Published on July 9, 2023 (↻ February 5, 2024), filed under and (RSS feed for all categories).

This is one of those gluey posts for me, one that hasn’t so far felt quite “perfect.” But it’s also one that still feels “right,” one that can as well be published. So there we go.

You may know the idea of The One Thing, i.e., the importance of focus. (The book is great.)

While focus on one thing is useful, the question is, what should that one thing be? There are many powerful one-things.

There’s one one-thing—not a business or project matter—which may be particularly powerful, and recommendable in any case. That one-thing may be the one thing, the key to switch from a mindset of lack to a mindset of abundance.

What it is? It seems to be to—


To give generally means—to give; to give what we’re comfortable with, and also, sometimes, what we may not be so comfortable with.

It specifically means to give what we seem to be lacking.

It means to be generous. To even if we don’t have much, give a little. (Imagine, just for a moment, if everyone was generous. Could anyone lack anything?)

It means to be diligent. To even if others appear to be slacking, give and go extra miles (or yards).

It means to be kind. To even if everyone appears to be tough on us, give kindness, and be kind to others.

It means to be understanding. To even if we don’t feel understood, give understanding, and try to understand others.

It means to be loving. To even if we feel unloved, give love, and love.

(And so on.)

Why Giving Does Not Make Poorer

The surface logic * behind giving may tempt to ask whether it doesn’t leave us worse off than if we didn’t give (or gave less).

But that would be logical on the surface only, because not only would it ignore that we’re talking about uncountable, intangible things here (we can’t run out of love, understanding, even wealth), it would also miss the fundamental difference in mindset.

The true logic behind giving is that giving implies we have, that which we give.

This is exactly what makes giving powerful.

You give money, because it implies you have money, because you have money.

You give productivity, because it implies you are productive, because you are productive.

You give kindness, because it implies you are kind, because you are kind.

You give understanding, because it implies you are understanding, because you are understanding.

You give love, because it implies you are loving, because you are loving, because you are love.

This is especially important when it appears as if we don’t have something we’ve been longing for.

When we’re poor, we may long for wealth, and be reluctant to give anything of what we own.

When we feel misunderstood, we may long for understanding, and resist to show understanding for anyone else.

When we feel unloved, we may long for love, and not give any ourselves.

But here it’s crucial to break through the perceived lack. It’s possible to break through the lack. And the quickest way to break though it seems to be through—giving.

…But Makes Everyone Better Off

As stated, the habit of giving would help shift from a mindset of lack to one of abundance; where our giving implies our having.

Even better—and of course—, this giving benefits those we give to, people who spiritually and philosophically speaking don’t need anything from us, but to whose quality of life we’re adding.

With giving to ourselves and to others, we make people better of, and if these are many people, and if these carry on with the same spirit, we may in the end make everyone better of.

This is why I, from my humble understanding, believe giving to be such a key; and actually not just any one thing, but perhaps the one thing we could all do, to drive change, for ourselves, and, maybe, for everyone.


Where is this all coming from? Much of this is from a book I’ve recommended a couple of times—The Complete Conversations With God (which isn’t as religious or even Christian as it sounds like). That’s the short and simple answer. The longer one is too long to share here; but suffice it to say, even though I paused my academic study of Philosophy in 2018, I’ve never stopped studying it outside of a formal curriculum. And even though that, despite of quite a few books read, may not appear like much, either, my studies did lead to some insight. Including that the best way to “have” is to give. And that giving is good for everyone.

* Speaking of surface logic, another logic says that we need to do things in order to have things in order to be things. Do work to have money to be happy. Exercise to have fitness to be healthy. Wear nice clothes to have (get) attention to be loved. That is surface logic, too, though harder to articulate, for the order seems to be exactly the opposite: We need to be first, to then have, to then do. But I will use this as a teaser, to tickle your curiosity (you find one lead in the previous paragraph).

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About Me

Jens Oliver Meiert, on September 30, 2021.

I’m Jens (long: Jens Oliver Meiert), and I’m a frontend engineering leader and tech author/publisher. I’ve worked as a technical lead for companies like Google and as an engineering manager for companies like Miro, I’m close to W3C and WHATWG, and I write and review books for O’Reilly and Frontend Dogma.

I love trying things, not only in web development (and engineering management), but also in other areas like philosophy. Here on I share some of my views and experiences.

If you want to do me a favor, interpret charitably (I speak three languages, and they can collide), yet be critical and give feedback for me to learn and improve. Thank you!