When I was growing up my mom would often ask me in a manner that sounded like anything was possible, Robbie, who are you going to be when you grow up? My parents made me believe anything was possible. I had goals that changed all through my life including after college, and after graduate school too!
Back in my first year in college I remember having a life changing experience. I was required to do a personality typology test which revealed to me that I was an introvert. I didn’t even know introversion existed! Oh the relief I found and still find in my introversion. You see for the 20+ years prior I lived in a family of extroverts and I had believed I must be one too. When I realized there were introverts in the world and I wasn’t an oddball it freed me up to be me!
Peter Daniels talks about this phenomenon in his book, “How to reach your life goals.” We must dig deeper to find out who we are and what OUR goals are because we are programmed to perform to others expectations. Daniels says we must ask ourselves the question, Where do my desires really come from (p.18)?
So where do our goals and aspirations come from? Who do you feel called to be? Set aside those visions others have provided for you, or the ones you have erected like I did. Who do you want to be when you grow up? Almost anything is possible!
Doesn’t it feel like everything is changing in our world today! I was raised in and live in a home with the Golden Rule as a central theme: Treat others as you’d like to be treated.
Often it feels like the golden rule isn’t so golden anymore. You’ve got to watch out for number one. If you don’t watch out for yourself who will, right?
An interesting book called Give and Take by Adam Grant is shedding some research light on the old topic of the Golden Rule. Oh, he doesn’t call it the golden rule, but that is what I am calling it!
In his research he looks at three types of people..
- The giver – a person who really cares more about the folks around him/her more than them self. A golden rule believer.
- The taker- a person who believes that the golden is out dated and makes sure their interests are the top priority.
- The matcher- a person who acts mostly on quid-pro-qua. The matcher will treat you nice if you treat them nice. They keep a mental accounting of who owes them or who they owe.
Well at first it looks like the givers are the losers and the takers and the matchers get the better jobs, make more money, have more friends and get things done more successfully.
Yes, in the short term the givers look like losers, but in the long term givers are documented to be the big winners. They spent the upfront time helping others instead of positioning them self. Later, givers have this bank of goodwill that everyone values and when they need a team or a hand up to accomplish a goal everyone wants to work with them! Watch out though, some takers disguise themselves as givers! Of course we all do some of each type in different times of our lives.
Isn’t it great when some things like the Golden Rule still matter? Being a giver means generosity is a part of you and you don’t do good things to get back! Givers are givers by nature!
I’m not through the whole book yet, but I wanted to share that Give and Take is an interesting read! Adam uses some interesting stories to keep your interest.
Please leave a comment or let us know what you think about this interesting research! Feel free to share with a friend!