I’m on my way out to California to speak and lead two small workshops on healthy money at a private three-day retreat.  This is service rather than professional work, though it involves much of the same kind of thing I do professionally for groups and corporations.

Giving, generosity, service, however you think of this kind of thing is good to do, mostly for yourself.  It helps make sense of your life in general, break a scarcity mindset, a bombshelter mentality, the kind that tells you that you don’t have enough money, time, energy, or other resources to survive on in the first place, that you have to hang onto everything as if it were the very last crust of bread or drink of water you’ll ever see.

Happily, other people get benefit out of it too.

On the other hand, underearners can go overboard with giving themselves away, and often do.  In fact, it’s one of the traits you find most frequently in underearners.

Lynne Block, Larry’s wife, with whom I was chatting after Larry read at the “Partners and Crime” mystery bookstore here last week, asked me how much I was getting paid for this.

“Nothing,” I said.  “This is service.”

“Ah,” she said with a bit of a wicked smile.  “Seems to me that’s a near perfect example of underearning.”

She knows I wrote the book on underearning, literally.

Could be, in some other circumstances.  It’s not in this one.

While it is the kind of thing that underearners do again and again, it is also simultaneously the kind of thing that people with a scarcity mentality, a bombshelter sense of life, can scarcely even conceive of doing.

It ends up a nice middle in this case.  Which is one of the reasons I’m doing it.  To help keep a healthy balance.