“Darwin mentioned the word ‘love’ ninety-five times in The Descent of Man. He mentioned ‘survival of the fittest’ twice.” — Tom Shadyac
Success involves self-reflection and self-improvement. At times, it seems like success has a lot to do with ‘self’, to a point where it appears completely egocentric and competitive. We think that we have to be number one, and helping anyone else is going to hurt our chances of being successful. We think that once we become rich or famous we can have a voice, help others, and donate. Except so many people are never satisfied with their position in life. They always want more money, a better house, a better car, a better life. Some people might think that because they are not making as much money as they would like or haven’t reached their ultimate goal, their ability to help is insufficient. We are all humans, and we all strive to be happy and do well in life. While we are in the holiday season, where people tend to focus on giving, how about giving people your help so that they can reach success as well?
Success doesn’t have to be competitive. In fact, having a competitive perspective can actually make it more difficult for us to be successful. When we have a competitive perspective we have a closed mindset that is so focused on our own thoughts and ideas that we don’t even consider opinions or help from others. If success is a competition we must think that the person offering to help us or share an opinion is doing so for self-interest.
When we help others with their success, our own success will follow. When we help people, we learn from them and from ourselves, while also building connections. It also gives us a feeling of happiness. It’s a win-win. When we pay it forward, we inspire others to pay it forward as well. Helping just one person can create a positive ripple effect that can influence countless people.
To help others with their success, you don’t need to have a lot of money or success. Evaluate your current skills and relationships with others. Could you volunteer at a local shelter? Donate canned food or clothes you no longer wear to someone who needs it? Even a small kind gesture like giving a friendly smile, opening a door for someone, paying someone a compliment, or listening to someone who is having a rough time can go a long way. It doesn’t take a lot to help someone else.
Give without a hidden motive or expectation of reciprocity. Give to others because it’s a kind gesture and it’s the right thing to do. Be grateful for the situation you are in, and help someone who could use some support. Help them with their challenges and share their joy as they make progress towards success. Our life can change at any moment, and someday you might be in a situation, wishing that someone would help you. Life is precious and incredible, but it can also be scary and difficult. We all need help from time to time, and when we help each other, we give each other the support we need to keep going.
Use this holiday season as an incentive to intentionally give to others. Once the season ends, keep giving. Let giving become a habit, and watch what life will give you in return.
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