A few years ago there was a person on one of the social network sites I play around on and contribute to. She asked for my help on a personal issue, and I gave her some guidance that seemed to be really helpful.

It felt good. I was in flow. I was providing this wonderful service to someone who was calling out for it. Not only that, I was sharpening my skills at helping others. And not only that, I liked the feeling of helping. It fed my ego, knowing that someone saw me as a valued resource.

Look at that last one. That's a recipe for trouble. An unhealthy relationship for both parties. Egos get involved. Co-dependency gets fostered.

Sure enough, a long period of time passed by, with occasional contact from this same person. The messages were basically the same, looking for a "fix" of wisdom, support and energy. Absent from the messages were a sense of gratitude, appreciation or any desire to pay back in any way.

Thus the title of this little story. I felt like a vending machine, dispensing goods to an anonymous consumer, who was trying to get something without even feeding me any coins!

Life promotes change. As we grow, we value ourselves more. We want - expect - an exchange of energy. The need to satisfy our ego with attention is replaced with value from others,usually in the form of money, the most ready and usable symbol of balance and energy.

Or sometimes it's in the form of genuine partnerships. Something that creates energy - two parties creating more that the sum of both creating by themselves.

So in that sense I got value from my friend who asked for something for nothing: this article.

Now, let's talk about you...

What do you want from the world? What do you want from and for yourself?

What are you willing to invest?

If you think and invest small, you attract small. You receive small back.

Be smart. Be a good steward of your energy, including your money. But keep it circulating. When you do, it comes back multiplied.

Author's Bio: 

Larry Hochman is the founder of NO MORE HOLDING BACK. He helps individuals and groups break through self-imposed limitation and achieve success in business, careers, relationships and happiness. He is a long-time educator, counselor, author and entertainer. Join the free NO MORE HOLDING BACK support and networking community at NoMoreHoldingBack.ning.com