The title of this post is the same title as the blog I just read that inspired this post to begin with. That is another quirk in my personality that I have realized and embraced – I’m much better at responding to things online than I am at coming up with things to talk about on my own!
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got a great imagination, but being of the “fixer” mentality, I much prefer to come across some other bit of information, and then decide how to react to it.
My family and friends would probably disagree since I think that I hold the record for taking the longest time in history to respond to an email, but that is another story…
For THIS story, I want to give big props out to the folks over at Creating Passionate Users for supporting a concept that we should all take to heart, and that is one of putting the welfare of the people that we serve above our own interests.
Why is this relevant to the concepts of self improvement? Well, quite simply, because that is the RECIPE for self improvement!
There are as many “schools of thought” on this type of esoteric thinking as you care to take the time to research, but you would consistently find a similar message:
“It is only through helping others that we help ourselves.”
That may seem like rhetorical nonsense to some people, especially those “real men and women create their own luck” die-hards, but the truth of the matter is that helping other people is the shortest route to amazing and long-term success for YOU.
Is there a “cosmic” reason for this? Absolutely, although I will again defer you to doing your own research if you want to see which school of thought you want to believe causes this irrefutable effect.
At the top of the list would be concepts such as Karma and the Law of Attraction, both of which are schools of thought that engender the basic idea that we all create our realities by how we live our lives.
So, if you are a money-hungry, self-centered, arrogant jerk who works VERY hard at your profession, will you make money? Probably.
But you’ll pay it back in the long-run with some not-so-pleasant circumstances manifesting into your life sooner or later.
On the other hand, if you are a “I love the world and the world loves me” type, will you become an instant success? Probably not.
However, if you continue to follow the path of informed positive thoughts and actions, then yes, you will eventually get your just rewards.
I made the word “informed” bold for a reason. I want it to be clear that I am not talking about some blind obsession or belief that “everything is going to be okay as long as I sit here with a smile on my face”.
C’mon – fess up! We’ve all known someone who didn’t have a mean word to say about anyone, and they wouldn’t hurt a fly, but they were just kind of drifting by on a cloud of bliss. They blissfully didn’t realize that in today’s world, you have to take a more proactive – although positive – approach to your existence.
p.s. – If you are one of the people that I just described, please see me after class.
So, getting back to what any of this has to do with self improvement. Here is a question that you can ask yourself (again with props to the folks over at CPU):
In your day to day life – at work, or at home – what do you do for other people?
And before I alienate every stay at home parent, soccer mom, or professional cab driver, let me clarify:
What do you do above and beyond the responsibilities that you have created for yourself?
If you wanted a family, and you now have one, don’t think that feeding, clothing, and rearing the children is “above and beyond the call of duty”. You chose that path.
If you have a job that costs you 60-hours per week of your time, yet you chose that job – or you choose to stay there – that is, once again, a path that YOU have chosen.
The question that I am asking goes beyond all of that. What are you doing differently than everyone else in your same situation? How are you making a difference in the world by looking out for the needs of others? Do you go to sleep each night telling yourself that you did “just enough to get by”, or do you fall asleep content that you did “everything in your power to help others”?
I will sum this up by referring quickly back to Karma, the Law of Attraction, or whatever cosmic power gives you your personal “what comes around goes around” beliefs.
If you are in the crowd that falls asleep with the “just enough” mentality, there is a very real thing that the world is going to give you in return.
Yes, you’re right. The great gift that you are going to get from the world is….
Drum roll please….
Or, you could go to bed each night saying that you did “everything in your power” that day to help the world as a whole.
And wouldn’t it be nice to have the world as a whole giving you something nice to wake up to the next morning?
Something to think about…