Ancient wisdom is the best. Jim Rohn reminds us that sound principles are ancient principles – there are no new fundamental ideas. Sometimes we see a new spin or application of a fundamental idea, but the basic philosophy of success has not changed in 6,000 years.
Perhaps the chief rule of success from antiquity to the present is the Golden Rule. You have probably heard it in the form from the King James Bible: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. If we could all learn this rule and apply it without fail what a wonderful world we would all live in.
You cannot succeed in life without the help of other people. You need family, friends, mentors, and partners. You need suppliers and customers. Without other people you cannot earn money and you cannot build wealth. Without other people you cannot learn and gain wisdom.
To benefit from your relationships with other people the relationship must be reciprocal. You must give more than you ask. In fact, the best way to receive from other people is not to ask at all, at first. The best way to benefit from relationships is to give without the expectation, implied or explicit, that you will receive something in return.
Here I do not mean to give everything away and live in dire poverty out of an excess of generosity. You must save for yourself and you must attend to your own needs and those of your family. But be as generous with your time, your kindness and your compassion as you can with others and you will build friendships that will be as valuable as gold – in fact more so.
If people like you and trust you and feel treated well by you most of them will treat you well too. There will be exceptions – there are always those who exploit a generous spirit; there will always be those who have never learned the Golden Rule. For every one of those however you will find man who will appreciate your kindness and repay it seven fold.
This wisdom has been taught over and over through the ages. Every great successful person has understood it. Even men who were ruthless in business, like John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie, were extremely generous in charity and kindness to their fellow man. In fact Carnegie, in his Gospel of Wealth, taught that the wealthy had a duty to give their wealth away for the benefit of society and he practiced what he preached. To this day many communities have Carnegie Libraries funded by this millionaire.
The Golden Rule is not easy. It requires practice and humility. We must work hard every day to remind ourselves to follow this rule. The wonderful thing though is that the more one practices the Golden Rule the easier it becomes – the more it becomes our nature.
Every morning, before starting your day’s work, remind yourself to follow the Golden Rule, and every night, before retiring, reflect upon your day and ask yourself if you have applied the Golden Rule. You will be a better person for it, and you will build true wealth in the friendships and relationships nourished by the Golden Rule.
Daniel R. Murphy
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.