It’s a while ago, but at the end of the last year, I went back to my hometown to spend some relaxing time with my family. That’s what most Japanese people do in a year-end and new year holiday season.
Then I had some chance to join a small reunion party with friends from high school. There I could meet even someone who I’d never met after we graduated, and someone I didn’t keep in touch for ages.
Since each of us went through quite different paths after high school, now each of us have quite different type of jobs. Some of them are working in a world I can’t even imagine what it’s like, so listening to their stories was so interesting and inspiring to me.
I could tell that they’re living the lives they love professionally and personally from the conversations we had, and I felt so proud of them. They were just high school kids when I met them last time, but now they’re responsible, committed, and creative adults with their own visions and dreams. They’re cool. I was simply impressed.
I’m not gonna write about their jobs or personal lives here in details without their permission – but instead, I definitely want to write about one thing I realized that they have in common.
In the conversations we had, I often heard things like this:
“If you’re interested in that, I know someone who’s like an expert of that. Do you want me to introduce you to him?”
“Wow, we’re passionate about the same thing! Let’s keep in touch so we can exchange information and keep each other updated.”
“I learned something really interesting through this job, and I was wondering if you might find it interesting too, because I think there’s something in common between our jobs.”
One simple, but very important act they were doing was – sharing.
They were sharing their connections. Knowledge. Experiences.
For me it seems natural even if they hesitated to share these, since it could be revealing their secrets of success. But they didn’t seem hesitant at all… they were more like happy to share.
Also how they share is far from just showing off what they have. They ask people, or carefully listen to people’s stories to understand what they’re interested or suffering from first, and if they have something that could be helpful, then they start to talk about it – thoughtfully and generously.
Since the way they share was so natural, I guess that’s something they always do, something they’ve always been doing at least for a while.
I have no idea if they’re successful because they do this, or if they do this because they’re successful.
Whatever the case, looking back, I realized that I also know a lot of other people who are also happy to share what they have – whether it’s connection, knowledge or experience – just like my high school friends are.
For example I have friends who:
- recommends me some great music as soon as he finds it.
- helps me to think about how I can grow my blog more, and gives me some advices.
- gives me some tips about how to take good photos, as soon as she knew that I’m self-conscious about taking photos.
- always knows amazing restaurants and bars, and recommends them to me.
- helps her friends to develop their networks by introducing her friends from completely different communities but have something in common to each other.
Not limited to my friends, but also on the Internet, I often see so many cool people who love to share.
For example we can easily find a lot of people who share their knowledge or skills. That’s why it’s so easy to learn how to do a new thing even when you have no idea or experience.
I had zero knowledge about blogging when I started, but I could learn so much from YouTube videos or blogs.
Whether it’s sharing what they learned from their experiences or solutions they came up with after countless of tries and errors, or it’s sharing reviews of products or services – there are so many creative people who are happy to share, who want to share what they have so that they can help other people, so that other people don’t have to make the same mistake.
In this age, people are always sending and also consuming so much information. Even if you try to hide your secrets to be a success, there surely is someone who will come up with the similar thing and share that secret with others, quite soon.
You will rather receive people’s gratitude, gain trusts and interests, by sharing, instead of hiding – and these are, I believe, crucial to be successful.
Then, if you want to be successful but don’t feel you’re successful yet, what should you do? Where should you start?
In my opinion, these are the two things you should start first.
1. Be open.
You should be open – about yourself, about other people, and about new things.
If there’s something you don’t know, don’t hide it but just admit and say that you don’t know it.
We tend to try to look good, so showing how less we know feels a little scary. However, if you pretend that you know, you’re gonna get nothing. But if you become honest and say that you don’t know, people are probably going to tell you about it. They’re gonna help you to learn.
If people start to tell you stories, be grateful, be interested, and listen to them.
But remember – no matter how successful they are, no matter how much you respect them, since they’re not yourself, their advices are not always and necessarily right , or the best for you.
You may hear something you don’t relate well. You may hear something sadly or painfully true that could stress you out. You may also hear something you don’t really agree with.
And that’s okay. That’s just natural – because simply, again, that person is not yourself.
The important thing here is, that you don’t naively believe whatever they tell you or reject everything you’re not comfortable to hear, but just take it. Whatever they tell you, just take it, and leave it for now.
And later, make sure you go through all the things you took very carefully, and decide whether you’re gonna believe, try, accept, understand, or instead, forget, let go, ignore – about each of them.
You need to do this by yourself. Always remember, that you can’t make anyone to make decisions for you. Even if they made decisions, if you follow what they decided, it becomes your own decision.
Making decisions for you by yourself, you’re gonna take responsibilities about what happens in your life – and that’s how you’re gonna grow. Successful people are successful because they grew by taking responsibilities of their lives and learned so much from it.
2. Share what you have got.
Just like other cool people do, share what you experienced, learned, and gained throughout the journey on which you grow.
By doing so, you can help other people who have the similar problem to that you had before.
You’re gonna receive people’s gratitude, gain trusts and interests.
You’re gonna be successful, by helping others, by sharing what you have.
Now I’m trying keep these two things as habits so that I can live happily with visions and dreams – just like my good old friends do. That may sound a little cheesy, but that’s how much I respect them.