If you are not making someone else’s life better, then you are wasting your time
When I first read this quote, one word automatically came into my mind: “Empathy”. Empathy is the base of human relationships; without empathy, it is impossible to build deep bonds with another. Due to that, its impossible to understand what that person wants in life, and what makes them happy.
Humans are social beings, and because of that, they depend on society and from others to fulfill goals and achieve personal satisfaction. That is why the quote above (quoted from Will Smith) about losing our time if we are’t making others peoples lives better is absolutely true. The only thing that can actually make us happy as human beings is realizing that we have the ability to make others happy.
Many people search for meaning in their lives. They long to come across a conclusion as to why they were brought into this world. For some, this is apparent as they gravitate towards a certain industry or calling. For a vast majority of others, they are not provided with such clarity for their purpose. As we ponder introspectively to solve this philosophical conundrum, one of the biggest players in this quest is to reflect on one’s morals as well as their sense of fulfillment. Based on the results of this reflection one can help determine the greatest way they can positively impact their lives, as well as the lives of others.
Now with that being said what does this quote mean to entrepreneurs?
According to the dictionary, an entrepreneur “develops a business model, acquires human and other necessary resources, and is fully responsible for its success or failure”. In a sense, on a broader scale, we are all entrepreneurs of the world. If we don’t take risks towards the betterment of society as a whole, then it will fail. Speaking in a business sense, entrepreneurship and social outreach go hand in hand. There are copious amounts of opportunities for one to create programs in which helping others is a product or byproduct of their venture.
Take a look at Elon Musk; he is a staunch believer in this principle of working hard for the right causes. He believes that to be better than everyone else, you need to work harder than them. Way harder. About twice as hard. He first spends a lot of time justifying to himself why he has to work so hard to accomplish what he wants. He has to convince himself that whatever he’s building is truly what humanity needs to continue to be a better society. His practice is proven by greatly successful companies that are truly helping the human race more than ever. Companies like Tesla and Solarcity are helping our environmental impact by utilizing battery powered cars and solar panels to power our homes.
Sometimes you’re not able to improve someone’s life to the same extent as another person in a more powerful position. But what the quote means is that you should always be working towards helping others. There was a great graduation speech at USC given by Mark Benioff, the founder and CEO of Saleforce, where he spoke about the necessity of giving back. He mentioned that it can’t be an afterthought; it needs to be rooted at the core of your business from the start.
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