Take a minute to think about what success means to you before continuing. What is the first thing that comes to mind?
I recently had a phone conversation with someone, who, if success is measured by money, we could say he is very successful (more than Hillary). So I asked him, What does success mean to you?
You might find his answer not what you’d expect. He said without hesitation, “The main thing is to help others better their lives.”
You may be wondering how helping others has anything to do with our success. But pay attention to what he says about why we should help others. He also talks about one thing holding people back from success.
What he shares is important. Many people fail to understand its relevance.
Everything in life has roots. We need to dig to expose the root (the origins of why things are the way they are) to truly understand something. In this case, understanding the root of his success. Digging is often associated with hard work. People today tend to seek the easiest path. In doing so, they often miss a good lesson.
“If you want to be better at something, What do you do, practice? You might answer, practice. But practice is only part of it. To be a success, we need to go beyond practice. We need to grow and change. Think about our purpose in life. The purpose is helping others better their lives. As you help others, you help yourself.”
What I found interesting about his answer is that it doesn’t have anything to do with his business. He knows helping others better their lives is a very challenging feat because people naturally want to do things on their own and often dislike being told what they “could” be doing better.
“People want to discover things on their own.”
As humans, we tend to block or filter out criticism. In doing so, we unknowingly take the position that we know what’s best, not anyone else. Who are they to judge or impose their wisdom and experiences on us?
The sin of pride comes to mind, pride as a sin—indeed, the “original sin” that generates every other. C.S. Lewis calls pride “the essential vice, the utmost evil.”
“People need to be able to embrace criticism. If not, they might want to work on overcoming that obstacle. They will lack what it takes to grow, it will always hold them back.”
I smiled and thought to myself, he truly gets it. Many people miss the importance of listening to others. They’re often too busy running their mouths, they miss what was said. It’s at that very moment they refuse to grow.
He explained, “If you go into situations thinking you know more than someone else, you’ll miss out on everything there is to gain, good or bad. When you can break through that barrier, that is a success.”
Success is bettering yourself by helping others. Have you ever wondered how I became good at painting? Let’s call it what it is. I help myself become better at painting by helping others become better at painting. “The more I help others to succeed, the more I succeed.” Ray Kroc, McDonald’s
We can apply this simple rule to anything. This is how experts become experts.
Next, we talked about various perceptions of success. He had this to say, “If you think putting a roof over your head, feeding your family, having nice cars, and going on vacations is a success, you are aiming at the wrong target.”
“The things you can afford to purchase are the result of your success. Not the other way around.”