Zig Ziglar famously said in his book, See you at the Top, “you can have anything in life you want, if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.” There is so much eternal truth in that one statement that I believe it deserves some study. If you really break the statement down to its basic element you are looking at humility. It is deceptively simple, yet dreadfully considered.
For some the idea of being humble comes easy. Maybe it’s because of how some were raised, or maybe it’s because of life’s circumstances. For others it may be the most difficult attitude to ever consider, not to mention embrace. The fact is though the fastest way to see success is through humility. What does that mean?
Consider how your words, actions, or attitude could be interpreted by someone else. This little nugget alone will reduce family, business, and social strife by 70%. I am amazed, as I get older, at how what is communicated can be so misunderstood from what was initially intended. Having a “healthy” self-awareness of how something can be interpreted will make you a better communicator, friend, and business professional. I say healthy because the other extreme is never saying what you want to say because of fear. Many times people mistake humility for fear. Humility is simply considering someone else interest before yourself. Fear is believing negative thoughts about yourself, others, or situations.
Consider how what you don’t know could effect your situation. When I first started in sales I was a door to door salesman that sold cookware. I had a lead up in the mountains of North Carolina one evening where I went to prepare a meal for a family, and few of their friends. This was back in the early 90’s and this particular set of cookware sold for $2500.00. A lot of money for cookware now, but extremely expensive then. Well when I got to the home I immediately became very discouraged. From what I saw when pulling into their drive, if they had $2500 it would probably need to be spent else where, and real quick. Well I reluctantly went into the home to cook a meal that cost me around $75 for people who I just knew couldn’t afford to pay for one pan, forget about the set. I hurried through the presentation, I started packing up the cookware, and almost was headed out the door when the man of the house stop me. He asked, “reckon how much would it take to buy that there set of pots and pans”? I politely answered, the whole set cost $2500, but we have a payment plan of $75 per mo. He then replied, “welp…. my young’n is get’n married oft next month and I think that’d be a nice wedd’n present. Hold right der’ and I’ll be right back”. He walked off to the back room, and came right back within 2 minutes. He handed me $5000 in cash rolled up in crisp hundred dollar bills. He then tells me, “I reckon it wouldn’t be right to buy one for my young’n without gett’n a set for the misses”. Needless to say I almost fainted! I wouldn’t in a million years ever thought that one, this person would have that kind of money to spend, nor two, this person would spend it on 7 ply, waterless, surgical stainless steel cookware.
Consider that your day to day life is more than sum total of what you can perceive. Without getting too preachy here remember, there is a larger story that we all are participating in. Sometimes in business, family, and life we can get so wrapped up into our day to day that we forget the bigger picture. There is more to life than just what you can obtain. There is more to business than what you can achieve. There is more to your family life than what your next vacation will be. The greatest reward we could ever hope to have in this life is pouring ourselves into purpose, a mission, call that is greater than our selves. I heard it once said that to truly find greatest, to truly find significance, to ultimately see your highest purpose you must leave your story, and become part of HIStory.
Make this an epic year. Don’t fear the unknown, but rather plan for it. Whether in finances, or business have yourself insured for what you don’t expect. Start charting a course now to where you think you need to go in the new year, but be humble enough to hedge against the unknown.