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How Willing Are You to Help Somebody?

The other day I came across one of the “home rescue” programs on T.V. You may have seen something similar recently yourself.

The typical scenario is a family at their wits-end with a home in a dilapidated state – either caused by poor workmanship from previous contractors, or caused by their own ineptitude. They have few funds (if any) to address the issue but realize that they cannot sustain any form of lifestyle if they don’t address the building disaster that surrounds them.

The solution invariably arrives in the form of a group of dedicated contractors surrounded by the artistic genius of a talented (and sometimes eccentric) designer.

Closer inspection will often show that an army of skilled workers appears to lend their time and labour required to fix the issues. In the case of the last show that I saw, there were a total of 92 contractors on-site.

People who could have commanded a fair wage for their fairly long day’s work…

People who volunteered to help a good cause…

People who were not seeking their fame and fortune on T.V…

And this got me thinking. What are the motivational factors that would invoke this wholesale generosity?

Here are five things to consider:

  1. People want to help the underdog. I believe that we have an inherent desire to help others who are suffering. When you hear about the misfortune of others, do you just shrug a shoulder or put your shoulder to the plough to give them a helping hand?
  2. A deaf ear is a sign of a closed mind. Are you allowing yourself to listen for the signs of misfortune that surround you or just presenting a deaf ear? This is seen as a reflection of whether you have an open mind or are close-minded and selfish. How would you score yourself?
  3. There’s no success without sacrifice. John Maxwell teaches on the ‘Law of Sacrifice’ in his book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership that everybody who has achieved any success in their life has had to make the sacrifices to do so. Note that it is sacrifices (plural) – not a one-off. How many times do you see others give up at the first hurdle that they encounter? And more importantly, ask yourself how you cope in those situations…
  4. You must keep giving up to stay up. I love the phrase “You’re either green and growing, or ripe and rotting!” If you observe a plant, you will often notice that as they grow, they shed older leaves and grow new ones. This is important because their leaves occasionally become damaged over time by insects, disease and weather. The shedding and replacement continues all the time. Like these plants, what are you giving up to help you stay up?
  5. They think of others before they think of themselves. Volunteers often put others in front of themselves. As Gerald Brooks, leadership speaker and pastor, says: “When you become a leader, you lose the right to think about yourself!” Is your thought pattern self-centered or other-centric?

Go out there and do some good…

Nsanz GSF