Episode 11: Kindness: How to Attract Success — Not Pursue It

Good morning! Oh, it’s a great Monday morning, I’m certain you’ve had a good weekend. You’ve gotten out, worked your body, your mind, your spirit and ready now to take on another week. This is Jimmy Williams with Live a Life by Design with your Monday morning moments of motivation.

You know, I gotta tell you, this week is an exciting podcast and I want to thank everyone that has listened to this podcast this far. It has been a wonderful, wonderful time for me to bring you some insights, strategies, some tactics on how to live your life in a better way. Also want you to know that it is sincerely my pleasure to spend a few minutes with each of you every Monday morning in hopes that you leave this podcast with a smile on your face, a song in your heart, and a passion to go out and help your fellow man be the best they can be.

We’re gonna talk today for just a few moments about how to attract success. There’s a misunderstanding about success that most people try to pursue success. They want to get the right education, they want to get the right care, they want to get the right job and they’ve got to have the biggest of everything to track people, in their mind, to look successful. When the truth be known is that you don’t ever really pursue success, you simply have to attract it.

You see there’s a big difference that in the person you’re becoming that attracts success, and not the person that you are. First and foremost today we’re gonna talk about the basic tenet of being successful. And that basic tenant relies on a simple human compassionate trait. That trait is kindness. That’s right. Kindness. You know, one of our four corporate attributes at Compass Capital Management, our company, is kindness. We don’t simply go out and look for people to hire to fill positions and teach them to be kind. Just the opposite. We actually hire people that have a genuine and sincere kindness within themselves. We often ask questions in the interviews such as, can you give us an instance of where you’ve shown kindness to a family member, a friend, a stranger in your community. Someone at your university? Anything that would show us that their heart and mind are in a servants mode. You see, kindness to us is so powerful that it gives our clients the feeling that they are confident in taking on the future and making it what they wish it could be. You see we don’t just practice this, we live it on a daily basis. That is our goal as a company. But one of the easiest methods of attracting success is simply showing genuine kindness to others. Those random acts that you go out and commit day in and day out, to those that are in need and those that are looking for a hand up. And not a hand out. For example.

This works many ways but one simple way it can work is for you to be looking for those people that may need something. And when I say need something I’m not necessarily saying something material. Oftentimes, I’ll still get the door for my beloved wife, at the car door I open it up and let her get in the car, particularly if the weather’s inclement outside. I have an umbrella I’ll hold over her while she gets in the car, I attempt to get her chair if, she’s very fast she’ll beat me to it, but a lot of times I try to get her chair while I’m sitting down at a restaurant. And I know that seems like those are old fashioned means of how we are chivalrous toward our spouses and and our loved ones but what I’m referring to is just simple kindness. If we can’t exhibit kindness to our family how can we expect ourselves to exhibit it to someone we don’t know? You know in our country today it seems like we need kindness more than we did when I was a child.

Yeah I grew up at a time through the late 60s and early 70s when it seemed to me that kindness was in an abundance. Neighbors helped neighbors. It seemed like anybody that needed something was able to fulfill that need, and that person helping your with that need had a smile on their face. You know I’ll never forget some of the kind acts of strangers that came along when perhaps we had broken down on the side of the highway, or my bicycle had a flat and I was still miles from home and pushing the bike and someone would stop and just ask can I give you a lift home? And I know these are different times that we live in today, but kindness never changes. If you look back even in biblical times when the bible tells us that a kind word turns away the wrath of an enemy. It’s like keeping coals upon their head for example. So kindness is not something new, and it’s not something that we simply can say, well that’s a past way of conducting our lives, we’re now in the 21st century and we don’t do that. I will tell you that our country needs a big dose of kindness injected throughout its borders.

You know Franklin Roosevelt, one of the most important figures in our history as president, the only president to serve three terms for example was elected to a fourth term before he deceased. Franklin Roosevelt said this, “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people.A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” That really smaks in the face of how we conduct ourselves not just as people, but politically across the world sometimes as a country.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m an old boy scout, I love my country. I sometimes wonder though if we don’t have the appropriate leaders exhibiting kindness when we could use a softer word, a nicer handshake, and exhibit to the world that we are still the main superpower of the world and we are a powerful country. But we can also be kind.

You know success is not defined purely by money or assets. You know success is defined by the type of person that you become. Too often we believe that we have to have all of these big homes, lots of nice cars, money piled in banks all over the place, to be looked at as being successful. Now granted, you know we look at people like Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, these are truly successful people at what they had done in their careers. But I assure you if you read any stories that they have given about what is deemed their most successful experience in business or life, they will choose a life experience over simply the assets that they earned. I love the fact that these families that are multi billionaires see ways of performing kindness maybe on levels that many of us can’t, but that the basic core it’s still simply kindness to those in need.

Bill Gates, a billionaire, has pledged to give away most of his fortune in helping to resolve disease in Africa, in helping kids in Africa at least have an opportunity at life before disease, lack of water and food, lack of housing and clothing doom their lives to very short term.

So you now, success is then defined in not assets, but the love of family, friends, and your community. We started a research project, on January 2nd of 2019. This research project we title The Kindness Reciprocity Project, had a real simple focus that we were attempting to achieve. First and foremost, we wanted to see how people would respond to random acts of kindness. Now this could be anything from a simple opening of the door to the building for someone needing some assistance, it could be for the purchase of coffee at a coffee shop while someone is stumbling through their purse trying to find change, trying to find some money or a debit card or whatever means to pay. Or it was something that occurred in a local Walmart near Christmas time in 2018. I was standing in line attempting to get some groceries before the holiday, and before me was a lady with some groceries she looked a little hairied, she looked a little tired. It had been a long day for her. She had lots on her mind, her eyebrows were down, and you could tell that she just had not had the best of day for her. So I looked her in the eye, as I often do with people that I just meet as a stranger and try to smile because I believe what they see they will mirror so for example, I smiled at her and she gave me a small smile back, but somewhat of a smile, and I said ma’am do you believe in Christmas, and she said I certainly do. And I said, well then do you believe in the philosophy that it is better to give than receive? She looked at me for just a moment, puzzled as to why I would ask such a question of a stranger. As the lady continued getting her groceries checked out, she looked back at me and she said, you know I do believe it is better to give than to receive. And do you believe as she looked me back in the eye and asked me. And I said you know I most certainly do, so I said then would you not believe that it’s better for you to give me my groceries, so that you’ll receive a better blessing? And now she looked at me and smiled even larger, and then turned it on me, as you can imagine, well if you believe that I certainly do. Why don’t you buy my groceries. Well I’ve got to tell you, a big smile came across my face and I said, you got it. The lady in front of me that was checking her out was looking so puzzled at this time, wondering what was the catch. I said you just keep ringing up her groceries, and when you’re done sack her groceries up and just keep working on mine.

When we finished we realized we had purchased almost a hundred dollars of groceries for this lady that I’d never met, I’ve not seen since, but somehow in my heart as I’m walking to my car in the parking lot, I realize this wonderful feeling that came over me that perhaps she needed someone just to show a little bit of gratitude and kindness to her today. To hopefully end her day in a better way then it probably had begun. Or had occurred during the day. You see this simple act of kindness is not one I’m telling you because I’m bragging on buying groceries, that’s not the point of this story. The point of the story is that I reached out to someone that I felt needed a kind word, a smile, and something that was just genuinely showing them that they are worth something, that they are valuable to the world.

You know to often we try to do one up manship, we try to say our cars bigger than their cars, our house is bigger than their house, our company is bigger than their company. We do this in our country a lot, and we failed to see that were all here together, existing on this great planet. For one common purpose, and that’s to live a life of freedom that we can go out and do as we please. And be kind to one another in the process. So The Kindness Reciprocity Project took these small acts of kindness and were taking them as we go. And as of the date of this podcast episode, I have personally experienced 318 acts of kindness. That I have provided to whomever I met. And I will tell you of those 318 acts of kindness, I usually got a smile from all of them but four. 314 return acts of positive nature from my 318 acts of kindness. So what this tells me so far in our process, we’re gonna continue this throughout the year. I’ll give you an updated report as we get closer to the end of 2019. Is that people will mirror as I said earlier, what you do with them. So if you’re kind to them, you’ll get kindness in return is our hope. If you’re showing gratitude you’ll receive gratitude. This is what I’m hoping we do to build a better community where we live. This can be applied not just in your household, it can be applied in your neighborhood. Your community, your workplace, your school if you’re a student listening to this. It can be applied anywhere and it will work in a positive nature for you.

You now, random acts of kindness are nothing more than just simple gestures and they are integral to growth as a person. You know we grow as a person when we take ourselves from our comfort zone to our discomfort zone. A love a quote by Mark Twain, the famed writer, he said, ”Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear, and the blind can see.” That makes some big sense to me. You see, acts of kindness can help one heal. Lady Gaga, the singer of today that’s so popular with the youth, Lady Gaga says, “I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself, and I’ve found that kindness is the best way.”

In World War II, towards the end of the war, Europe was in total ruins. Now I’m a big history buff, as I’ve said many times and I love the study of why the world became tomented in war during World War II. But here we are in the city in ruins, the saddest sight was that a little orphan child with his face pressed against a bakery shop window in a war torn city with eyes as big as silver dollars, clothes tattered, face dirty. This little boy had not seen any compassion in quite some time by his external looks. However, an American soldier noticed this little boy, as he was walking to his barracks. The soldier turned the corner, as he spotted the little boy and turned around and walked up to the little boy. The little boy just stared in silence as the soldier stood there for a moment as he watched the baker kneading this dough for a fresh batch of doughnuts. The soldier pulled round, touched the little boy on the shoulder and asked him, “Son would you like some of those?” The little boy was startled, jumped back a little bit, he looked at this tall american soldier, and he said, “Yes, sir, I certainly would.” Quitely the soldier, walks into the bakery, he buys a dozen doughnuts, and exits into the London fog. He hands the boy the bag of doughnuts with a smile. And he says, “Here you are.” Well as he turned to walk away from the little boy he felt the tug on his coat. The little boy looked up at his eyes, the soldier looking back and down at the little boy, he smiled a big smile and the little boy just simply said, “Mister, are you God?”

To this little boy, meeting such tragedy need as hunger, made him feel as if this American soldier in a crisp uniform, clean face, hat on, looking very very different than anything the little boy has seen in a war torn area of his city. He thought that someone had shown such great compassion that he compared that individual to God. Obviously this soldier was not God, but he was a genuine unsung hero to this little boy.

Lets take for just a moment, what would we have done in this situation? How could you have responded in a way that is positive to help someone in need? Especially a little boy with his face pierce inside a window. Looking at bakery goods that he’s never tasted. The point I’m making with today’s episode is simply this. It is time that we look for those that have needs greater than our own. It’s time that we don’t selfishly look for a way that we can improve our life until we look earnestly and intuitively into others lives so we can improve them. I want to give you another quick little story.

I was in a larger metropolitan city recently, and I was walking the streets one evening. There was a gentleman that looked pretty haggard. It was late a night, about 9:30, it’s dark, the streets weren’t all that busy. The wind was cold and blowing out of the north off one of the great lakes, and I had just ordered one of the most favorite pizzas that I love when I’m in Chicago. Giordano’s Pizza. I’m talking Chicago thick pizza about three inches thick, with cheese and meat, and it’s crust, and it is just delicious. As I walked the streets, I saw this gentleman coming toward me, I noticed the people in front of me were actually making an attempt to avoid this gentleman, and walk to the other side of the street. The cars weren’t busy coming down the street so they simply walked in the middle of the street across to the other side to avoid this gentleman. I simply walked close up to him and I said, “have you eaten today?” And he looked at me and he said, “No sir, I haven’t”, but he smiled at me, he said, “but the days not over.” And I said, “You know, that is absolutely true, how would you like to have a Giordano’s pizza?” Well his eyes got real big he looked at me kinda funny, I was wearing a business suit and tie, and nice trench coat, he looked like his tennis shoes had some grey masking tape over them to keep them together. Again a coat that had holes all in it. He looked pretty rough around the edges. I simply took the pizza which was about six of the eight slices left, cause I couldn’t eat anymore, and I handed it to him, and I said, “here is nearly a full Giordano’s pizza, complete with meat, extra cheese and everything you would want on it. And it’s still hot. Would you like to eat this?” And I handed it to him, and the gentleman was so thankful that someone showed a little kindness to him today. Again I’m not saying that to tap myself on the back, I’m saying that to give instances so that if you’re looking for the opportunities, they are out there for us to be the best that we can be. You know Henry James had a quote that I really enjoy about kindness. He says, “Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” You see, Mr. James understands the power of being kind and what it can do to lift someone’s spirits. That they may themselves then see that they can be kind to those around them.

You know this world needs kindness from all of us. So this week I encourage you to do several random acts of kindness. Don’t wait ’til they present themselves, seek these people out. Look in your community, the hurting ones are all around us. And sometimes it’s not necessarily they’re hurting for basic things in life, such as food, shelter, clothing, sometimes they’re hurting from the loss of a loved one, perhaps a divorce or separation. How about maybe they lost their job. You know people fall upon rough times during many phases of life. And hopefully, we can help them find a brighter day and a better way by giving hem a kind word or a kind act. The last thing I want to leave you with is this, help me help you by giving the information and tools you would like to hear. Go to livealifeby.design and respond in an email to us of some areas of which you have helped others with random acts of kindness, or if you have other topics you would like to hear. Information about or guidance on, leave us some information about that as well. And subscribe to our podcasts. You can do so at iTunes, Google Play, or Spotify, and it is something that we would enjoy if you would please leave us a review and a rating on iTunes, and if you would also do us one last favor. Look around you when you’re listening to this podcast, and purposefully look for someone that you could give a random act of kindness. I know they would enjoy it, and i know that you would be the better person for helping someone in need.

Thank you for listening this week. I know this has been a wonderful wonderful day already. I want you to go out an experience a wonderful week yourself. And you can get a complete transcript of today’s show online, at livealifeby.design. If you like the show, please tell your family and friends about it. Also we would be very appreciative if you would leave a review, as I said, of the show wherever you listen to podcasts.

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