In the news yesterday, Colonel Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, was complaining. He was complaining because the US didn’t reward or thank Libya for giving up its weapons of mass destruction. He reminded me of myself when I was a grumpy teenager learning how to drive. It’s not only because a car under my control at that age was considered a weapon of mass destruction…
One day I was driving down the road with a friend keeping my company when I saw a lady on the side of the road waiting to cross. Wanting to be a gentleman, I stopped the car and signalled for her to pass. She did, but without thanking or even acknowledging me. I didn’t like that and I yelled out: “you’re welcome!” Vulgar, I know. I admit I wasn’t the best behaved teenager.
My friend turned to me and said: “if you only let her pass to hear a thank you, you shouldn’t have done it in the first place”. I learned an important lesson on that day. And even though it happened over a decade ago, it stuck with me to this day.
I learned that if you want to do a good deed to get rewarded by someone else, you might as well not do it at all.
I hear some of you disagreeing with me and wondering why on earth would you do good if no one will reward you for it?
Well if you’re doing good just to get a reaction back from someone else you might as well not do it. You can keep your weapons of mass destruction to yourself and save us the moaning when no one thanks you. Because it’s bound to happen. Someday you’ll do good and no one will be there to notice, say thanks or reward you for it. And when it happens you’re going to regret doing good! Yes… can you imagine… you’ll regret doing a good deed! You’re going to think: “She didn’t deserve me behaving like a gentleman. I should’ve stepped on the gas and left her waiting on the side of the road”. Even if that were true, even if she didn’t deserve your good deed, you can avoid this feeling of regret.
Have you ever done a good deed only to later regret it? Share with us why in the comment box below.
Sure it feels great when people know that you’ve donated thousands for charity, rescued a stray cat or gave up your weapons of mass destruction. But you know what feels even better? When you do it for yourself, NOT for someone else, and you keep it to yourself. It’s like having your own satisfying little secret that no one knows about. A very well kept secret that puts a smile on your face and makes you feel good every time you think about it. This feeling in itself is your immediate reward from yourself to yourself and it’s more gratifying than letting the whole world know what you’ve done. This feeling will push you to continuously do one good deed after the other without expecting anything in return.
If you don’t believe me? Try it. Go out today and find a homeless man/woman to give money to. But before you give that person money, make an effort to ensure no one sees you (also make sure they’re not going to use the money to buy alcohol, drugs or pay for prostitutes!). Immediately after you hand out the money, walk away. Don’t wait for a thank you. Don’t even expect it. After a few steps smile to yourself and reward yourself. Learn to thank yourself and yourself will thank you for it.
Until next time,
Copyright (c) 2010 www.TarekCoaching.com – Life coach London, life coaching London, RESULTS Coach, Performance Consultant, Master Practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), NLP training