I recently returned from presenting a workshop in Cincinnati, and when I pulled up to the parking attendant's booth at the airport, I handed him my ticket and he flashed me a huge grin and said, "Hello! That'll be $30.50."
"$30.50?" I echoed, incredulous. "I was only here for 24 hours. I just want to pay for parking-I don't want to buy the place!"
He laughed and said, "Yep, it's $30.50 for 24 hours' parking. So how was your trip? Did you have a good time?"
I was still in a bit of shock at the price, but he was being so friendly that any temptation I had to become frustrated started to fade away. I chatted with him a little about my trip, asked him about his day, and paid my bill, feeling a lot better than I probably would have if he hadn't been so nice.
Now, some people might say that this gentleman had a right to be unhappy and cranky, after all, his job probably isn't always very pleasant. He has to deal with grouchy people who resent paying $30.50 for 24 hours' parking, he has to work in a closed space without much opportunity to move around or get visual stimulation, and he probably doesn't make all that much money. Yet this fellow was giving value unconditionally, without an obvious or immediate payback for doing so.
What he understood, which I try to help others understand, is that the more value you offer unconditionally, the more abundance you'll enjoy. Giving with strings attached creates feelings of fear (What if I don't get a return on what I give?) and lack (I don't have enough to justify giving to others without a clear benefit to me). Giving unconditionally creates feelings of abundance.
People who feel wealthy and blessed and who bring value to their jobs regardless of their pay let the Universe know that they're ready to receive even more wealth. They may get a raise or an unexpected windfall, or they could attract the attention of someone who wants to hire them for a better job. As I drove away from that parking garage, I thought about how much value and enthusiasm that gentleman brings to his work if he is able to deal with grumpy customers all day long and by early evening still have joy to share with others. I thought, I would like to hire that fellow! I wouldn't be at all surprised if he gets a promotion, a raise, or a more lucrative position somewhere, and I imagine that he leads a rich and abundant life outside of his job.
When you give value unconditionally, you'll receive it in return-and the more you give, the more value and abundance you'll receive. People, who offer the minimal amount at their job, always rushing out the door at exactly 5 p.m. and never showing any initiative, are missing the opportunity to create abundance or value and reap the benefits.
There are many ways to offer value. My husband, son, and I live next to a golf course. At the end of the week, Michel will gather up all of the balls in our yard, put them in egg cartons, and sell them to golfers at a fraction of the cost of new ones. When he approaches a potential customer, he'll give them a free ball. Whether or not they decide to buy a dozen from him, this ball is theirs to keep. The golfers feel positive about him and are more inspired to buy a box from him, if not today, then sometime in the future.
You can offer value through creative ideas, suggestions for how to make your company work more efficiently, enthusiasm that inspires others, hard work, diligence and attention to detail, and going the extra mile in a crisis.
If you're thinking of finding different work, or you've been considering making a change for a long time but feel paralyzed and unsure of what to do next, start by creating positive feelings so that you can access your passion and creativity. You'll get clarity about what you want to do next and avoid making the kind of mistakes we commit when we operate from negative feelings such as fear and lack.
You won't jump from one unrewarding job to the next; instead, you'll find new, better opportunities opening up for you in response to the feelings of abundance, enthusiasm, and worthiness you've created. You'll recognize your beneficial purpose, value it, and attract more resources and wealth by giving unconditionally, letting your abundance flow into the Universe, and opening yourself to receive.
Peggy McColl is a New York Times Best Selling Author and an internationally recognized expert in the area of goal achievement. She is the author of five books, translated in many languages and sold all over the world.