I blog about The Golden Rule a lot – and with good reason; it’s really important! Most people have a fairly good idea about what The Golden Rule is – “treat others as you wish to be treated” or “be nice to people on the way up because you might meet them on the way down” are both fairly commonly quoted versions. However, The Golden Rule has been around for thousands of years in one form or another and it forms a core teaching in most of the major religions in the world; so it has a place in success without any doubt.
Success is not a solitary activity
There are many reasons that The Golden Rule is important. You can’t achieve any form of success without the help of others along the way. Success is a team sport! In your journey to success, you are going to meet people who need your help and people who can help you. At its most simple level, The Golden Rule will help you because maintaining good relationships will mean that people are more likely to help you along the way!
Now I’ll happily acknowledge that this sounds a little crass and self-serving! “Help others because otherwise, they might not help you” isn’t the noblest objective ever – but human nature means that it’s also true! However, there are more deep and meaningful reasons to pay attention to The Golden Rule.
Are you filling your bucket?
Another reason to follow The Golden Rule can be summed up by looking at Tom Rath’s book How Full Is Your Bucket? In the book, Tom Rath points out that when we do good things for other people, there is not only a benefit for the person we helped. There is also a psychological benefit to us – in other words helping other people makes us feel better. We all know this; there are benefits to volunteering in the community, coaching Little League, mentoring young people and much more besides. As we live in more and more complex communities where our basic needs are met, it is these higher-level activities that provide our sense of accomplishment and well-being. Feeling positive about ourselves significantly increases the amount of success that we will enjoy!
Helping others will also encourage you to focus on your success by allowing you to develop clearer thinking and greater perspective on the challenges that you are facing and may help you find new ways to resolve them. In addition to this, new friendships can grow out of helping others and in this modern world we can all use additional friends.
Golden rule as habit
All this should, I hope, convince you that The Golden Rule is important to your success. However, the second commandment says “Make the golden rule part of your everyday life.” This is really important. Successful people don’t just pay attention to The Golden Rule when they want something. They make practicing The Golden Rule a part of their everyday life and something that becomes a habit. This is vital to your success. You need to focus on helping others and making others successful as the first step in your own success. This will unlock doors for you and allow you to gain experience and information that you otherwise could never get.