We live in an interesting time. Our lives are becoming increasingly public, our attitudes more entitled, and our language more exaggerated.
You can’t spend more than two seconds on the web (and sometimes in person) without someone talking about getting their LIFE or being dead from something someone else said or did. And someone is always saying or doing something positively “fabulous.”
Amid a sea of selfies, colorful language, and faux fabulous, well-documented lives, one thing gets lost—what we can do for others.
When I interviewed self-made millionaire Daymond John a few months ago for JET, he told me there was ONE question every entrepreneur should always ask:
How can I serve you?
Since our chat, that phrase has resonated with me on many levels.
It’s a question I always ask myself before putting fingers to keyboard for this blog or sharing information for my writing course, but it’s also a question I’ve begun to ponder when dealing with those in my personal life.
How can I serve you?
I’ll admit, I haven’t posed this exact question to others, but I make a conscious effort to approach each relationship with the other person in mind.
How can I help make their life better, easier, happier, or more productive?
How can I leave them in better shape than I found them?
How can my gifts and talents be used to help them better use their own?
Asking how we can better serve others can sometimes feel very foreign and counter to our achieving our own goals.
After all, we live in the era of “getting mine” and grinding toward our own aims, while leaving others to fend for themselves.
But shifting the question from “what can you do for me?” to “what can I do for you?” will not only make you a more caring and companionate human being, but it will also help you achieve your goals as well.
As I’ve mentioned several times before, successful people have allies. There are few people who can say that they made it from the bottom all on their own. Along the way they had parents, teachers, friends, coworkers, mentors, and perhaps even customers who helped them get to the top.
Because folks are generally not in the business of helping assholes rise through the ranks, in order to make it you need to be humble, a hard worker, and a giver.
And giving starts with a single question: How can I serve you?
When was the last time you asked someone this and really meant it? Or when was the last time you approached every single person you met with that question in mind?
From now on, I challenge you to try it and pay attention to how much you end up getting because you decided to give to others first.