Sam Radford

October 14, 2021

Givers or takers?

The more you create, the more powerful you become.

The more you consume, the more powerful others become.

I’ve been pondering these words since I read them in James Clear’s newsletter last week.

Another way of framing this is as a question:

Am I a giver or a taker?

When we fill our lives with taking – or consumption – we are disempowering ourselves. Our lives, and our happiness, become tied to what we can get from life and from others. Even people become ‘assets’ to be used and abused.

What is misleading is that this can give us a temporary feeling of empowerment. We use everything around us for our own benefit. So we’re in charge, right? We have the power?

No. The opposite is true. We are at the mercy of the other. Whether that ‘other’ is stuff, people, or companies. Those things end up having control over us, destroying our satisfaction with life.

Not that we can have a consumption free life where we are all give and no take! That’s not how life works. It comes back to the 51% rule. If we are at least 51 to 49 with giving over taking, creating over consuming, we will be more energised, engaged, and content. 

What does that balance look like for you at the moment?


Got some thoughts on this? I’d love to hear from you – do hit reply or drop me a note.

@samradford |

About Sam Radford

Husband, father, lover of books, writer, tech geek, sports fan, and pragmatic idealist from Sheffield, England.