“Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” –Desmond Tutu
What Do You Want To Be Known For?
Lift others up. Treat people with respect. Be positive. Be true to your values. Do your best. Do things that bring you in contact with your passions. Take care of yourself, your family, and your friends. Be the person that makes others feel special. Be known for your kindness and honesty.
This is how you gain admiration and fame for being a good person…
1. Care about people.
People don’t care about how much you know, until they know how much you care.
The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion, compassion, humor, generosity, and kindness, and using these tools to improve the lives of those around you.
Smile, and help others smile too. If you don’t have the power or strength to write someone’s happiness, then try to help them remove their sadness instead. And don’t let the numbers overwhelm you. You can’t help everyone at once. Focus on assisting one person at a time, and always start with the person closest to you.
If you can lie down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone’s day just a little better, you’re doing it right.
2. Help people help themselves.
Whenever possible help people by teaching them to help themselves. Put the tools in their hands, show them how to use them, step back, and be there whenthey trip. Love them when they fall. Repeat.
It’s one thing to take the initiative with people you already know, but what about all the people around you whom you barely know?
Be friendly and introduce yourself to someone nearby. When you’re connecting with someone new always start with generosity. Focus on how you can help the other person. Do you have information that could benefit them? Do you have a skill that could assist them through their current situation? Do you know someone who they should meet?
One of the best investments you can make in yourself is to take a genuine interest in other people. The more you help others, the more they will want to help you. Love and kindness begets love and kindness. (Read The Mastery of Love.)
3. Live by the truth.
The most important thing you can do for others is to live by your truth and be who you truly are. If you trade in your reality for a role, you are doing everyone a disservice. When you put on a mask, and trade in your sense for an act, you give up your ability to truly connect with others. The bottom line is that there can’t be any deep connection between you and anyone else until there’s a deep connection within, to your truth. All of life’s goodness transpires on the inside first.
Once you are true on the inside, reflect it on the outside. Be honest and do what you know is right.
4. Let your passions ignite your ability to thrive and inspire others.
When you stop doing things you are passionate about, you stop living and you start merely existing. The same way your body responds to food, your heart, mind and spirit need nourishment too. You are able to get that nourishment when you indulge in your passions. Because when you truly lose yourself in something you love, you will eventually find yourself there too.
If you truly want to attract the right attention, you must devote your time and energy to what calls to your soul. When you do, you will find your life unimaginably enriched and attractive to those with like minds. (Marc and I discuss this in more detail in the “Passion and Goals” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
5. Be a force for positivity and encouragement.
Elevate your inside game. A negative attitude is below your horizon…
Our way of thinking creates good or bad outcomes. It makes a big difference in your life and the lives around you when you stay positive. So be fanatically positive and militantly optimistic. If something is not to your liking, change your liking and carry on with smile. Always turn a negative situation into a positive lesson and move forward.
Encourage the best possible results with your thoughts and words. And teach this philosophy to those around you too.
6. Over-deliver on your promises to yourself and others.
Make a real difference in the world by pushing boundaries. Test, prod, and poke until something positive gives. You can do this by saying “yes” to more than just what you’re comfortable with. Learn to stretch yourself. You might be surprised by what you’re actually capable of. Your confidence and understanding will grow, too, and you will end up giving yourself and the world more than anyone bargained for.
And when others are involved, under-promise and over-deliver on everything you do. Supply far more than what’s required. Period.
7. Have the guts to communicate clearly, from the heart.
Communication is what connects us. Start communicating clearly. Don’t try to read other people’s minds, and don’t make other people try to read yours. Speak up so people can understand you. Most people have a very low tolerance for dealing with people they can’t understand. Mystery does not fuel strong relationships and likeability.
And before you say something, always check in with yourself for a second to see if it’s really what you believe. The time you take to develop this awareness, the more comfortable you will be with communicating your truth to others. You probably think you do this, but do you really listen to yourself? The difference between someone who makes an impact and someone who misses the mark rests in their passion for the truth. You can’t say what you want to say because it’s easier. You have to communicate honestly, straight from your heart… and that takes guts.
8. Express your sincere appreciation to those who have earned it.
No matter how sure you are of someone’s appreciation and admiration, it’s always nice to be reminded of it. So if you appreciate someone today, tell them.
Just because they are reliable and there when you need them, doesn’t mean you should fail to give thanks and appreciation on a regular basis. To value someone too lightly is to risk missing the depth of their goodness before they’re gone. (Read The Last Lecture.)
9. Apologize when you know you should.
Take personal responsibility for your wrong doings. If you know, for instance, that your actions or words have hurt someone, you must immediately admit your faults and face the reality of your actions.
An apology is the super glue of lasting relationships. It can repair just about anything. Never ruin a relationship or your reputation with an excuse, instead of simply apologizing.
10. Take care of the one in the mirror.
If you want to be known for awakening happiness in the world around you, start by living a life that makes you happy, and then radiate your happiness outward. If you want to be known for eliminating suffering in the world, start by eliminating the dark and negative parts of yourself, and then radiate your positivity outward.
Truly, the greatest power you have in this world is the power of your own self-transformation. It starts with the one in the mirror. Be the very best version of YOU, and the right people will be drawn to you.
Ambition, intention and disciplined effort will bring you great things in this world, but there is more to success than acquiring the commonly celebrated milestones of success that society confers. In the long run, it’s less about achieving things and more about doing the right things, for yourself and others. It’s about being a genuinely good person.