No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.

In the Gospel according to Luke, Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back” (Luke 6:38). Jesus states a fundamental law of life that has been recognized by most great spiritual leaders as well as by many truly successful men and women.If you love the work you do, you are going to put all of yourself into it, giving freely of energy and of your talents. When you give of yourself, when you work for the joy of achievement, when you share your bounty with others, the gift of appreciation, tangible or intangible, becomes a part of your daily life. Tangible appreciation could be a monetary return or a gift from someone for work accomplished. Intangible appreciation could be gratitude from others for what you have done and a good reputation. On the other hand, if you’re working for the paycheck, willing only to do what you believe you’re getting paid to do and no more, chances are you’ll grow to despise your job.

Bob was such a man. For eight hours a day, five days a week, year after year, he pulled down a salary while putting forth as little effort as possible. He always seemed to be tired and discontented, and he blamed his job for many of his problems.

One thing Bob loved to do, however, was watch his daughter play softball. When he was offered the chance to coach her Little League team, he eagerly accepted. Although coaching the girls took a great deal of time and commitment, Bob didn’t mind. He said the hours he spent with the team were energizing. The girls ended up taking a first‑place trophy, and Bob received an outpouring of praise from the parents who were amazed by his commitment.

Fortunately, the story doesn’t end there. At the prompting of his concerned wife, Bob decided to seek spiritual counseling about the problem in his professional life. The counselor suggested he begin to embrace his job with the same enthusiasm that he was pouring into coaching the girl’s softball team. He reluctantly agreed to give it a try.

To his surprise, Bob began noticing things at work he could do to make the day more interesting. He began to take an interest in the lives of his fellow employees. He challenged himself to improve the ways in which he was doing his job. He began to pretend he was actually the owner of the plant instead of just another cog in the machine. He began to make suggestions to his superiors on how things could be run more efficiently in his department. And, to his great surprise, he found himself thinking about ways to improve his work after hours! Each day now, he awoke with a sense of enthusiasm instead of dull despair. Bob learned the valuable lesson of honestly and sincerely giving of yourself in whatever you do.

You don’t often get competent at something you ignore. And it may not be easy to release inner turmoil until you, as a unique human being, develop a feeling of being active in your own life mission. When you honor the spirit within, you are able to give so much more to life. Giving can be similar to financial investing. If you invest carelessly and without any effort or research, you are likely to fail in the long run. On the other hand, when you wisely invest your energies, interests, and abilities, you are more likely to succeed.

Remember that merely putting your time into something doesn’t mean you’re giving yourself to it. There are various levels or degrees of giving. Dedicate your attention, your interest, your love, your imagination, your creativity to the task at hand, and you can transform an undesirable condition into something that gives back to you, in “good measure, pressed, shaken together, running over. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” This is a law of life that can work for you in the same way it worked for Bob and for millions of other people who have discovered it. Think less about what you can get and more about what you can give, and your life will take on a luster you haven’t yet dreamed possible.