We live in a time where we’re kind of made to believe that everyone has an agenda. Everyone is out to get something. That all actions that a person takes is to further that particular agenda.
Is that really the case, though?
By watching the political pundits or just the evening news, you’d think that everyone is constantly writing their own future. They’re checking and rechecking their actions to see if it will yield what they’re looking to get.
For the most part, this makes sense.
You should have a plan for what you’re wanting to achieve.
However, there’s one thing that I’ve learned in the last few years that I think will benefit you guys greatly.
Don’t use people as tools to get where you want to get.
“Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor.” -Alexis Carell
Karma Is Real
I’m sure you’ve been in a place where you’ve realized the very fact that karma does indeed exist. What goes around does, in fact, come around. Even if it’s not exactly on the time frame that we’d want it to.
Just this past weekend, Maria had a drill weekend with her new National Guard unit. Due to her rank, she’s in charge of several people. One of her subordinates, who’s originally from the unit, is well, not one of the nicest guys.
He’s definitely the type that has his own plan and from what I can tell, uses others to get what he wants. Whether it’s through having them do stuff for him or tearing them down, he uses other people as tools.
Well, to make a long story short, Maria knows that he has a grudge against her because when she was promoted from her old unit, she ended up taking the spot that he thought he was going to get. So he tries to make her look bad regularly.
This weekend, she came to learn that she was going to have to take her physical training (PT) exam again because somehow she had low scores from her last assessment – technically meaning that she failed her last one.
Guess who was in charge of the assessment? That’s right, her subordinate.
And, guess who eagerly jumped at the opportunity to lead the PT exams this past weekend?
Yup, again, her soldier.
Luckily for her, she didn’t need to retest this weekend. She’ll have another go soon. No problem.
And as far her soldier, there was a promotion ceremony this weekend as well. And another soldier who had the same rank as Maria’s actually was promoted to the next position instead of her soldier. He really believed that he was going to get it.
As reality was setting in, Maria said you could just see him getting redder and redder while they were in formation.
Karma is real.
Scarcity vs Abundance
So why was it that Maria and her soldier are in the different positions that they find themselves?
Sure, both of them have to take classes to be eligible to be promoted. Which means they both have to plan and sacrifice to take those classes. So they’re both putting in the work to get it done.
But the difference is Maria approaches the situation with a perception of abundance, while her soldier approached the situation with a scarcity viewpoint.
Sure, there’s only so many positions available, so technically you could see it as a competition. But, because she works her own tail off to get in those places without tearing down other people, that’s why she made the position before he did.
She got the position by adding value to her previous unit, not by asking “how can I use others to get what I want?”.
In other words, even though it’s easier to knock down others in attempt to get what you want, the real winners are those that build themselves up.
Put in the extra work.
That crap doesn’t fly in the military.
I know, first hand, it doesn’t work too well in academia. And it certainly doesn’t fly for long in the entrepreneurial world.
I’ve gotten so many more good relationships through building New Inceptions than anything I’ve done in the past because I’ve used it as a springboard to help other people.
Whether it’s their first podcast that they’ve ever been a guest for, or it’s the first time they’ve ever been a host, helping people and not expecting anything in return has been very rewarding in getting to where I am currently.
The next time you’re forced to make a decision about doing the hard work, going out of your way to help someone, or doing the easy thing and undermining someone else, remember this.
Society makes it seem like the only way someone can get ahead is by using others as tools to get to where you want to go. Especially if you’re a sports fan. There’s always going to be a loser.
The truth is, though, is that there’s enough to go around for everyone. The more you help other people, the more you automatically get in return.
Heck, you might even go on an adventure in the process!!
Here’s more from Rory Sutherland on how a change of perspective can change other aspects of your life – including happiness.