In the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey tells the story of man who enters a subway train with his 2 young kids. The 2 little scoundrels were creating such a racket, but the father had just shut his eyes, seemingly oblivious to the discomfort being caused to other passengers. “What poor parenting”, is the first thought that comes to mind. The author soon realises that the man had just lost his wife to a deadly disease and that they were returning home from the hospital. What an immediate transformation in perspective!
A math teacher gave a child two chocolates and asked how many she had. The child replied “three”. The teacher was angry, only to realise later the child already had 1 chocolate in her pocket!
A supremely successful businessman I know, today seems to have life all nice and dandy. But I learned recently that his mother passed away when he was very young. A few days later, his dad passed away as well, grief struck at the loss of his best friend.
But we rarely know the ‘other’ side, isn’t it?
Dale Carnegie in his iconic bestseller How to Win Friends and Influence People, says that the best (and perhaps only) way to get people to like you, is to take a genuine interest in people and to listen to them with rapt attention.
What golden and eye-opening advice! We do not need an expensive degree or a big title or a lot of money. On the contrary, following these principles, will automatically bring all of these and more.
[…] Such as? Maybe sending an old friend a bestselling book as a surprise. Or cooking a meal for your neighbour. Or learning and playing/singing a song for your favourite teacher. Or maybe just taking the time out to visit someone elder to you – who meant a lot to you in your childhood – but who you now haven’t seen in ages. There are some easy ones too – praise someone in public (remember the LAP currency?), donate some clothes or be an agony aunt/uncle (i.e. listen). […]