Helping hands

Invest In Kindness

Helping hands

I arrived in Thailand at the end of September to start a six-month contract with a Hotel Resort and Spa.

The contract had been signed months ago and the week before I arrived, the company had sent me out all the appropriate documents to apply for a work permit in the UK.

And so I flew out to Phuket a week before to see some friends and find a place to live and just as I was about to put a deposit on an apartment, I received an unexpected call from the HR Manager.

“I am sorry Toby, but the Wellness department had a meeting this morning and I am afraid that as we are implementing a more medical approach to wellness, we have decided to cancel your contract”.

I was silent for a moment, speechless in fact. Six months of work pulled from underneath my feet.

I was pretty surprised at first, but after about an hour, rather than worrying about it, I started to become quite excited instead. I had money in the bank, the company were giving me a pay off and I started to think of all the things I could do, such as a month-long meditation retreat, followed by a couple of months in China brushing up on my Tai Chi.

Obviously, I needed some work to come back to and recalled that the month or so before the contract was supposed to begin, I had actually turned down several job offers. So I searched my email account and sent about 7 emails out.

A week later, my work calendar was booked for the next 12 months! Not only did I now have 12 months of work rather than 6, but opportunities had also now opened up from 5 companies I had never worked with before. This was very exciting as it was opening up doors to a whole world of new and exciting possibilities.

So how did I manage to get so much work, so quickly and with virtually no effort whatsoever?

Simple – by helping people.

I love helping people out. It makes me feel good. Not only does my chosen career involve helping people, but just being kind and respectful to people, everyone, all of the time, just seems to make life easy for me. It’s not rocket science, be nice to people, they will be nice to you, everyone is happy! It is a win/win situation. Even if people don’t seem to like me, I am still kind to them. Probably even kinder than ever, because then it becomes like a playful challenge to me, to win them over, to soften them, to make them a nicer, kinder person.

Even when I am not working, I always try and help people and over the last few years, that has included helping a lot of my friends to find work.

If any of my friends, many of which are not native English speakers, are looking to find a job or better themselves in some way, I will always help them. This could mean giving them advice on how to find work, helping them write their resumes or cover letters and even putting them in contact with any spa managers that I know who are looking for therapists or Visiting Practitioners. In addition, I always help the spa managers that I have worked with to find good therapists too.

I never charge anyone for helping them. My reward comes when they tell me they have a new job and I know I have made a positive difference to someone’s life. It just makes me feel good. And I like to feel good!! 🙂

A friend recently informed me that because I help so many people out I should turn this into a business and make money from connecting spa managers and therapists. Maybe it would be a good business, who knows? But it is not something that I want to dedicate all my time too. I have other projects to get on with that I find far more interesting and are more in tune with my inner nature. I don’t have the time or enthusiasm to turn this into a business, so I do it for free, just to help people.

So, you are probably wondering, what has this got to do with me finding work?

Because when I looked into the origin of all those new job offers that had filled my diary for 12 months, I noticed that they had all received my contact details from people who I had helped out in the past. EVERY SINGLE ONE! When I had been helping those people, little did I realize that they were also helping me in return! All that help I had given to those people was being reciprocated behind my back….and I had never even noticed it until the day came that I needed help.

I had never asked anyone to help me, but what goes around comes around and for the first time ever, this experience really showed me how helping people out of the kindness of your heart without any expectations, will always come back to you when you most need it.

I remember working with a very famous actor once who despite his fame and popularity, turned out to be one of the kindest and most humble human beings I have ever met.

He said to me once: “Always be nice to people on the way up, because you never know who you might meet on the way down”.

Be humble, be kind, help others. If you are going to invest in anything in life, invest in kindness.

Jesus thinking

Now, I have just arrived in Thailand where I will be working for the next 7 weeks. It is my busiest time of year and means I will not be back to spend Xmas with my family. In fact, this year will be the 20th year I have been abroad and although I do feel a bit homesick on the 25th because I know all of my family are together, I am actually relieved to be away from it.

Why?

Well, for a start I have a sneaky suspicion that maybe, just maybe, Santa Claus doesn’t exist – (though my mother is still trying to convince me otherwise).

Secondly, Jesus. Now, great guy, loved his philosophy on life, just a bit of a shame western society has turned his teachings into an absolute farce. I mean, do you really think he would have supported the commercialism his birthday has turned into? It is exactly what he preached against! The man must be turning in his grave at how we celebrate his birthday (or spinning around in heaven somewhere – depending on your beliefs).

So, yes I will miss being with my family on Xmas day, but no, I won’t be missing the rest of the “Christmas Spirit”, that pushes us into buying useless bits of junk for people who don’t even want it.

Now, giving is a wonderful thing – but it should never be forced. Because when it is forced, like the presents we give at Xmas, the flowers we give on Valentine’s day or the chocolate we give at Easter, it does not truly come from the heart. It comes from a sense of duty pushed on us by the society we have been brought up in.

And what’s worse is that all of this junk we buy one another just ends up in a massive hole in the ground for our children to inherit.

If we must buy at all, I really think that we should just buy for people very close to us and of course the children.

And for the other people we care about, here is a thought:

How much better is it when you receive a gift from someone completely unexpected? A bunch of flowers given to you by your loved one because they were thinking of you all day? A surprise gift from a friend because they thought of you whilst out shopping one day? Treating a friend or work colleague to dinner, just because you enjoyed their company and wanted to show it to them somehow? Or even better, now and again – a few kind words to a loved one, friend or colleague just to let them know they are appreciated?

This is TRUE GIVING. A gift from the heart, without force or expectations.

Isn’t that so much better?

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Toby Author

About Toby Maguire

Hi, I'm Toby.

I’m a meditation teacher, life coach, speaker and retreat host who has spent more than 30 years studying Meditation and Eastern philosophy.

I have helped thousands of people struggling with stress, anxiety or depression to take back control of their minds and build more manageable, enjoyable and more meaningful lives.

From Olympic athletes and Billionaires to company executives and troubled teenagers, I help people from all walks of life achieve greater peace of mind, clarity of their goals and enjoy the process of achieving them