I’m sure you know people who fit the bill. Every step they take is measured against how they’ll benefit personally; everything they do has a quid pro quo; and every conversation they have is steered to their favorite topic — themselves.
You can rest assured that when they call, it’s because they want something from you; they use people as pawns to get what they want; they feel no compunction about being the first to take, then leaving the scraps for everyone else; they bully others to get more for themselves. Sharing? Giving? Playing fair? Not even on their radar.
In the short term, their charisma, talent, and drive earn them BIG kudos. Long term, they’re disastrous. Their confidence is perceived as arrogance; their go-netter personality comes across as pushy; and their ambition is viewed as uncontrollable. The result is that their ruthless behavior causes them to forfeit the things they want most in life. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be this way.
One of the most important lessons I've learned is that people who care about the needs of others and give of themselves go much further in life. “Are you kidding?” may be what you’re thinking. “That’s the most important lesson?”
Yes. Some people may believe that this philosophy is simplistic, naive, sappy, pie-in-the-sky, while others consider that it’s only a nicety. You may be thinking, “While that sounds great in theory, it doesn't work in the real world.” The assumption people make is that you have to be ruthless to win. I’m here to tell you they’re dead wrong.
Would you consider an egotist to be your role model? Would you choose a self-centered person as a good friend? Would you form a partnership with a greedy person? Would you recruit a selfish person for your team? Would you marry and spend your lifetime with a greedy person? I thought not.
It really doesn't take much effort to show others that you care. For example, treat them with dignity and respect; “make someone’s day” with a few kind words; provide encouragement; show concern; spend quality time; listen with interest; share half; put their needs before your own; reach out to someone in need; share your wisdom and experience; pay them a compliment; teach them how to fish for a lifetime; thank someone for an effort well done; ask for or share an honest opinion; show gratitude; remember a special event; instill a strong set of values; provide encouragement.
Remember . . . give because you want to, not because you must. That way, it’s from your heart. Believe me, it will come back to you in ways you’d never imagine — but don’t give because you’re expecting something in return.
Some people may look at you cross-eyed after you make a kind gesture. “C’mon,” they’ll think, “why are you really doing this? No one does something for nothing.” Then, when they realize there’s no catch, something magical will happen. You’ll be viewed in an entirely new light.
Just think how far your kindness will go toward building trust, strengthening your relationships, developing teamwork and camaraderie, enhancing your reputation and sense of self-worth — not to mention, adding to your karma.