Why Things We Do for Others Sometimes Turn out Better

I sometimes record little pieces, not so often little songs, usually incomplete. The video below is one of the short but at least completely recorded original songs. And today I listened to it, it just came up on my Youtube and I thought, “you know this one has a funny story”.

I remember this person I wrote the song originally for. This person didn’t want me to publish it, but don’t think of any selfish reasons. More of a love of privacy in all we did, which made everything uncensored and special somehow. But I did want to post this one. And we agreed that I record this a bit of a different version to post it. Because I actually record so very few songs start to end, and am especially lazy at adding lyrics … That was even when I had the time to do that. Nowadays I may not touch the piano more than 3 times a year. But today it came up in my playlist and I realised why this one was actually completed initially…

I realised that like most things I do in life, when I do them only for myself, I am lazy. I am only doing them well and start ’til end when I do them for someone else, I can’t do less than decent stuff for another person, and if it’s not great then at least I did my best … It’s like that oxytocin rush when you help someone else and feel useful. Sometimes there’s nothing you need to try much, maybe you just need to listen. Sometimes you want to do something for someone else and since you want to know them you did it with all your heart, you really invest more effort in it than you may do otherwise (like the original recording of this piece, not this exact one though :) ). Other times, before that oxytocin rush it’s the adrenaline rush as you don’t want to feel the shame of not having tied hard enough for someone else, or them failing because you — that’s actually a lot of what I do at work on team assignments. And both are part of the responsibility I feel for others and the joy of helping other grow in the Team Leader jobs I’ve been in. It can be exhausting at times, but also addictive when things work and it’s even harder to give up the good when you worked through all the bad. I just wish I could easier tap into this potential when I do things for myself and follow through with some things that are for my own good in general.

They say people have become individualists and act selfishly etc. I just don’t believe it is that true. We are not built that way. We are social because we are bulilt to be social and the reason we were built this way was because survival was easier in groups than on our own … even this is not required anymore, we are still very much built that way and let’s say the degree to which we price this has dropped maybe a bit, but it’s like 5% from the total, we’re still 95% the same social beings we always were … because we can’t escape our nature. And besides this oxytocin … our psyche can much easier deal with the problems that don’t directly impact us — that’s why a lot of the times we do come up with good solutions to someone else’s problems (after we go through all the initial ones they had thought of too). And the less we understand it sometimes the more we can simplify to see the big picture and find the logical way to act about things easier. It’s like in coaching, the coach can better facilitate the session if he does not know the subject the coachee is talking about too well, so that they don’t have too much own experiences to integrate and start advising but rather ask the relevant questions to the coachee so that they can find the answer themselves and don’t need to be convinced of it, they can start acting immediately… And when we are good or quick at finding a solution to something, the better we are and the quicker we are the more of the happy and relational hormones we get. And as for any chemicals like that in our brain, our brain wants to continue to be high on them. It’s easy, a lot less work and not the whole effort of implementing the idea either, to get all the happy feeling of being useful and helpful … Don’t you think the world would be a much happier place if we just kept helping each-other more?

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