Many people are surprised to learn that part of manifesting their desires is giving without expectation of any return.

Now, giving without necessarily expecting to get anything in return is a deep part of personal spiritual growth, and when we grow spiritually we become more and more able to realize our own desires. But still you might have a question about this seeming paradox: if I give without necessarily expecting to be “gratified” or “rewarded” by another for my action, how can that be an action that furthers my own spiritual unfolding, and actually helps me attract all that I want into my life?

In our usual everyday world of buying and selling, getting and spending, we expect that when we do something right, it will lead to use getting something good for ourselves, and usually fairly soon if not immediately. If we give somebody our money, we get a product or service. If we give someone of our time, energy, and expertise, we get money. If we give of ourselves to do well within our company, we get a promotion. Even very simple things count: if we give a “thank you”, we expect to get a “you’re welcome” or at least a friendly smile.

There is truly nothing wrong with these exchanges. However, we are too much with them. We don’t see where those activities have their beginning and their end. We begin carrying those attitudes and expectations over into everything in our lives.

The attitude and practice of giving without expecting necessarily to get anything back is not, it needs to be pointed out, some kind of self-sacrifice. This is not a Kamikaze type practice; this is not becoming a monk who lives only for altruism and the suppression of all selfish desires. What it means is, there are some things that are so good to do, that they should be done just for their goodness, for their own sake, or even just for the fact that they give you intense feelings of having done “something right” in and of themselves.

One of the very best summations of this spiritual attitude can be found in the words of the late novelist Willa Cather: “Writing ought either to be the manufacture of stories for which there is a market demand…or it should be an art, which is always a search for something for which there is no market demand, something new and untried, where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values.”

When Cather speaks of writing in that second way, she is speaking of giving without necessarily getting something in return. She speaks of creating something for the sake of a state of mind “where the values are intrinsic and have nothing to do with standardized values.” Where there is no market demand. Something new and untried. But just think of what you do get in return: a higher state of awareness; the pride that you have given something of powerful, lasting, unaging value to the world; and, you have made the world in which you live a better place, which can only benefit you even if indirectly and not in any immediate sense.

Did you know that one of the money making secrets of the very rich is tithing? They give away at least 10% of their money every year to charity or philanthropy. They consider this part of what makes THEM wealthier. If you send out love, it returns to you in time – often in strange and mysterious ways. And that’s another reason why giving without expecting anything in return works to manifest you dreams: it allows you to receive benefits in ways or from places that you couldn’t imagine before. Your “expectations” got in the way!

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