The struggle to the top is a difficult one. For those of us that are the right combination of smart and lucky, we’ll have been cultivated in large part by our actively influential surroundings. The environment we grow up in is an important factor in our upbringing and in the success that we one day will achieve.
This is not to say that we are products of our circumstance entirely — there have been more than a handful of people that were subject to horrific situations growing up, that managed to make themselves into something and were successful in morphing their dreams into their reality.
Whether we embrace our environment growing up and think back to it fondly, or remember our situation growing up and thank our lucky stars that we were able to make it out alive — the fact remains the same: our past made us who we are today and if we are happy with who we are, we cannot wish to have lived a different life. That includes where and with whom we grew up.
You are a product of your upbringing. Where you grew up and who you grew up with played an important role in cultivating you into who you are now and therefore plays a large part in the success that you are living today. Many people that made their way to being successful don’t do justice to those that their success heavily relied upon.
It’s not only a matter of courtesy and respect; it’s a matter of doing your part as a human being and helping those in your neighborhood achieve their own dreams. Showing that you are grateful to those that helped you flourish — whether it be your parents, siblings, friends, teachers or coaches — it's about more than paying your dues.
It’s about showing that you appreciate the role they played in your life and reciprocate the love they gave you, supporting you when times got tough. Not everyone was so lucky. Without them, chances are that you would have either failed or your success would have been postponed, delayed — maybe inevitably. What’s even more crucial to realize is that if it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t be who you are today.
People like to know that they are appreciated. Being appreciated is being recognized — your existence being acknowledged and being told “I have you in mind.” You want to appreciate those that appreciate you throughout your life, but especially when they were part of what caused your success. It’s really about spreading the happiness and spreading the love.
Appreciation can be shown in different ways, saying thank you sincerely is enough, but I would recommend showing your appreciation with action rather than words. I’m not saying that you should whip out your checkbook and start writing checks — although I am sure none of them would mine.
By taking action I mean helping them get themselves situated and guiding them towards their own goals. Be a mentor. Help them network — introduce them to someone that can help them along their way. Support them with kind words when kind words are all that can keep them from giving in and giving up.
Showing your appreciation in such ways not only keeps the good karma flowing, it also increases the chances that when the time comes that you need help — which may be the case no matter how unlikely it may seem at the present — you’ll have someone there to support you and remind you that you are not alone.
If you have made it to the top, don’t forget the little people struggling to survive — the same way you struggled when you were on the up and coming. A community can be a strong weapon when it is truly united. A community can give you the support you need to get the ball rolling.
Sure, you may have just made a couple million off your last deal, but you are going to be working on other endeavors in the future; appreciate the community and they will reciprocate with support when you need it. A community can be as small as an AA support group or as large as your city or country. Say thank you and show them that success is possible under the same circumstances as they are living.
Show them that success is possible and show them how it is possible. Give them insight as to how you became as successful as you are and if at all possible, better their quality of life as to give them a better shot at making it. Show them not only how important it is to reach your goals, show them how to thank those that made it possible.
This will ensure that future generations — or even your current generation — will have it a little easier and see their potential a little clearer. Share the love and you will be loved. You really can’t ask for more.
Paul Hudson | Elite.
For more from Paul, follow him on Twitter @MrPaulHudson