Get What You Want by Helping Others Get All They Wanted, Part 1 of 4
Your goal in life is to be a big success, to accomplish wonderful things as you grow stronger and better with each passing day and week, and ultimately to fulfill your full potential as a person in everything you do.
The good news is that there has never been a better time in all of human history for you to accomplish your goals and achieve great success than today, here, right now, wherever you live and whatever you are doing.
We are entering into what many economists are calling the “Golden Age” of human history, a period of peace and prosperity that has been dreamed of through all the ages of man. And you are in the forefront. You are perfectly positioned to maximize your potential and get everything that it is possible to get out of the unlimited opportunities that are now opening up all around you.
The key to great success is, and always has been, contained in the principle of “leverage.” It is your ability to leverage your talents and skills like a multiplication sign through other people that enables you to accomplish extraordinary things in a short period of time.
Men and women who accomplish a lot have learned how to leverage themselves in a variety of different ways and in a variety of different directions. And there is no place where leverage is more important than your ability to influence others in such a way that they help you to get the things they want while at the same time they are helping themselves to get the things they want.
One of the great laws of life is the “Law of Reciprocity.” This law says that people always try to pay you back for anything that you do, either to or for them. In a positive sense, it means that whenever you do something nice for another person, you create within that other person a sense of obligation. Since no one likes to be under an obligation to another, the people will do everything possible to free themselves from this sense of obligation by paying you back, usually by giving you far more than you contributed originally.
For example, I bought a new car about five years ago. At the end of the transaction, the sales manager instructed one of his staff to take me and the car to a nearby gas station and fill the tank. In all my years of purchasing cars, new and used, I have never had a person fill the gas tank for me at the end of the transaction.
Two years later, I went back to that same dealership and the same sales manager and bought another brand new car for my wife. I wanted to reciprocate. A $20 tank of gas led to a $45,000 purchase.
And this is the one of the great discoveries with regard to the Law of Reciprocation. The repayment when you do something nice for another person can be out of all proportion to the size of the effort or expense that you put in.
One of the great success principles, practiced by all highly influential men and women, is this: “The more you give of yourself without expectation of return, the more you will get back from the most unexpected sources.”
Throughout all the ages of man, this has been referred to as the Law of Sowing and Reaping, the Law of Cause and Effect, or even the Law of Action and Reaction. It says that whatever you put in, you will get out. It also says that you can put in a little seed and you will often get back an entire crop. The most intelligent men and women in our society are always looking for opportunities to contribute to others, knowing that they are sowing the seeds that they will reap in the form of power, influence and a desire on the part of others to cooperate and assist them at a later time.
On the other hand, the people who seem to go nowhere in their lives and their careers are always those who are trying to get something out before they put something in. As the song goes, “They put in a nickel and they want a dollar song.”
But this is not for you. Your job is to maximize yourself and your potential throughout your life, and this requires the intelligent, deliberate cultivation of people at all levels, doing things for them so that they will be predisposed to reciprocate, to do things for you when you need and want their help.
Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “Leadership is the ability to get people to do the tasks that you want them to do, and think of it as their own idea.”
The very best leaders are those who gently nudge people in the direction of doing what needs to be done. Since Americans especially do not want to be taught, told or talked down to, the very best leaders today are those who become experts at the gentle art of persuasion. Even though they could give orders and tell people what to do, they know that it is far more effective to approach the subject in such a way that the person feels that it is his or her idea.
Watch out for next time when I will explain a critical part of power and influence, and much more!
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