Whatever you’re trying to achieve, you shouldn’t see yourself as the focus of that activity. At first, it’s never about you.
If you want to make money, the focus should be on those who are going to give you the money. If you want to live a better life, the focus should be on those who are going to help you live a better life. If you want to be a great leader, the focus should be on those who are going to follow you.
If you look at it in a simpler manner, it means that the result of what you do is never for yourself. Life is weird like that. But the result of that result will be yours.
The same idea can be applied to anything. For example, let’s say you’re having a conversation with a friend who needs advice for his problems. If you focus on yourself, you will always try to find the right solution, make sure your friend gets to hear that solution, and (probably) you want to make sure that your solution is properly implemented. If you focus on your friend, you may find out that maybe your friend has already found a solution and maybe they only need to be heard.
Life is never about you and when you make it about you, everything that’s good about life will vanish and change into loneliness, sadness, and frustrations. Don’t make life about you. Instead, make life about others so you can thrive as a result of their growth.
It may make no sense, and I agree with it. But not everything in this world is supposed to make sense because not everything is rational. It’s not (yet) a world of robots.
Start by deciding what you want
Even though at first it’s never about you, it’s always important to know what you want.
Therefore, set yourself the things that you want to achieve in life. Maybe you want to make money. Maybe you want to write and publish a book. Maybe you want to run a marathon. Maybe you want to have your paints exposed in a museum.
Whatever you want to do, make sure it’s crystal clear to you.
Wanting something out of your life is absolutely normal. We all have both needs and wants.
If what you want doesn’t hurt other people, your want is more than acceptable. Therefore, start by deciding what you want.
Find those who can help you get what you want
Right after you know what you want, find people who can help you get that.
Let’s say you want to run a marathon. In such a case, you’ll need to find someone who has run a marathon before or maybe a running coach to help you train better for a marathon. More than the training itself, you need to understand what does it mean to run a marathon – for how long you have to run, what’s the roadmap, and so on.
Let’s say you want to write and publish a book. In such a case, you’ll need to decide if you want to make money by selling the book and how much money. Then find someone who’s published a book (or more) in the same niche you want to publish it and understand how well it can be monetized.
When you find those who can help you get what you want, don’t ask for their help right away, but ask them questions that will make them understand you want to learn from them.
Instead of saying ‘Can you help me have this book published so I can make money?’, be interested in their work and ask questions about their work.
It means you’ll have to read their books and craft some questions that will help them share more information about how they wrote, published, and monetized the book.
Start with questions about how they got the idea about the book, how much it took them to write the book, and if they have any specific method for writing or productivity. Ask them who helped them to publish the book and about the costs involved. And so on.
But while you do this, make sure you help them.
Find ways to help them get what they want
If you keep asking questions, eventually they’ll get tired of answering.
Instead, you have to focus on creating a relationship.
For example, when you’re asking them if they are going to write another book in the near future, ask them if you can help with the research, with the design of the cover, or with anything that you know you can do. Use your skills. If they say ‘NO’, ask if there’s a way you can get involved.
If they keep refusing you, then move on and try to find someone else who may be willing to let you get involved.
Ask for help
Let’s say you managed to get yourself involved and you helped someone with their book.
For a few months to maybe a year, you volunteered and you did your best to help them with whatever they needed.
Now it’s your turn to ask for help.
You can say something like ‘In the last few months, I used what I learned here and started working on my book. It’s almost finished and I would really appreciate you having a look and giving some feedback.’
In most cases, this is an effective approach and you’ll get to work with people who are doing the things that you want to do.
You won’t pay a dime but you’ll have to allocate a lot of time. Also, work for them as hard as you would work for yourself.
With love and optimism,