Who will cry when you die?
It’s a thought that is at once scary and enlightening.
We go through life looking out for numero uno, rat racing, making as much money as we can, and sometimes stepping on others to get there, but you just can’t escape the fact that no matter how much wealth or possession you amass, you can’t take it with you. Does success come at the expense of others or does caring for others bring success? I think it’s the latter.
You may have heard it all before from people like Oprah or Deepak Chopra, on the power of gratitude and reveled in their insight if you attended on of their seminars but once the excitement wears off we find that we think critically and usually get to “it’s so easy for them to be happy and enlightened with their money. The question which is hard to answer is which came first, the success or the money? Success is not always money. Gandhi could have told you that if he were still around. Success is the people around you who believe in you and they all deserve your gratitude.
It can sometimes be difficult to slow down long enough to think what or who you should be grateful for. Is it truly possible to make it to the top in today’s “Thank you economy” without help? A celebrity has her agents and distributors to thank but we all know that without fans, there is no celebrity. We celebrate people who thank the little people who helped get them there. Lady Gaga, with all her fame and fortune knows it (Little Monsters, House of Gaga), the Misfits knew it (Fiend Club), captains of industry who give back by mentoring know it. They don’t have to thank the world, in fact even infamy could also make them known the world over, but who will cry when they die?
I stopped to think of all the people who have helped me and continue to do so. There are so many that it’s impossible to list them all, and it humbles me to the point that there is no gesture big enough to thank them all that could ever do them justice. The best I can do is be the best person I could be to them. Helping others does take time out of your busy schedule but it’s worth it. I could easily bury myself in work for each waking hour of the day and still never be done, but when a friend needs me I do my best to be there for them. The rewards of being a genuine, helpful friend totally outweigh the cost it presents to your time. When you are sick or need a leg up, they will be there for you and that’s priceless.
I’ve been reading Robin Sharma’s book that shares the title of this post. I’ve seen him talk before and I like how he relates all his sort of hippy advice to entrepreneurship, so it resonates with me. One would think from the title that it’s about how to be more awesome, as most self-help books tend to be, but if you read it (and it’s a very easy read with 1.5 page chapters) you will notice that most of his advice is about taking care of yourself so you can take care of others. Seems to be the contrary of what I ranted about at the start of this post, but the difference is the reasons behind looking out for oneself. You only have one life to live and once it’s over, it’s over. Will you be forgotten or will you leave a legacy? It’s up to you.
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