Through college and my 25 years since becoming an official adult with a full-time job, almost everyone I’ve met or known who achieved significant, sustained success simultaneously helped a lot of other people along the way.
Whether it was pitching in to help with a project, acting as a mentor, deflecting credit, or even just offering occasional advice, if there’s a long line of people who can say about you, “You really helped me in a way that made a difference,” you’ll almost certainly have achieved a level of success you can be proud of.
I don’t necessarily mean that you should cast aside personal or professional ambition in the name of helping others. But you can be simultaneously wildly ambitious and unrelentingly helpful. In fact, those instincts harmonize together.
Lesson #5 of my final 31 posts: Nobody gets there alone.
Whatever your goals or definition of success, your chances of getting where you want to go will almost certainly involve others at times, maybe even frequently. The teacher who gives you extra help. The teammate who pushes you in practice. The colleague who steps in to help when you’re in the work weeds. We all need other people to occasionally be the wind at our backs.
And the more regularly you’ve helped others get to where they want to go, the more people you’ll have standing by at the ready when you need someone to help you along your own way.
Here’s a past post with more on this topic.