Taking Joy in Others Success Helps Us Appreciate Our Own

So often we get caught up in making ourselves happy only by celebrating our own triumphs. As an interdependent species, celebrating what others accomplish can help you learn more about yourself.

I once had a friend who accomplished great things in his field. And every time he succeeded, I felt like I succeeded. We had gone to school together, and his career path was phenomenal. And every time he got a new job, had a big win or celebrated a professional or personal triumph, I felt just as proud as if I had done it myself.

Unfortunately, he didn’t have the same approach. With any success I garnered, only sarcastic responses or a half-hearted “congrats” came my way. This former friend couldn’t find any reason to celebrate my wins or the wins of mutual friends, and our friendship soon faded. Not because I didn’t still celebrate his wins or desire to keep our friendship; instead, it was because he couldn’t find a reason to celebrate mine and we soon drifted apart.

In thinking about that situation from some years ago, I am reminded of how I still live this core belief and emotion daily. Whenever someone I know or care about does well, the joy I feel really is no different from if I had accomplished it independently.

What my former friend didn’t quite grasp was celebrating and truly feeling good about the success of others isn’t at the expense of your own. Instead, it enriches and contributes to your own.

Help your brother’s boat across, and your own will reach the shore. - Hindu Proverb

Not only does the success of others help and strengthen you, but it also frees you. It helps you understand and learn from others and how they were able to achieve what they did. It’s a healthy mindset to feel good for and support the success of others in our lives. The success of others doesn’t diminish our own nor the opportunity that lies ahead for us. To think otherwise is toxic and unhealthy.

There have also been studies that show an optimistic attitude is better for your short and long-term health. Merely being happy for others, keeping a positive mindset, and not going down the negative rabbit hole helps you physically. The surge in positivity is good for you - and them.

I believe the closer we can get to selflessness, the more complete and happy person we tend to become. As a married father of five children, I know about this. Being responsible for others makes you selfless. Celebrating the success of colleagues, friends, and family moves you toward this selfless concept. As anyone who has donated their time or talents to a favorite cause knows, it leads to greater satisfaction in your life.

Don’t shut out or shut down celebrating the success of others. Use it as inspiration and talk to those people about how they succeeded. You’ll learn much more about them, their winning mindset, and about yourself.

Being successful doesn’t mean you’re the smartest or most talented person, per se. Instead, the key to success is learning - as I have noted many times already in this space. Learning from the success of others can teach us valuable lessons we can use to propel our own journies toward big wins and advancement.

Don’t shut out or shut down celebrating the success of others. Use it as inspiration and talk to those people about how they succeeded. You’ll learn much more about them, their winning mindset, and about yourself.

The success of others is a great gift to us. Relish in it, learn from it, and use it to help yourself achieve what it is you’re after.

Follow Scott on Twitter

Share

Leave a comment