Every once in awhile, you have a day that really stands out. Something major happens and it really influences your thinking, your actions, and, well – you.
Yesterday was one of those days for me. You might be able to relate. Here’s what happened.
I had 3 very important conversations – and the last one was the most important of the three.
My first conversation was with my business coach. (Yes, I have a business coach. I’m not naturally gifted in business – I’m a gym rat at heart. I lift heavy stuff. Put it down. And help others achieve their physical goals.) Anyway, he pointed out some mistakes I was making and how I was failing to fulfill my customers’ needs. (Ouch! And if you’re my customer – first, thanks, and second, sorry – will do better.) That’s a tough thing to hear.
My second conversation was with Pavel. Just love talking to him – he’s just brilliant. The thoughts he has and the info he knows about the human body and training is just staggering. Anyway, I asked him about a particular exercise and why I was struggling to see results with it. Long story short, because I was approaching it wrong. My view of it was incorrect. So he gave me the exact steps to perform it and be successful. Excellent.
At this point, I want to point out the not-so-obvious – I am successful (by my own standards) in some areas of my life because of my relationships. I pay my business coach because modeling is the fastest way to achieve your goals. He’s already walked where I want to walk. He knows the path. The same is true for my relationship with Pavel. Although now he’s my friend – which is very cool, I still work “for him” by teaching RKCs and our relationship still started with a business transaction – I bought one of his books, and then another, and eventually met him in person at the RKC in 2005.
Why am I pointing these two things out?
Because, there is ALWAYS a cost to success. Got a college degree? That cost somebody some coin – either your parents or you. (My dad was scholarshipped through college and then he paid my way.) You’re going to spend your time, your energy, or your money – and most likely, some combination of all three. That’s the first critical element to success – understanding, identifying, and expecting cost – time, money, and energy.
Ok, now on to the most important part of my day – the most important conversation I had, and the point of everything so far – both previous conversations.
I have a monthly gym membership. I use it when I want to lift really heavy stuff because I don’t have enough iron at my house or studio.
So I’m in there last night and the guy next to me has a chewed up 16kg kettlebell. Interesting. So I ask him, “Is that your kettlebell?”
“Cool,” I say.
“I love coming to the gym but I also love using the kettlebell – it’s hard to argue with the results I get from using it,” he says.
“I know what you mean,” I say.
Turns out this guy – Robert – is an EMT. And better yet, he’s heard of the RKC and told me that an RKC – Joe Wagner, an EMT he works with, is on a mission to get all the EMTs using kettlebells. Awesome.
I tell him I’ve heard of the RKC.
So I’m training, doing my thing, watching Robert do his thing with the kettlebell – some high pulls, some clean and presses, and they don’t look too bad. Then he starts to Swing.
So I ask him I he minds if I give him some pointers.
I tell him to take his soft, cushy shoes off and give him the two reasons why and then give him one cue for the Swing.
Bingo! Swings look instantly better.
Then I give him another cue.
Blamm-o! Swings look even better.
Then I give him the final cue and literally – kid you not, he looked like he was an RKC! (What can I say – he must’ve been a fast learner.)
Now, I had only introduced myself as Geoff and when he mentioned Joe’s name I told him I heard of the RKC. I didn’t tell him my background or any of that stuff. Why not?
Because it wasn’t about me. It was about him – Robert – a guy trying to achieve a goal and using arguably the best tool for that job. And I was in a position to help him out. So I did. Gladly. Joyfully. I got to take all the stuff that’s been poured into me and for a few minutes distill that information and make a difference in one guy’s life.
So why am I sharing all this with you? Why should you care? Am I telling you about this because I want you to be impressed or whatever? Heck no – I could care less if you’re impressed with who I know or how my day went.
I’m sharing this with you for one important reason – your success in life is directly determined by the amount of success you help others achieve.
That’s it. That’s the Big Secret. Help someone solve a problem they have. That’s it.
You want that promotion at work but aren’t getting it because you feel you aren’t noticed? Find the biggest problem you’re aware of and then solve it. Want more love in you marriage? Stop waiting for you spouse to give you what you “deserve.” Go give your wife the biggest darn hug she’s had all year. Or buy her flowers. Or make her dinner. Or tell her how beautiful she looks. Or pick up your socks and clean the toilet. And don’t do it with the expectation that you’ll “get some action” later on in return.
And do it all with your whole heart. Seek to provide the whole solution to the problem – don’t go half way. Go all in. Give it all you’ve got. Make the solution simple yet profound. I stepped in when Robert started swinging yesterday because that was where I could make the biggest impact.
Why? Because giving to someone, more than getting, provides you – the giver -with joy as well as providing a solution to someone else’s problem. And JOY isn’t something we talk about much anymore. Just look at the world around if you need proof. Not much joy there. Too many people taking, not much giving…
And that’s the second and MOST IMPORTANT step for success – pouring your time, money, and energy into other people. “Give to get” is the current axiom. But I would caution, and say rather, “Give, but expect nothing in return except your own personal joy – to [maybe] get.” I guarantee if you seek to be a resource to someone else – to help them solve their problems, eventually you’ll get what you want immediately – which is more joy and quite possibly you’ll be on the path to get where you want to go, do what you want to do, and be more of who you want to be.
Don’t believe me? Here’s a promise that’s at least 4000 years old –
“Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.”
– Proverbs 22:29
Thanks for your time last night, Robert – whether you know it or not, you really helped me out – to see what’s really important – and it was the best conversation of my day.