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What is the Investment That Never Fails?

invest in the goodNot long ago I was talking to a good friend who was starting a project on really investigating the benefits of what he called, “the good.”  That is that all of us have goodness inside that when brought out seems to not only benefit us, but those around us. The problem is for some reason we’re not always primed for it.

Henry David Thoreau said:

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.”

I tend to believe this, but each of us may have a different idea of what constitutes, “the good.” When my friend was doing his investigation he would have calls or meetings with people individually to nonjudgmentally explore what the good was to each person.

The purpose of this was to really do an honest inquiry into what each person felt the good was in them without our usual biased lenses.

People came up with all kinds of ideas. Some felt good when connected to friends, others felt good when they finally forgave, yet others felt good when they actually gave or experienced compassion.

Yet it’s too easy to just fall into the routine of daily life and get out of touch with the wonder that can appear all around. So we need to prime our minds for the good.

One exercise that I often give people to prime their minds for the good in life is to Count Your Blessings.

Yup, we’ve all been given this advice, but we can make it into a practical exercise.

Ask yourself, “What would it be like if I woke up each morning and thought of 5 things I am are grateful for in my life each day?”

It’s way too easy for the judgments to rain saying this is some Pollyanna idea and quickly dismiss it. Notice this if it’s happening right now.

To get a reality check, as yourself when the last time you did this was? If the answer is either a long time ago or never, then those thoughts are likely just defenses to keep you away from what might be helpful.

So, put your judgments aside and ask yourself right now, what are the blessings in your life? If any of them are people, give them a call or drop them an email and tell them now.

As always, please share what your blessings are, your interaction creates a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Photo by Scarleth White, available under a Creative Commons attribution license.

What is the Investment That Never Fails?

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is creator of the six month online program A Course in Mindful Living, author of the book Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion, The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Mindfulness Meditations for the Anxious Traveler: Quick Exercises to Calm Your Mind, the premier eCourse Basics of Mindfulness Meditation: A 28 Day Program, the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations. Join The Now Effect Community for free Daily Now Moments and a Weekly Newsletter. Dr. Goldstein is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles.

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APA Reference
Goldstein, E. (2011). What is the Investment That Never Fails?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 26 Apr 2011
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