Over the years, I've heard and plenty of advice about how to be happier and more successful. However, if I had only piece advice to guide my life and career towards success, it would be the (appropriately named) Golden Rule. Here's why:
1. It's universal to every human culture.
If the golden rule didn't create success, it wouldn't universal to every culture and religion in the world:
- China: "Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself."
- Egypt: "That which you hate to be done to you, do not do to another."
- Greece: "Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing."
- India: "Treat others as you treat yourself."
- The Old Testament: "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
- The New Testament: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
- The Talmud: "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow."
- The Koran: "Wish for your brother, what you wish for yourself."
2. It's a practical guide to behavior.
The key to success in business is understanding what other people need and then finding a way to satisfy that need. The golden rule explains exactly how you can accomplish this.
Consider: in the real world, you have control only over your own actions. The golden rule defines what actions to take by applying a simple, easily understood touchstone. It is (if you'll pardon the biz-blab) both actionable and proactive.
3. It's also the key to personal growth.
Sometimes people think the Golden Rule is just about how you treat others. Delve deeper, though, and you'll see that it also defines how you should treat yourself.
You can't possibly exercise the Golden Rule in your life if you're treating yourself poorly. To love your neighbor as yourself, you must first love yourself.
And that's essential, because self-love, melded with a desire to help others, creates the motivation and drive that can change the world.