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  • Writer's pictureParker Hewes

Getting Everything You Want by Giving, First

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***Note: The following is an edited audio transcript from the above video***

The Giver:

Growing up, one of my all-time favorite books was "The Giver." The novel explored a dystopian society where emotions were suppressed through medication, and memories were wiped clean and then entrusted to one individual known as the Receiver of Memory.

If I were to guess, I would say the reason why this fictional society formed was because people lost faith in the innate goodness of humans, leading them to suppress sensations and memories.

However, the protagonist, the Receiver of Memory, challenged this mindset, believing that people could handle the full spectrum of emotions and memories and still live harmoniously.

Drawing a parallel to the real world, I would agree that we could also live harmoniously and achieve world peace within this lifetime. But, I'm more pessimistic that world peace is going to happen all on its own, without any changes on the individual level.

The Grassroots Campaign for World Peace:

I contend, too, that achieving world peace can only be acheived with a grassroots campaign, a mindset change that starts with individuals, not large government changes. By fostering an individual mentality centered around giving, abundance, and love, we can create a ripple effect that builds into a movement and eventually becomes ingrained in our culture.

A Shift in Mindset:

So, if I were an elder in the fictional world of "The Giver," instead of taking a medication to suppress emotions, sensations, and memories, I would offer a medication that kept everything the same, but enhanced positive sensations like love, abundance, and giving. Essentially, I would amplify our experience through a change in mindset, which in turn will cultivate a culture of generosity and abundance from the grassroots level.

And the best part about this hypothecial model is that it doesn't have to be hypothetical. We don't need a medication in order to create a mindset that's centered around giving. All we need to do is ask ourselves a simple question: How can I give, today?

Selfish Giving:

I know I'm starting to sound like a Miss America contestant with all this talk about world peace. World Peace is obviously a lofty goal. And although I think that world peace is an achievable end result, I also think that we should adopt a giving mindset for selfish reasons. It seems contradictory, but even if you just want to improve your own life and nothing more, a giving mindset will help you achieve those goals. Literally, if you want more of anything in life, you can get there by adopting a giving mindset, first.

Overcoming the Scarcity Mindset:

We can't talk about giving mindset without talking about it's coralary, which is the scarcity mindset. The scarcity mindset, characterized by a fear of not having enough, leads to desperation and can hinder success. But by embracing a giving mindset, we break free from this cycle, recognizing that our true wealth lies in our ability to contribute.

The act of giving itself will help abolish the scarcity mindset because practicing giving will inevitably foster feelings of enough. If you believe and act as if you have something, anything to give, then the logical assumption is that you must have enough. It's natural for our brains to make this connection between giving and having enough, and you can use that mental hack to create abundance in your life.

So, instead of waiting until we have an opening in our schedule or a certain number of dollars in the bank, we should initiate giving now. To attract abundance into our lives, we must start with giving in any way we can. Even if you give through a small gesture like expressing gratitude or paying a stranger a compliment, the act of giving generates a sense of enough and abundance.

The Power of Effort:

What matters most is not just having a giving mindset, though. What matters is that you actually act on those thoughts. It's the effort you give towards giving that truly changes lives. After all, effort is a reflection of life energy, our most limited resource. By willingly using our life energy to benefit others, we demonstrate the truest form of generosity. Effort, whether small or significant, contributes to creating a culture of giving and abundance.

It's not the thought the counts, it's the effort.

Balancing Giving and Receiving:

While embracing a giving mindset, it's essential to strike a balance by acknowledging the importance of receiving. Recognizing our worth and being open to receiving allows for a reciprocal exchange of generosity. You must have a healthy amount of selfishness and self-interest to prevent burnout and maintain well-being.

This doesn't mean you keep score or search for reciprocity after every act of giving. But it does mean that you are justified in your expectation that reciprocity will come your way in some form. While you can't control how your efforts will be repaid, you can create the opportunities for reciprocity by allowing people to give back. Maybe you allow people to give back by simply changing the way you think about receiving generosity (for me, that means rewriting the lessons I learned about receiving, which told me that receiving was often a shameful thing or a sign weakness). But you also allow people to give back by creating a pathway that directs people to give in a specific way. People often want to give, but they don't know how. So, by providing a clear path, and putting yourself out there to ask for help, you will give people the opportunity to express their own abundance.

It would be selfish and a little arrogant to think that you are the only one that can express abundance, the only one who give. So, for every act of giving, learn to receive. If you let others express abundance, too, the giving mindset will begin to multiply and ripple throughout your life.

At the very least, practicing receiving will help prevent you from feeling like the world is on your shoulders. It will prevent you from feeling burned out, dissatisfied, and unhappy. To truly experience the fullness of life, start with giving as much as you can, and follow it up by creating opportunities to receive.

Creating a Personal Giving Plan:

To concretize the giving mindset, I recommend creating a personal giving plan. Start by identifying your giving identities (for me, I give through the identities of a teacher, leader, doctor, and friend). Then, outline specific ways that you plan to give through those identities. Follow it up by developing a framework for receiving, too.

When you have a plan, it will make answering the question "How can I give?" a lot easier to answer every morning. It will serve as a roadmap that directs your daily acts of giving and receiving, and it might just change your life.


In the pursuit of a harmonious world, the power of giving cannot be underestimated. By fostering a giving mindset and balancing it with receiving, we can transform our lives and contribute to a culture of abundance. As we ask ourselves daily, "How can I give today?" and "How can I receive today?" we become catalysts for positive change, both in our individual lives and the world at large.

Parker Hewes author chiropactor american ninja warrior content creator speaker

Written by Parker Hewes, a chiropractor, author, American Ninja Warrior, and serial adventurer living in Salt Lake City, Utah. Parker believes learning and growing are the keys to living a full life. He started Getting Gooder to help others learn and grow, so they can create the happiest, healthiest, and wealthiest lives imaginable.

Parker also knows that our ideal life gets even better when we have others to share it with. So, keep following Parker and the Getting Gooder community as we build our ideal, together.


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