My best friend and I have been competing against each other for years.
It’s a stealthy contest of one-upmanship, typically initiated via text message. The response to the challenge is almost unconscious, something I realized we do just last night. Every once in a while, one tells the other how much the friendship is appreciated. This first thrust of gratitude is immediately parried and countered with a heartfelt expression of thanks. Before long, it dissolves into the ridiculous (and mildly disgusting) argument of puppy-lovestruck teenagers:
“I’m the lucky one.”
“No, I am.”
This is a game that can only produce two winners. Over the course of six-plus years, she’s been there through break-ups and breakdowns, successes and failures. She’s consoled me gently and encouraged me forcefully. This woman is one of the kindest and most generous people anyone could ever be granted the privilege to know. I’ve grown to cherish her so much I constantly feel compelled to do more for her, because I feel she’s given me more than I can repay. Funny thing is, she feels the same in the opposite direction.
Regardless of how far we drift (or others may attempt to push us) apart, we always have the other’s back. In the silence of despair, each of us is blindly aware of where to lean in our darkest hours. Plainly, the relationship is a lasting pillar in our lives.
As I read through The Go-Giver for something like the fifteenth time this week, I was struck by the phrase below and how it encapsulates our relationship:
“It’s not better to give than to receive. It’s insane to try to give and not receive.
“Trying not to receive is not only foolish, it’s arrogant. When someone gives you a gift, what gives you the right to refuse it–to deny their right to give?”
The lessons of Bob Burg and John David Mann apply across the spectrum of experience. That putting yourself forth for someone else–spouse, friends, clients–sets you up to receive grandly is a matter of irrefutable fact. The people you choose to serve will unconsciously strive to return the courtesy in like measure.
Giving wholeheartedly and without remorse is the simplest way for you to succeed in business and relationships.
You may make a fortune. You will make a life.
1 Thing To Remember