There is one law that if followed will make us countless friends and will bring us great happiness, but if not followed, will most certainly find us in endless trouble.
Always make the other person feel important.
The desire to be important is the deepest urge in human nature.
An experience in India
A year back when I was in India, the doorman or the porter standing outside the main door of a Hotel, welcomed me very nicely. About ten hours later, as I was leaving, I noticed he was still working and opened the door for me with a smile, no different than earlier in the day.
I imagined his job would be very tough on his body. I wanted to appreciate him. So I said "I just want to say you are doing an exceptional job. To maintain a smile this big and greet everyone so nicely despite working many hours, I really appreciate your work."
You should have seen his reaction! He was so happy! He was so appreciative, he couldn't stop saying "Thank you sir, thank you sir."
We must ensure that we are not selfish. Because, if we can't radiate a little bit of happiness and pass on a bit of honest appreciation without trying to get something out of the other person in return, then we shall be sure to meet with failure that we so truly deserve.
A simple act of appreciation stimulates the key law of nature: The Law of Giving or Action:Reaction. Whatever you do, good or bad, you will receive the equal amount in return. So, by giving appreciation to this man, I received an even bigger and warmer smile when I returned back to the Hotel.
The Buddha preached this on the bank of the holy Ganges five hundred years before Christ. The sacred books of Hinduism taught it a thousand years before that. Jesus taught it among the hills of Judea over 20 centuries ago.
Jesus summed it up in one thought, probably one of the most important rules in the world, " Do unto others as you would have others do unto you."
You want approval of those you come in contact with. You want recognition for your true worth. You want to be appreciated. But you certainly don't want insincere flattery. If you want this, you must look to give it to others.
How? When? Where? The answer is all the time: with everyone you come in contact with.
A coffee with a great cricketer.
There was a time a few years back as an aspiring cricketer, I wanted to gather some advice from a professional. The World XI had come to Melbourne that year, so I went to the MCG to watch one of the best cricketers in the world, Kumar Sangakkara train. After he had finished batting, I walked over to him and introduced myself to him very confidently. But I knew trying to get time from such a well respected and successful cricketer wouldn't be easy. Asking for his advice or time would probably not work. I had tried that before, but usually I would get short answers and very little rapport or relationship would establish.
So, this time, using the notion mentioned above, I tried to think of something that I could appreciate about him that would make him remember who I was. Before going to the MCG, I did my research. I read that he was studying to be a Lawyer. A really well read man. Despite his enormous cricketing talents, he was also keen to learn, study and grow.
This was a unique trait for any professional athlete. As a student at University myself, I certainly appreciated this quality in him.
The conversation went a little like this:
Nayan: "Hi Kumar, my name is Nayan, it is an absolute pleasure to meet you."
Kumar: "Nice to meet you too Nayan."
Nayan: "I know you are busy, but I just wanted to say that I sincerely appreciate that you are studying to be a Lawyer, despite being such a good cricketer. You are a real inspiration. I am studying Pharmacy and I also am an aspiring cricketer."
Kumar: "Thanks so much Nayan, not many people know I am studying also. Appreciate it. That is good you are studying. It is important to have balance."
Nayan: "Thanks Kumar. I know you are busy and have to get back to training, this might be a bit of a stretch, but I was wondering if I could catch up with you for half an hour over coffee to ask you a few questions and get some advice about how I can take my game to the next level?
Kumar: "Sure mate, I should have some time when I am back in Melbourne next week. I am staying at the Hyatt Hotel, we can grab a coffee there."
And from there, we exchanged details and a week later I met Kumar Sangakkara for a half hour chat!
I wanted Kumar Sangakkara's advice and for this I needed his time, something that thousands of fans would demand of him wherever he goes. I needed to stand apart from the common fan. I did this by giving him appreciation. Everyone appreciates his cricket, so that would not help my cause, but instead, I found something unique and very personal to appreciate. That is what caught his attention.
- Find something to appreciate in every single person you interact with and you will get what you want. Make the other person feel important. This is the fastest way to get anyone to like you.
- Appreciate people SINCERELY. Flattery will get you no-where.
- When thinking of what to appreciate: try to find something meaningful, something that the other person takes great pride in. It will work wonders.