No good deed… Nah, scratch that!

WalletSomeone stole my wallet yesterday. Not in any dramatic way – I was out doing a presentation on happiness at work for a group here in Copenhagen. I’d left my coat hanging in their wardrobe, and when I left after the presentation my wallet was gone.

I immediately called to cancel my credit cards, and there was only 100 kroner in it, so, hey, no big deal.

But it did give rise to two interesting thoughts.

1: I’m not as annoyed as I thought I’d be
I really thought I’d be mad as hell at something like this. It means replacing my credit cards, drivers license and other ID, not to mention the fact that “someone took my wallet!” A few years ago, I might easily have spent a LOT of time fuming at that fact that someone stole my wallet, and at all the inconvenience that means.

But yesterday I was kinda annoyed for about five minutes, and then I shrugged and thought “Hey, so what?” Today I hardly even think about it.

Know what? That’s really, really nice. Losing my wallet even means a chance to replace my old drivers license which has a truly horrible picture of me :o)

2: One negative thought did creep in
I did the presentation yesterday for free – it’s for a group of people who do great work, but don’t have a lot of money, so I was only happy to be able to help them.

But one thought kept coming back to me after I found my wallet missing: “This is what I get for helping people out.” Or its close cousin “No good deed goes unpunished.”

Funny, isn’t it? There is absolutely no relationship between the fact that I was out helping others, and the fact that my wallet was stolen. It could have happened anywhere. And yet, my mind makes this mental connection between the two, and I can sense a distinct desire to not help others out again in that way.

It’s a good thing we’re capable of analyzing our own thoughts, and don’t have to take every single notion as fact! Have you ever noticed something similar?

Here are more phrases to avoid here. And some good phrases here that we should use more.

9 thoughts on “No good deed… Nah, scratch that!”

  1. You make a great point
    There appears to be a simultaneous presence of both pettiness and largess in my mind at some times– the focus on ‘me’ versus ‘us’. Most times I can see the choice.
    I guess the important thing is to realize that it indeed is a choice. And with every choice for the better, I evolve; overcome my first instinct which only looks out for ‘me, me the wonderful me’; and reach out to the deeper instinct that sees interconnectivity between me and the larger whole.

  2. Thorbs: Glad you liked the event. And no worries about the wallet. As I said – no big deal :o)

    Sridhar: Precisely. And thanks for the link. I particularly liked this one:
    “Hate is not overcome by hate; by Love (Metta) alone is hate appeased. This is an eternal law.

    The others know not that in this quarrel we perish; those of them who realise it, have their quarrels calmed thereby.”

    Astha: Good point. What I thought and felt about this event was very much a choice – and a healthy choice at that.

    “the deeper instinct that sees interconnectivity between me and the larger whole.” – I like that!

  3. Wow, Alex – what a great story to prove how far you’ve come in your thought process! I realize more all the time how everything happens for a reason, and how sometimes what seem like negatives really can point out the positives. You say you weren’t as upset as you might have been before. You even saw the positive – you get a new driver’s license picture!

    As I’ve been studying The Secret and all the lessons that the universe provides me every day, I’ve begun to see that everything that is in my space – good and bad, ugly and beautiful – is there because I attracted it there. So there is evidently a lesson for you in getting the wallet stolen. A good friend of mine experienced the exact same thing recently – her purse was stolen and whoever took it tried to use her credit cards before she got them cancelled. Three days later the purse was recovered and the “thief” was caught – a man down on his luck who knew he had done wrong and was almost relieved to have been caught. My friend knew the lesson for her was to validate her progress with her thought power. I bet the same is true for you. Something huge will come / has already come from this experience for you.

    You continue to inspire me, Alex. I can’t wait to read your book!

  4. Wow Alex! :)
    I think it’s wonderful to be able to see the opportunity amidst difficulties and your response rocks (about wanting to change the photo on your driving license)! :D
    Well, about it being connected with an event where you were kind enough to help without getting paid for it, I guess it is quite puzzling. But, like we say here in India, God sometimes makes it real hard only to find out whether you’ll ‘clear the test’. :)
    Warm Regards
    Nimmy

  5. Alex,

    While you are not an official graduate of the HappyUP!!! course, you don’t need to be. I bestow upon you an honorary degree. The thought that you had regarding no connection between helping others and having your wallet stolen is exactly what HappyUP!!! is all about. It is about where we spend our attention. If you spent more attention on the wallet, you would end up with the “this is what I get for helping people” -victim mentality. It is impossible to be happy in that state. Without knowing, you were focusing more on the helping people that didn’t have the money. That is HappyUP!!!

    Congratulations on attaining your honorary degree in HappyUP from Nutster U !!!

    Nutster
    Dean of Happines
    Nutster University

  6. Jodee: Thanks. And yes, I do feel I’ve come very far. I loooove it :o)

    As for “The Secret” I have some serious reservations about the movie. Don’t get me wrong, the law of attraction is real, but the movie is incredibly manipulative and doesn’t do its subject justice at all.

    Nirmala: Exactly. I could theorize a lot on why my mind wanted to make that connection, but the important thing here is to notice that it is so, and to not be controlled by it.

    Dean Nutster: I’m truly honored to accept your honorary degree! Btw: Does that degree come with a diploma?

    Oh and by the way: The wallet is back with everything in it but the money. So I don’t get to replace my driver’s license after all. Damn!

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