Invest In Others and Win In Life!
Several years ago, I began following and reading famed author and leadership guru, Dr. John C. Maxwell. I’ve learned a lot from his books, classes, and lectures. He teaches the laws and principles on human dynamics and influence. This topic always fascinates me, because I discovered early in my life that relationships matter and that if I wanted to become successful, then I would need the help of others.
In his book, Winning with People, Dr. Maxwell outlines several principles in managing and growing healthy relationships that matter. One such principle is the “Boomerang Principle”.
The principle states, “When we help others, we help ourselves.” Or, as Andrew Carnegie put it, “No man becomes rich unless he enriches others.” It’s almost counter-intuitive to our survival instincts, that we must first help others in order to help ourselves; however, that’s the power of the boomerang principle. Like laws of physics demands that a boomerang returns to us after we toss it, human dynamics demands that the investment we make in people must return to us as well.
Have you ever thought of your relationships as investments? Just like we invest in our finances and assets, like our homes, our greatest assets are the relationships we form and nurture. If we neglect our homes, eventually we will pay the price with a leaky roof or drafty windows. Like our homes, relationships must be managed. We must repair them, nurture them, and grow them if we seek long-term success and happiness.
As I began to study and grow healthy relationships myself, I discovered the 10:1 ratio in building relationships. The idea behind this ratio is that we must be comfortable adding value to others way more than we expect in return. We must be willing to do ten times more for others than they do for us, thus the 10:1 ratio. The problem with most of us; however, is that we tend to keep score. We keep track of what we do for others and when they don’t return the favor and serve us, like we serve them, we become frustrated. Why?
If I’ve learned one thing in my life to this point, it’s that people will eventually disappoint me. People fall short of my expectations, because people are flawed by nature. My deeds and service to others will go unnoticed and under-appreciated. My acts of kindness will be met with bitterness and a spirit of ungratefulness. There was a time in my life that I kept score, and people irritated me, but I let bitterness go several years ago and replaced it with grace. Why? Because, I’m flawed and I let others down and fail to meet their expectations as well. Human dynamics is one vicious cycle of failed expectations and conflict. I chose not to participate and allowed grace in my heart.
Showing grace is not easy and a constant struggle, but a struggle that is worth the effort and the investment. I try to give grace abundantly to everyone I encounter. I may never see the results or experience anything in return, but I’m convinced that grace is the ultimate investment into humankind. When service and grace becomes the rule and not the exception, then the world truly can be a better place.
What relationships can you invest into today?