Help Yourself By Helping Others

Sasha Azevedo is an actress. You may have seen in her the movie “The Notebook.” I came across this quote from her this morning…

“You can gain more friends by being yourself than you can by putting up a front. You can gain more friends by building people up than you can by tearing them down. And you can gain more friends by taking a few minutes from each day to do something kind for someone, whether it be a friend or a complete stranger. What a difference one person can make!”

I love this quote and it message. Be yourself. Build up people, don’t tear them down. Help others. That’s tremendous life and career success advice.

I particularly like Sasha’s point about building up people. There are too many people in this world who seem to take pleasure in pointing out other people’s faults and not enough who help others see their beauty and strength.

Many, many years ago when I was in Boy Scouts my troop entered a first aid competition. We were assigned a scenario in which we came across an accident. We had to respond to the accident, giving first aid to the injured parties. We were judged on how well we did in responding to the situation.

We did pretty well – we came in second out of about 20 competitors. We were all feeling pretty good about ourselves. One of my friend’s father drove him and me home when we got off the bus after the competition. My friend ran up to his dad and said, “Dad, we did great. We came in second.” His dad looked at him and said, “Well that beats third doesn’t it?”

You should have seen my friend’s face. He went from beaming to the verge of tears in just a second. His father noticed and apologized. He said that he was kidding and that it was great that we came in second. But the damage was done. Both of us lost our excitement about coming in second.

I don’t think that my friend’s father was being deliberately cruel. As I think back on this all these years later, I think he thought he was being funny. You have to remember this was back in the days of Vince Lombardi, coach of the Green Bay Packers who was famous for saying, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”

Yes, it’s nice to win, but it’s also important to take pride in your effort, even if you come up a little short. When the first aid competition came around next year, neither my friend nor I chose to participate. I can’t say that this was a direct result of his father’s comment, but I’m sure it played some part in our decision.

The important point here is simple. Follow Sasha Azevedo’s advice. Build up people. Don’t tear them down. If you do this, you’ll be helping the people you know to learn and grow. You’ll be branding yourself as a positive person. And people like to be around and help out positive people.

In short – you can help yourself by helping others.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve.  Now I’m going one step further.  I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success.  And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free.  Just go to to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals.  I hope to see you there.

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