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Give Your Best to Get the Best in Life

A story is told of a farmer who gave the best of his seeds to his neighbors. He was also known to share his better breed bulls, in terms of fertility, during breeding seasons. This seemingly generous farmer provided educational opportunities for all the children in his village as well.

This farmer?s way of life shocked one of his friends. "Why do you give your best seeds to your neighbors and even let them use your proven breeding bulls to breed their cows?" His bewildered friend asked. Before the farmer could respond, there was another question. "Don?t you know these people are your competitors?"

After thinking about those questions the farmer responded, "They are not competitors. Yes, we sell our garden produce and diary products at the same market. But that is not the whole picture. You see, when I give my best seeds to them, I am sure my crops will be cross-pollinated with the best. When I share my best bulls, I know there will always be the best within my village."

Even with this answer, his friend had one more thing to ask the farmer. "But why do you to provide educational opportunities for their children when you could save your fortune for your own children and their families?"

Without mincing words, the farmer said, "I need workers who know what they are doing. Besides, when people are well educated, they have a chance of getting good jobs, and then you wouldn?t have to worry about them stealing what you have. Because of this, I have never had the need to fence my property."

This story came to mind few moments after I asked a colleague of my to give contacts for a training material their office uses. The material is not developed exclusively for their office?s needs. It?s something out in the market of which I could have gotten its source?s contacts from elsewhere.

The cold response that I got was, "I am not sure I should share this with you because you are our competitor." In about a decade of professional speaking, writing and consulting, this was the first time I have come across this way of thinking.

The reason behind the success of the top performers in any chosen field can largely be attributed to the unrestrained giving of their wisdom, time and resources. They have mentored others. They pointed open doors for others to enter through the gates of opportunities. They have let would be competitors learn what it takes to stay ahead. Masters of the craft have no worry in showing others "the ropes" of their jungle.

Stephen Covey has reminded us that the best way to learn something is by teaching to others. What we give is what we can keep for the rest of our lives. When we give our best, we get the best. It has been said that the best way to defeat your enemy is to make him your friend. The best way to have a cutting edge over your competitor is to have them talk nicely of your services and/or products. I do believe that God does bless those who bless others in ways the bottom line cannot measure.

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