This tweet contains advice from two more points in The Optimist Creed. Point 6 says, “Be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.” Point 3 says, “Make all your friends feel that there is something in them.”
Let’s talk about Point 6 first…
All teachers know that the best way to really master a subject is to learn to teach it. I learned this firsthand when I was teaching in the Business School at Northeastern University while I was completing my dissertation at Harvard. To be an effective teacher, you have to have complete mastery of your subject. You need to be able to present it in a number of different ways so that people with different ways of thinking will be able to grasp the ideas you are presenting.
I have found that this is true for self-confidence as well. The more you help others develop their self-confidence, the more yours will grow. This is true for me. As I’ve worked with my career success coach clients, I have seen them grow, develop and flourish. I am really happy when my clients put my career advice to use and succeed. As they grow and flourish, my self-confidence also grows.
In a previous post I mentioned my bestselling book, Straight Talk for Success. I got the confidence to write this book from watching my coaching clients succeed. As I watched them put to work my career advice, I came to believe that I was really on to something and that I should share my thoughts with a broader audience.
In other words, by being “enthusiastic about the success of others”, I became more self-confident and enthusiastic about the chances of success of my books – that’s why I wrote Success Tweets as a follow on to Straight Talk.
It’s karmic. I’ve put out some positive energy – both my career advice and my enthusiasm for other people’s success. And I’ve seen my career success coach clients benefit from this energy. As a result, I have benefited by being able to gather my thoughts, publish them and help more people create the life and career success they want and deserve.
Now let’s talk about Point 3 of The Optimist Creed…
Everybody likes to feel special. Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, said it really well. “Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, ‘Make me feel important.’ Never forget this message when working with people.” She’s right. That’s the main message here.
I’d like to take it one step further. I suggest that you promise yourself to make all the people you meet – not just your friends – feel that there is something special in them. When you do this, two things will happen: 1) You’ll make their day; 2) You’ll feel better about yourself. And, feeling good about yourself is an important part of self-confidence.
Let me tell you a story. A couple of years ago, I was in New York to facilitate a meeting at a client’s office. The meeting was scheduled to begin at 7:30. I always like to turn up early for meetings I am facilitating.
I arrived at the client’s office about 6:50. Since 9/11, they have a security card system. Because I do a lot of work for them, I have a contractor security card. When I swiped the card on Tuesday, I was denied access. The Security Guard on duty looked at my card and told me that I have limited access – 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. – to the building and that I would have to wait 10 minutes.
I didn’t know this. I’m usually not there that early. It was winter. I was cold. I was tired. I had arrived at my hotel at 12:30 a.m. the previous night. I tried to convince the guard to let me in to the building. He was unyielding (as he should have been). I expressed my frustration at this “silly rule,” and went to the coffee shop next door to wait until 7:00.
When I came back at 7:02, I apologized to the Security Guard. He was genuinely surprised. He said that similar situations happen a couple of times a week, and a lot of people get really angry at being made to wait. He told me that I was actually quite pleasant for someone who was being denied access to the building.
And that’s the common sense point here. I apologized to the guard and told him that he was not only “just doing his job”, but that he was doing a good job. He was firm in upholding the company’s policy, but he did it in a professional, non-confrontational manner. This was some positive feedback for someone who is in a role where positive feedback isn’t all that common.
I could tell that he appreciated my comments. He felt a little better about himself because he did the right thing – and that someone who was frustrated by him doing the right thing recognized and appreciated the value of what he did. He began his day with a smile.
On the other hand, I felt better about myself because I chose to apologize for the little bit of grief I gave him, and I did something small to make his day just a little bit brighter.
Self-confident, optimistic people feel good enough about themselves to help others feel good about themselves. This is a powerful way to build relationships with others and to become a life and career success. Try it. Look for ways to help everybody you meet feel as if there is something special in them.
The common sense career success coach point here is simple. Self-confident, successful people aren’t threatened by, or envious of, the success of others. They follow the career advice in Tweet 58 in Success Tweets. “Be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own. Help all people recognize that they are special.” I am reminded of a quote from Jackie Robinson, the man who broke the color barrier in major league baseball, here. “I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… all I ask is that you respect me as a human being.” Being enthusiastic about others’ successes and helping others recognize that they are special are two great ways to respect them as human beings. No one of us can succeed on our own. We need the help and support of others. The best way to gain the help and support of others is to help and support others. Being enthusiastic – not envious – of others’ success is a good way to start.