I recently listened to a podcast that sparked this blog. It came about as I embarked along a trail in Kyoto, Japan. It’s funny how my mind works when I am abroad, away from all the noise and distractions of life, work & social media.
I therefore use this as a time to upgrade my knowledge, become more present and at peace with being with myself and spending quality time making memories with my better half.
Now one of the main things I noticed throughout my time in Japan is their service towards visitors. I laugh and joke (although there is truth behind it) that I never feel this welcome back home. Being greeted by locals, strangers and offered drinks with “Welcome to Japan” is something I’ll forever hold in my heart. Then a simple gesture back of Arigatōgozaimashita and nodding action towards them, I see their eyes light with happiness. A moment of reflection of how important compassion, love and just real social interaction truly is.
Anyways back to the post. A sticking point of the podcast resonated with me deeply. A best friend of mine mentioned something similar, with an experience he has with a mentor of his.
“The test of a persons character is to see the things they do for you, when you can’t do anything back“Unknown
Wow! At least I hope that’s what you just said, or thought. What a beautiful way to articulate something that the world would benefit from if we all practised this. If we all treated people the way we would like to be treated, expecting nothing back. Even better, knowing they can’t give us anything back, that’s where the real beauty lies. Or at least in my humble opinion.
The interview itself
So within this interview, Michel Gelb, continued to speak about some incredibly ground breaking protocols he uses to enhance his life, with Vishen Lakhiani which got me thinking. It got me thinking about how I live my life. How am I serving people?
It is difficult to not be of service, when all I know around me, is family who have served for others, with no expectation of receiving anything back, for the majority of time to those unable to actually do so too!
But then I thought about my circles of friends, peers, acquaintances and networks. Very quickly, I started to see areas of people who were as genuine as can be. But I also seen those who would only be around when you had something to offer. Those who would ‘lift you up’ whilst your stock was high. Who would only truly engage seeking something on the back end of transaction. Who needed you to help them somewhere down the line.
Now this may not be everyone, but it is something I have seen. Through the assistance of me helping people with introductions, levelling up their social platforms, assisting with finance I have seen them disperse once they got what they wanted.
This feeling sucked.
So I can’t sit here and pretend it didn’t, or doesn’t bother me. But one of the beauties with life, is evolving, growing and becoming wiser. Just witnessing the Japanese way of life, and the people here I have levelled up. This experience has taught me a lesson that I have experienced at first hand from ‘Japanese’ people. To give without expectation. To help without wanting to receive anything back.
This feeling was refreshing!
Why? Because having travelled USA a fair few times, I noticed the hospitality being above and beyond many of the places I have ever experienced back home in the UK. Then I came to my own conclusion it is likely because of tips. Remember this is not to discount the USA hospitality service, or discredit the UK one. It is just one man’s observation. The refreshing thing is, the Japanese get offended if you tip them, and offer the USA hospitality for FREE! Now that’s cool!
So just as I finished this paragraphed I remembered a discussion about being selfless and self love. So maybe, I’ll just add this in here now. I don’t want this to get confused with self care and self-love. Yes I advocate this should be a priority. But to what extent? Seeking to “help” someone, with a hidden agenda or intent is not cool. Or at least my idea of how serving people should be. You can still love yourself first and then go out and show love to others who can’t do anything for you.
Lack of resources is a gift?
Segwaying ever so slightly, however, we could argue that those who can’t give anything back, due to their lack of current resources, will often get ignored. A gift and a curse if you ask me. Yes they may lose out on potential opportunities, but they will also likely miss out on being exploited. I have so so often seen people avoid meetings, because they know the person has no money in the bank. A silly move, if you ask me. Who’s to say their network isn’t what you need? But before I digress too much, let’s get back to the topic and important question.
When you are serving people, why are you doing it?
For a ‘mentoring’, ‘coaching’ or ‘consultancy’ fee? Or because you want to truly lift them up. Remember there is no right or wrong. Although I guess I would prefer people to just be honest in their intent. Yes the intent word again. But of course I know intent can still be on either end of the spectrum and still reap “rewards” or “results”.
If someone is great at what they do and wants to charge for that, credit to them. If someone is genuinely trying to help people and wants nothing in return, credit to them. I guess I am just thinking my thoughts out loud at this moment.
P.s. Please also note this isn’t me advocating you should ever work for free. It is just my belief that the world would prosper more if you have something truly wonderful to give and give whenever we can, whatever we can, to help others rise. To help them rise, knowing they can’t help us, is not only fulfilling but once again, just my belief the way we should all operate.
Thoughts? How are you serving people? For yourself, or for them?
pps. Check out the Top Ranked Podcast here —-> Find Your Voice