The #1 trait to be happy and successful
by Kevin D. Crone
Recently I got an email from a young professional asking me to mentor him on our marketplace and how he could serve it. Serve! I pressed reply and asked him to elaborate on ‘serve’. Although I liked it, it seemed to be an unusual concept in our world today. He said he concluded that to be effective and happy he had to serve others because it gave him peace and professional satisfaction. I suspect, as a professional, it gave him income as well.
It sounds like he really means it. I don’t think he means I can get a lot of money if I tell people I am about being of service to others. On the contrary, he explained that in order to serve you need to have a kind of internal conversation going on regarding being grateful and being about something bigger than yourself instead of always trying to receive instant gratification or being about resentment or competition.
I recall Dale Carnegie suggesting if you want to control worry, stress and uncertainty and to cultivate an attitude of peace and happiness try being of service to others. He meant that you would forget about yourself and your troubles and get in the right attitude, possibly more in the moment so you could stay focused and productive.
I also recall how Jeff Bezos (the richest man in the world), recently said the number one reason why Amazon is so successful is because they are so committed to making life better for their customers. It is a long-term strategy that has caused all their innovation and ever-growing success. He says most corporations are only interested in their short-term financial results.
So, being productive, happy, less worried, more innovative can be achieved by being about service to others. Being successful in business can result from this principle as well. Well, what news is this you could be thinking! Success and happiness in business, family, friends, community is a little complicated. We get confused and lost at times.
We can make it less complicated by realizing that, every now and then, we can get caught up in ourselves and our pursuit of success and forget about others. We can become self absorbed, and, at times, arrogant and think we can succeed without others. Now, if that is normal and happens to everyone then the truth is few people are thinking about us. They are thinking of themselves. Talking about what we want is futile. So, if you and I want to be of more value to the marketplace and we are measured by that, we need to become more genuinely interested in others. We need to find out what people want, talk about their interest and help them get there.
Yes, be of service to others.
It may sound a little corny in the corporate world but let’s not forget that you are paid in direct proportion to how you serve regardless of your motives. I see many retired people choosing to help others as a way to build purpose and meaning in their life. They see it as the highest form of satisfaction for themselves and, as Maslow once taught, … It is.
You have to pay your bills and run around taking care of the details of life, but operating in the context of service can change everything for you. Catch yourself this week seeing how much of your time is in the service of others.
Have a very good week.
Kevin D. Crone
Dale Carnegie Business Group
905.826.7300 / 1.800.361.2032