There are three types of people in the world: givers, matchers, and takers.
Takers are selfish. They focus on what they can get, and they don’t care how that affects other people. They only care about themselves and their interests.
Matchers are fair. They will help you if you help them. They are reasonable people who look for a balance of giving and taking.
Givers are selfless. They focus on helping others without expecting anything in return. They find joy in helping others achieve their dreams.
So, who achieves the greatest success in life?
I’ve been reading a fantastic book about this topic called “Give and Take” by Adam Grant. He provides the answer to that question.
You might think the taker does the best because they are so self-interested. But they don’t. People quickly learn who the takers are. Once people recognize you as a taker, they don’t want to interact with you. So, takers may win a little in the short run, but they don’t do well in the long run.
Next, you might think the matcher would do well since they are balanced in their approach. But again, they don’t achieve the most success. People see matchers as transactional. They are willing to help, but not willing to go way above and beyond for a matcher.
So that leaves the givers. But as Adam Grant explains, givers actually perform the worst… and the best. Givers do well because other people so deeply trust and respect them. Givers give without expecting anything in return. People remember that. When others have the chance, they choose to help because they are helping someone who has helped them.
So, why do givers also perform the worst? That’s because some givers act without any self-interest. This lack of self-interest means that they are simply taken advantage of. So, some givers perform poorly while others perform the best.
Adam Grant illustrated how being self-interested is independent of being a giver. Givers can generously give and help others without expecting anything in return. They can also be self-interested and focused on achieving great things for themselves.
My key point is this: Focus on giving to others without expecting anything in return. The more you help other people achieve great things the more you are seen as a wonderful giver. When given the chance, others will likely help you also achieve great things because they are so impressed with who you are. Also, be careful not to be taken advantage of. Adam Grant goes in a much greater depth in his book. And he has some excellent tips like powerless communication and generous tit for tat.
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