The Zahir - Favour Bank
introduces the concept of the Favour Bank
near the beginning of his book The Zahir
"... but I need his help, or might need it later on -
there is, after all, that invisible institution called the Favour Bank
which I have always found so very useful".
Further on in the Book Paulo Coelho
the Favour Bank
What is this Favour Bank
'You know. Everyone knows.'
'Possibly, but I still haven't quite grasped what you're saying.'
'It was an American writer who first mentioned it. It's the most powerful bank
in the world, and you'll find it in every sphere of life.'
'Yes, but I come from a country without a literary tradition. What favours could I do for anyone?'
'That doesn't matter in the least. Let me give you an example:
I know that you're an up-and-coming writer and that, one day, you'll
be very influential. I know this because, like you, I too was once ambitious,
independent, honest. I no longer have the energy I once had, but I want to help
you because I can't or don't want to grind to a halt just yet. I'm not
dreaming about retirement, I'm still dreaming about the fascinating struggle that is life, power, and glory.'
'I start making deposits in your account - not cash deposits, you understand, but contacts.
I introduce you to such and such a person, I arrange certain deals, as long as they're legal.
You know that you owe me something, but I never ask you for anything.'
'And then one day ...'
'Exactly. One day, I'll ask you for a favour and you could, of course, say "No",
but you're conscious of being in my debt. You do what I ask, I continue to help you,
and other people see that you're a decent, loyal sort of person and so they too make
deposits in your account - always in the form of contacts, because this world is made
up of contacts and nothing else. They too will one day ask you for a favour, and you
will respect and help the people who have helped you, and, in time, you'll have spread
your net worldwide, you'll know everyone you need to know and your influence will keep on growing.'
'I could refuse to do what you ask me to do.'
'You could. The Favour Bank
is a risky investment, just like any other bank.
You refuse to grant the favour I asked you, in the belief that I helped you because
you deserved to be helped, because you're the best and everyone should automatically
recognise your talent. Fine, I say thank you very much and ask someone else into whose
account I've also made various deposits; but from then on, everyone knows, without me
having to say a word, that you are not to be trusted.'
'You'll grow only half as much as you could have grown, and certainly not as much as
you would have liked to. At a certain point, your life will begin to decline,
you got halfway, but not all the way, you are half-happy and half-sad, neither
frustrated nor fulfilled. You're neither cold nor hot, you're lukewarm, and as
an evangelist in some holy book says: "Lukewarm things are not pleasing to the palate.
Passages from The Zahir
permission from the author Paulo Coelho
Encounter with a stranger in Paris by Roisin.
For the Smallest of Favours by Mary Deal.
Life’s Other Rewards by Sean Moriarty.
Capitalism With A Buddhist Twist by Jane Genova.
'Miracles' due to the Favour Bank Principle by Phil Evans.
May we all have plenty of deposits to make by Elle Smith Fagan.
Recycling Favours, a Favourbank Story by Shirl T.
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