When One Wins, We All Win

Good morning! I hope your day is starting off just right.

Ever have one of those nights when you were so excited you just couldn’t get to sleep? That’s been the story of my life for the past couple of weeks. It’s been a common theme, and you would think after a while the thought train would just slow down and whatever was keeping me awake would begin to fade.

I guess if it was the same exact thing every night, that would be the case. But it’s a little different every night, and I finally figured out why. Ladies, relax – I’m not going “there.” Yes, this is about an active imagination, but one of a completely different kind. It’s about seeing not only the dreams, but the possibilities. It’s about visualizing the means of accomplishing those dreams.

And here’s the secret – it all comes from focusing on somebody else. It comes from listening to a friend share a thought, concern, problem, or dream, and then taking an active interest in helping them come up with solutions. Because, in doing that, you inadvertently stumble upon some of the answers to your own challenges.

We’ve talked before about this concept of success through helping others succeed. When you take a vested interest in somebody else’s dreams, their dreams become your own. Not in the sense that you want the same things for yourself, but the two of you share a common goal of seeing them succeed in their own quest. And you know what they say – two heads are better than one.

Employers like to encourage us to think outside the box. As a business analyst, I often ask people why they do things a certain way. Is that the only way to do it? Is there a legal or regulatory compliance issue in doing it differently? Or is that just the way it’s always been done? Quite often, the answer is hiding behind door #3.

We laugh at images of people walking into the same door over and over, each time hoping the door will magically open. It’s even funnier when there are two doors and the one they’re banging into is clearly marked “Out.” All they’d have to do is take two steps to the side and the other door would open on the first try.

It’s easy to get tunnel vision, especially when we’re so focused on a goal (like getting inside that door) that we can’t see the possibilities right next to us. Because we’re trained to do things a certain way. In fact, we hammer it into our kids’ heads – “There’s only one way to tie your shoes! Get creative, and you’ll just make a mess. Do it the way I showed you!”

So, it’s only natural that when a person is trying to work toward a goal, they tend to get stuck on a certain path. And the road to success is rarely a straight highway with no intersections. More often than not, we have to get off that highway and take some of the less traveled roads to get where we want to be. But unless we’ve been down those roads before, we may need a little help.

And here’s where it gets to be fun. When you’re trying to solve your own problems, your willingness to try something new is pretty slim. You want to stick to the tried and true method. You know, the one that got you exactly where you are. But when you’re helping somebody else solve their problems, you can step back and view the landscape from a much higher level. You can see beyond the trees.

In helping somebody work toward their own goals, your brain is a little more willing to think outside the box and come up with ideas they’d have never thought of on their own. That gets them excited and, next thing you know, they’re thinking outside the box. And the two of you are coming up with solutions to problems you don’t even have. Today.

But you never know what you’ll run into down the road. And, believe me, the day will come when one of those ideas the two of you hammered out in a moment of desperation will be exactly what you need to overcome your own challenges. With every idea you come up with for somebody else, you come up with a few more for yourself. And that’s pretty exciting.

If you thought I was going to tell you how to fall asleep faster, I’m sorry. But hopefully, you’ll sleep a little better knowing you helped a friend, and you’ll wake up more energized knowing exactly what you need to do next. And it all comes from taking an active interest in somebody else and helping them achieve their own dreams.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

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