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Zig Ziglar, the motivational speaker, had a great saying. It is, “You can get anything you want as long as you help others get what they want.”

What this means is that for you to be rewarded, you need to focus on others and not yourself. Too often I see people only focus on what they need and then forget about others.

For me, it’s win/win or don’t play.

This has been one of my mantra’s for years. The world of I win and you lose or I lose and you win just makes little sense to me. When I find myself in this position, I always end up resenting the other person, even if I’m the one who’s winning.

Unfortunately, our national conversation has come to the place where we have teams and for our team to win we believe the other side has to lose. This is a long-term recipe for disaster. If we continue to act this way, we end up having a civil war.

Instead, I hope you spend your time focusing on what we have in common and not what our differences are. You just might find that you have way more in common with others than you ever thought. It just depends where you put your focus.

It’s satisfying for me to focus on you.

When I focus on what you need, I’m helping you. When I do this, I get a ton of satisfaction. When we’re able to think about what others need, we find that it’s easy for us to be in service to others.

If you mange other people, do you try to make their job easier? When you buy something, do you try to make the salesperson’s job easier? When you do these things, life gets better for you at the same time.

Understand the rule of reciprocity.

When you focus on others, there is a very strong urge for the person you’re helping to return the favor. I call this the rule of reciprocity.

I don’t recommend that you always expect a favor in return. I recommend that you look to help others and not expect anything in return. When you do this, you’re being authentic. When you help and expect a return favor, I might see you as manipulative. I doubt that’s how you want others to see you.

Don’t forget yourself.

While I always recommend that you provide help for others with no expectation of return help, you have to be aware of yourself. I find there are those who help and help and help and never get anything back. Those people have put themselves into a cycle of lose/win. They continually lose while others win.

If this sounds like you, I bet you’re frustrated and resent those you’re helping. If nothing ever comes back, it likely is time to disengage. Not because those people are necessarily bad, but because being a doormat for others never works out well.

Remember that it’s about win/win and the only way this works is if you get something out the help that you’re providing.

I love Steve Farber’s statement on this topic.

Steve has a saying, “Love what you do in the service of others who love what you do.” This is one of the best one-sentence descriptions of why you want to be in the service others I’ve seen. When you love what you do, providing that thing for others is easy. It also gets old, if the person you’re providing the service for doesn’t appreciate it.

In fact, I would say that if what you’re providing isn’t appreciated, you’ve put yourself into a position of lose/win. The person you’re working with might take what you do, but they don't return the love. You want that return. It makes you want to do more. Without it, it’s too easy to turn love to resentment to hate.

How would your life be different if you lived Steve’s statement? Why don’t you let me know in the comments below?

Topics: wisdom, sharing wisdom, wise decisions, be a mentor

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