Most people are wired to act only if there is a juicy answer to “What’s in it for me?”
I’ll donate two million to so-and-so University, if you give my daughter an admission there. I’ll work weekends, if i have visibility of a promotion. I’ll babysit your kids if you can give me your Xbox for the weekend. Quid pro quo.
“What’s in it for me?” is important for survival no doubt, in the materialistic and capitalistic world we live in.
But the real magic happens when we do things, despite the answer to “What’s in it for me?” being “Nothing”.
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).
If every single interaction we have – with friends, family and colleagues could be this way, we will find:
a) amazing inner satisfaction which leads to peace which in turn leads to long lasting happiness, and
b) that we become the most likeable and remembered person amongst all
Even if this might initially seem like a stretch, we can surely start with just one such deliberate interaction every day. Doing something 100% for the other person, with no expectations whatsoever.
Even if the last many decades of our lives may have been relatively inconsequential to others, taking on this exercise can mean that in one year from today, you will have 365 die-hard fans – who will not just thank you, but always think of you and bless you!