You know that success builds confidence. Teach your kids to be successful multiple times a day. They’ll reward you by being some of the best people you know.
All about focus
Think about some of the least happy people you know. Where is their attention focused? More often than not, it’s on themselves.
My experience has been that when I’m unhappy it’s because I’m focused internally, on myself. When I’m happiest is when my focus is on others, external.
Ralph Waldo Emerson put it this way:
“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man [or woman, or child] can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”
Confucious offers a similar insight:
“A man of humanity is one who, in seeking to establish himself, finds a foothold for others and who, desiring attainment for himself, helps other to attain.”
In his book, The Go-Giver, Bob Burg says that our value is directly related to the number of people we serve.
All of these messages are saying the same thing…be externally focused. In other words, focus your attention on serving others.
Years ago I set a daily goal of leaving everyone I meet better off than before we met…even if that’s simply giving the person a reason to smile.
I’m not going to suggest that I bat a thousand, but I’m close. That means that I’m successful multiple times a day, everyday. Each success bolsters my belief that I can accomplish anything I set out to do.
In addition to the boost to my confidence, I receive an amazing array of additional rewards. People whose lives I’ve touched favorably regularly:
- Introduce me to people who can help me achieve my goal.
- Encourage me with their belief that I can achieve anything I desire.
- Help me weather the inevitable doubts that plague us all.
- Offer insights to help me succeed at whatever I’ve chosen to do.
…all without me having to ask!
That’s a lot of benefit from simply leaving others feeling better than when you first met.
There is one thing that will completely destroy all that you hoped to accomplish and cause you to relinquish the additional benefits listed above. That is making the rewards your goal.
The rewards are the byproduct of a generous nature…not the goal. We all have a sixth sense that let’s us know when someone is doing something with the expectation of getting something in return. And we resent these expectations.
Conversely, when someone does something nice for us…without any expectation of getting something in return…we can’t wait to return the favor. Social psychologists call this “the law of reciprocity.” They cite examples of kindnesses being repaid as much as 50 years later. That’s gives you a sense for how long our memories are when someone is kind to us…we simply don’t forget.
For Our Kids
The best way to teach your kids is always by example. When they see you consistently looking out for the welfare of others…without expecting anything in return…they’ll mimic your behavior. You’ll not only be proud of them, you’ll be happy for the success and joy they experience. Is there any greater gift that you can give your child?