Today’s Challenge: Pay It Forward

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Ubud is a pay-it-forward kind of town, where blissed out ex-pats strike up conversations out of curiosity, and karmic admonishments litter stores, bathrooms and yoga studios. It’s the kind of place where you just want to give, whether it’s a smile or a compliment, or an hour of time or a cup of tea.

What a perfect challenge for such a connected and charismatic place: “Pay it forward. Find your favorite little treat (a cupcake equivalent) and but two; one for you and one for the next person.”

This being Bali, I enjoyed pre-yoga juices with my new favorite newlyweds. This challenge has reaffirmed a new perspective on money, likely coming to fruition from spending time in a lot of Buddhist countries, and a comment from a friend during my time in India: “My measure of success when I die will be having $0 in my bank account, because that will mean that I did everything I possibly could have while I was alive.”

A desire to connect and give has edged its way into a penchant to collect and control. Which begs the question — what is money, anyway? A symbol of success? A measure of worth? A tool for joy? My experience in the past three months has shown that the more often I give, the more I get back. I’m not advocating debt-inducing sums to my Christian Louboutin Foundation, but giving where I can, treating when I wouldn’t and investing in experiences has opened much more than my pocketbook. Money is a cycle, and the more I share, the more likely I am to be shared with, financially, emotionally and physically.

Amanda, thanks for the great challenge. Steven and Theresa, congratulations and here’s to a future of wedded bliss. Can’t wait to hear your pay it forward story!

Who could you pay it forward to today?

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