighbours giving the woman a few cups over the crumbling concrete walls. They simply didn’t have enough cups in their house. There was just a single small room that had a lone cot and an old galvanised trunk adjacent to it.

The cab driver swiftly took out three hand-woven rugs from the galvanised box and placed it neatly on the small space of the mud floor keeping one on the bed.

Hot cups of tea came pretty fast and so did some snacks. His kids as well as all the little ones in the neighbourhood came to see us and stood around near the door. All six of us were totally wedged into the small room. I asked him with surprise where all his children slept. I thought they might be having another space somewhere. To my utter surprise, he pointed the chest and happily said that it was their sleeping space.

He happily told us that he was an amateur dancer in the town and showed us some plaques on the sill above the bed. Enthusiastic to show us his dancing proficiency, he ran outside all at once. From somewhere music came flowing into the tiny room. He had no apparatus for music within the house, it was coming from outside. Surprised, I looked around to see him reversing his vehicle towards the back of his house keeping the doors open with the radio of the car blaring forth!

The time quickly passed (dancing together and having more cups of tea) and it was finally time to say thank you for their great hospitality and head on our way. As we stood up to leave and thank him and his wife, he reached to the best looking rug on the bed, rolled it up and handed it to us. It was one of the only few things he had. I could not believe he offered it to us.

We all politely declined his gift and walked out saying goodbye to all the people waving at us. We got confused about this whole thing. Should we have given some money to the family as their life obviously looked very limited? Should we have accepted his prized gift?

As I was thinking about this awe-inspiring experience after a few days, I considered our begging off his gift. He looked crest-fallen that we didn’t accept the gift. It wasn’t only the rejecting of the gift that remained in my mind.

I realised that the feeling of restlessness I felt was in reality the result of seeing him as less privileged. I was feeling that I couldn’t probably receive anything from someone who owned too little.

But did he actually have modest means? Maybe he had other things – a lot more.

Maybe the perfect gift we could have given him then was to accept his gift in total surrender and gratefulness.

Every act of sharing and taking are indispensable for us to fill our world with profusion and satisfaction in equal measure for both sharer and taker. We can start doing this instead of evaluating and validating one over another. The beautiful act of sharing and taking requires no additional elucidation.

Manoj Sinha’s words resound in my mind once again, “these are customers, not victims.” I can visualise the eager faces of the village people who are now thrilled to have current in their hamlets and their little ones who now can now read and write and learn even at night.

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Cause Marketing – A New Solution – Buy1GIVE1 (Buy One Give One)

Buy One Give One (BOGO) is the home of transaction-based giving.

STOP. Take a breath. And imagine you were part of a world where every transaction made a key difference.

Imagine, for example, you purchased a TV, and automatically a cataract-blind person received the gift of sight. Automatically. Or imagine if today you bought a cup of coffee and someone in Africa got access to clean, pure water as a direct result. Again automatically.

It’s all happening right now. Already Buy1GIVE1 (BOGO/B1G1) has become a true global giving ‘village’, bringing together businesses, their customers and worthy causes in a way that’s never been done before.

It’s happening globally, every second, every day and in every way with a staggering 556 projects already underway and making a difference.

That’s because in the Buy1GIVE1 world, every single transaction, be it buying a beer in Jamaica or renting a car in Reno (and everything in between) gives forward in a well-defined, resonant and measurable way.

Nowadays, when both corporations and charities have seen a decrease in gains and contributions, cause-related marketing appears to really be catching on. Cause-related marketing is a business scheme involving a partnership between a company with a merchandise to sell and a charity with a cause to advance. Unlike “corporate philanthropy,” which merely involves a company making a tax-deductible charitable contribution, cause-related marketing benefits both the company (by helping to increase sales, and thus, profits), and the charity (by giving donations and calling attention to the cause.)

You buy a book, a tree is planted. You dine out, a child is fed. Buy One Give One – simple. The list is endless and the giving simply happens automatically, every second, every day and in every way.

And it is beautifully simple. Buy1GIVE1 is now becoming a global movement as more and more businesses jump on board and enjoy the incredible benefits of transactional giving.

In Buy1GIVE1, they made sure that in many cases, the consumers are not only involved in CSR initiatives on a daily basis. Buy1-Give1 gives solutions to that and it does it every second, every day and in every way.

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The Secret To Happiness Is Connection

Why do we live? What are we here for? Day after day we asked these questions of the purpose and meaning of our lives. And most of us constantly look for the answer. How can we achieve happiness? This is yet another question urging us to look for its answer every day. What if the answer to those questions is simple? What if it is all simply about ONE thing? Connection. The secret of happiness is explained thoroughly in the clear and refreshing voice of Masami Sato in this excerpt of her book, ONE.

What are we looking for?

There are so many things that we carry out in our lives.

But have we ever thought about why we do what we do? What are we really looking for?

The world throngs with millions of people of all races, religions, and belief systems, doing myriad things. People look different from each other and behave differently. We have widely varying interests and outlook on life. We communicate in different ways, because we use different languages. We have different hopes and emotions.

Nevertheless, if there was ONE thing that ALL of us are searching for, what could that be?

While I travelled all over the world, I did ask people one simple question, “What would you like to achieve in your life? What do you really want?”

In the beginning it appeared that different people were looking for different things. People said different things like “A house of my own”, “A good job”, “A perfect partner”, “A soul mate”, “A little more money”, “An affectionate family”, “Freedom”, “Peace of mind”, “A purpose to life” etc. There were many answers of this type.

I did notice that some of these requirements were of a more earthly nature while others were of a permanent nature. Earthly desires are those that we want because we do not yet have it, or think that we do not yet have it. As against this, permanent desires are not about getting things we do not have. It is about a ‘feeling’ that we yearn for, so that it does not come to an end, whatever we get or accomplish at every moment or our lives.

If one could just remove all earthly desires from our list and look at only permanent desires, it would be obvious that we just want to continue feeling positive sensations like excitement, happiness, inspiration, motivation, munificence, affection, joy etc. – put in other words, we want to continue being happy.

Contentment

Delightfulness is a state of emotion that every one us are longing to experience. Every one of us may define it in a different way. We may even evaluate it differently. We may sense it at varied levels of intensity. But without doubt, we have something in general when delightfulness comes to us. And when we understand this secret about delightfulness, we hold the knowledge to become more delighted, and to make others around us too feel the same sensations.

Life is a mystery we are all living in. We all may love it in our own special ways. We may despise it in different ways. We may question it. We may treasure it. Or we may just have it, accept it, indifferently. But what is the purpose of our lives? What if the secret of our existence is so near? What if the secret actually brings us happiness and contentment when we discover it?

What if the essence of the aim of our lives, and its joys, is as simple as this:

It is all about relationship.

Connection is everything

Everything is about connecting. Everything is part of everything else. If we look at our own life, it says it all. Then we will start to see the real purpose of our life.

Why do we do anything, ANYTHING at all, in life as humans?

It is just because we want to connect to others. We make friends to build a relationship. We get married to establish a relationship in a deeper and more permanent manner. We create a family to further strengthen that relationship. We go out to meet more people to connect with them, not only to get benefits out of those relationships, but also to become more connected to the world.

We get ourselves good clothes or go to a beauty parlour to bond better with our physical appearance or aesthetical sense. We choose to try out different types of food to bond better with our sense of savour and aroma. We dine out to get on better with people we would be sharing the meal with. We buy mobiles and computers to bond better with the entire world and its people. We read books and newspapers to remain connected to what is happening around and what others are going through. We study things and learn things to bond better with knowledge that others value.

Every single thing we do is to satisfy the need for connection. If we’re not connected to our own body, we don’t even have to eat and sleep. Our connection to all our senses tells us to do something to satisfy the demand of the body. We feel pain and discomfort if we ignore the signals of our own body. And beyond our basic needs, we seek a greater sense of connection – connection to our existence – connection to our purpose. And without that connection, it’s empty. Just like the emptiness many of us feel inside when we’re not even connected to ourselves. That simply cannot be the natural way we’re designed to live our lives.

Connection is powerful, and yet it’s fragile and tender

When the bonds in a relationship lose strength, we go in for a separation, divorce, disagreements, judgement, and bitterness. It never feels good to lose the bonding. Still, it possible to be in love with someone today, and totally disconnected and bitter towards him tomorrow. And this change of feelings can happen just by the flicker of an eyelid. And the eyes might be yours or theirs!

When the relationship is not there.

When we do not feel the connection, we start seeing problems. We start seeing differences and barriers. We start judging and criticising others. We magnify, dwell on and give energy to those things we perceive as problems. When that happens, we could even turn it all inwards and give ourselves pain and criticism. We cannot feel totally happy when we’re feeling disconnected from even one thing.

Bonding: the Secret to Happiness

What about if we looked at the whole concept in reverse? When we do that we discover this simple truth: we cannot feel unhappy when we are feeling totally connected. It’s impossible!

Try to feel moody when we feel the security of our bonding to the people around us and laughing and enjoying with our whole heart. Even if we have our own fair share of difficulties in life, we would still be able to break into a laugh and enjoy and feel good when the bonds are strong. At the same time, we would be unable to enjoy things when those bonds are absent.

Connection: Our Life

Relationship is the core of everything. That is what life is. Relationship.

Everything is a mere collection of smaller parts. Everything connects together to form a greater unit; like our bodies are collections of smaller parts, organs, cells, atoms and molecules.

Our actions and choices also express the need for connection. We are designed to constantly seek ways to connect to each other and to a greater purpose.

Bonding and Religion

Some of us opt to be part of various religions to feel better bonded. This bonding that they seek could be to God. It may be to the people with the same convictions. When we share a similar credence, there is a greater feeling of being bound to the people in that group. More awarding and handing over takes place among people who are feeling strong bonds with each other.

Relationship and Business

People start a business to feel a stronger relationship to themselves by having better mastery over their destiny. But quite often in the world of entrepreneurship, there is a greater sense of isolation especially when we start seeing other enterprises as rivals, staff as devices and customers as a source of income. With all that, the main reason for getting into the business was to establish a relationship. So why should we cause any secluding at all? Maybe in an ideal world, all enterprises worked in another way, but jointly.

Connection and Wars

Some of us even give rise to polemics or battles to enjoy a sense of ‘success’ or maybe a greater feeling of assurance and self-worth. But this only boomerangs. The moment we are ‘successful’ in the battle, we are really severing the bonds with others. We are now in need of more confidence to safeguard ourselves from being assailed by others. The result is that we become more vulnerable and frightened. We cannot treat this as a joke because it actually happens to each one of us in diverse ways.

It may be the arguments we have with people around us. It may be the negative judgement we make when we feel something or someone is wrong. When we try to be the only one to win, we can never win in the real way-we feel disconnected. We can only truly celebrate the victory with others when we win together. Then we feel connected.

Despite the myriad ways in which we communicate our wants, everything we do is to fulfil the longing we have to feel and have strong bonds.

The complete experience of relationship is only felt through our heart. We can build a relationship with anybody when we truly care for them, and feeling that association with them. If we know this, forming that needed state is not difficult, but just simple and amusing. Then we would really feel more pleasure and contentment.

Life is like a play. We act things and feel things in a play but actually, the aim of the play is to derive pleasure out of it. It is not about acting out things, doing things. When the curtain falls finally, the winners are the ones who have experienced joy by acting. Not the ones who received more applause in the end. The effects and upshots of a play in which we acted do not affect our real life. But if we lost all our life to act in a play just because we wanted to be the best actor there, would it make us the best actor of the play?

It is easy to comprehend this when compared to acting in a play, but we often fail to understand it while enacting the play of life. We do not remember that life is also a play.

We have no idea when this game began and when it would be over, all that we know is that it commenced in the past and that it will be over one day. When finally the umpire blows the whistle to stop the game, we can simply say, “Wow, it was a lot of fun. Let us play once again!”

In the sports of life, the aim of the game is to establish a relationship. We can keep connecting until we all unite to become one. It is the one way to constantly feel the relationship to our objective – the feeling of pleasure and delight. We cannot feel detached from the relationship to anything or refuse and conclude even one thing if we are to achieve a lasting relationship.

Life is as uncomplicated as that. There is just ONE secret.

And the secret is to establish a relationship.

To grow into ONE

To relish.

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Work Out Your ‘Giving Honey Bee’ Type

Bumblebees are all giving by nature. They give naturally to maintain the environment of abundance. But each bumblebee actually takes a different standing in maintaining the colony as well as the flower garden. So, I thought human beings are the same. We are all naturally giving and sharing. But we tend to express our giving in different ways. So, here it is a ‘giving bee’ chart where you can find your bumblebee type. Watch out for the following bee analysis! The more you share your value as a giving bees, the more we can all do together to make a difference.

Check here for image: http://www.buy1-give1free.com/images/What-type-of-giving-bee-are-you-Global-Giving-Village-sml.jpg

Bumblebee type analysis

1. Change-making bumblebee

A giving bee who likes to see change – who spots every opportunity to do something better and worthwhile. A change-making bumblebee often starts up new inspiring projects for others to participate in. A flexible thinker who can collaborate well with others while often taking a leadership position in making change. Many entrepreneurs and inventors are this type of giving bumblebee. They are not afraid of making change.

2. Believing bee

A giving bumblebee who believes in one core philosophy very strongly and inspire others to follow. Rather than changing all the time and being too flexible, this giving bumblebee attracts people by being solid like a rock and integral to the unfaltering belief and vision. Some of the religious leaders as well as political leaders are this type of giving bee. Believing bumblebees makes for a great leader who attracts large numbers of followers. This bee also can be a great follower who strongly supports an existing belief and inspires others to come together.

3. Caring and nurturing bumblebee

A giving bumblebee who may not stand out as a strong leader but often are the biggest heart focused giver. A caring and nurturing bumblebee is selfless in giving and is always the first to take the giving action when seeing anyone in trouble. Though this bumblebee seems gentle and subtle, the strong desire to give and care for others drives this giving bee to show some amazing giving acts. Many people who dedicate their lives to giving (volunteering, community service etc) are this type of bumblebee. Giving is totally natural to them.

4. Supporting and uniting bumblebee

A giving bumblebee who sees the biggest value in uniting and cooperating in effective partnerships. This giving bee is very focused on looking for existing great ideas, mechanisms, philosophies or beliefs to benefit the community. It tends to support what resonates with him/her more often than coming up with a brand new way. A supporting and uniting bee is less attached to own way and has more flexible thinking while being quite strategic about what to support. Rather than taking immediate action emotionally, this bumblebee sees the value in creating the long-term unity. Long-term ‘quiet’ charity givers and those who take low profile in community giving but stick to the same project for a long time are usually this type of bumblebee.

Original article is at: http://www.buy1-give1free.com/index.php/598-What-is-your-giving-bee-type.html

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What Your Body And Soul Crave

As the old saying goes, health is wealth. And in this case we are referring to spiritual wealth. Whole food is good for our health because our body is able to absorb its full nutrients – the same with our life. When we embrace our life as a whole, savoring all the experiences and feelings in it, our soul will be able to absorb its full ‘nutrient’, grasping the full essence of our existence, and enabling us to live our life to the fullest. Masami Sato shares the magic of living a whole life in this excerpt from her latest book, ONE.

How come that many of us, (in fact, more of us) occasionally have a hollow feeling in our life? It is like the pangs of hunger. When we eat, the hunger is appeased and then we are not as much interested in food. But after a while, we become hungry again. Then, surprisingly we feel again enticed by the flavour and vision of food. We also experience some sort of a pining when we are not even actually hungry – just after we had some food. Some of us are perpetually hungry.

Persistent emotional thirst is not the happiest feeling to have. Then how can we live our lives to the brim? How can we be more contented enduringly?

Maybe the answer is easy. Just live our lives totally. The word ‘total’ holds the meaning of fullness. Then the secret to live a full life is just to live it totally.

Let us begin by looking at an example of this ‘completion’ with something very close to our mind – our stomach.

Whole Food VS Semi Food

We are familiar with the word ‘whole food.’ It is said that consuming whole food is the secret to the health and fitness we need. What has whole food got more than ‘part food?’

A whole grain for example has a life. So, if you soak the whole grain in water, drain the next day and leave for a few days, it sprouts. It has a life of its own. When we eat such food, our body absorbs the full live nutrients. It has all the properties to cleanse, heal and nurture different body cells.

And exactly like the example of a grain, much of customary eating includes consuming whole edible creatures as well. Eating full fresh fish used to be more prevalent than having a half of it and casting the rest away. It was exactly so for meat and every edible plant product.

‘Part food’ sometimes tastes better and smells better but does not have much nutrition. We may enjoy its taste, but we could have some lasting illness if we only ate ‘part food’ all days of our life.

So, to compensate the absent half, we started to have dietary supplements. We have been analysing and learning for quite some time to reach the correct balance. It becomes more and more problematical as we chop up the food, process it and ship it, and even try to make up the deficiency with other parts that have its origin in other countries, seasons or sources. Some of these supplements do not even come from natural food sources. They are artificially made. After testing and analysing, it is endorsed to be edible. But no matter how much we strive; we cannot bring all the ‘bits’ together to make it alive and pulsating.

Part Life-‘Sweetness’ of Life

So, if we looked at our life now, part of what we are doing can be like eating the ‘half food’. Just savouring the sweetness of life but throwing away the real nourishing part. And if we soaked our ‘half life’ in water with other bits and left it in the sunlight, could it shoot and grow into a beautiful whole life?

Whole food is not (as some people seem to believe) of a bland taste. In fact it tastes better if cooked properly. But as requirement is low, it is more costly. It is in reality more cost-effective in the long term though, as we will have to pay less as medical costs later on. When more people will start having it, it would automatically become less expensive as it is a simple food with less processing cost and waste.

Our life is very similar. When we only value the ‘sugariness’, and cast out the rest as litter because we don’t perceive its value, we may be throwing out the most important portion. And what we jettison could have the biggest power for the endorsement of our life and our financial health. It also takes more strength and resources to cast it out. Better still, that which is thrown away comes free.

So, what is it that we do not perceive?

Think of a life where we didn’t actually sense we were missing anything there.

The secret is right here. The secret of a full life.

Whole Life-The Complete Life

When it’s ‘whole’, it doesn’t matter how big the whole is. It can expand simultaneously. It can still contain all the elements to sustain itself as a whole living being. Once it grows to a certain size, it can still live without some of the parts. Like plants can live after being eaten a little by birds or trees still thrive even after losing their leaves. But if we neglect the balance for a very long time, eventually it can start creating a fatal imbalance. Then it could become too complicated to get back into balance.

We do not have to return to prehistoric times to find fullness. Fullness exists in the present. All that is required to do is view intently; view intently enough to actually find.

When we begin seeing our life in its fullness and stop casting out what nurtures our life the most, we start experiencing more and more satisfaction without looking for ‘things’ to fill the gaps and hollows of our life. Things finally fit into place. We now grasp the intricacies of our world in a completely different manner.

Yes, it is now time to find out how we can create (and see) this balance, continuously and sustainably.

The actual enriching part of our life is what makes us feel fine deep inside. It is like that portion of food that makes us hale and hearty in the final tally. Sensations we experience in our daily life are the real answer to our lasting joy. And there are sensations that make us feel more full.

The smiles we see when we give acknowledgements to others. The joy we feel when we give gifts to others. The love we feel when we see our children being happy. The inspirations we receive when we feel our life is full of meaning

Let us absorb these moments of our life wholeheartedly and savour the aroma of our full life. Then we will find how it is not obligatory to incessantly fill our heart (and belly!) with earthly satisfactions – those types of things that only add to our yearnings afterwards.

We can actually experience this delight, thankfulness and affection in order to sense life as a whole at any minute irrespective of the circumstances. It is not about what we perceive, what we are told or how we act that conclude our life as a whole. It is about what we ‘opt to’ feel about our life.

Yes, our life in fact is already whole.

When we begin acting based on this awareness, we can have real mastery over the balance creation – lasting physical wellbeing, riches, nourishing bond and joy.

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