A Surprisingly Satisfying Alternative to Self-promotion

It was bound to happen, I suppose. All this talk of platforms and tribe-building finally got to me. I’m sick of it.

Yes, I still believe in sharing messages deserving to be heard, but now I see the unfortunate byproduct of beating this drum. I see the nasty nuisance of incessant me-first mentalities.

And I’m about to quit the Internet because of it.

Self Promo
Photo Credit: Helga Weber via Compfight cc

The timelessness of selfishness

Maybe it’s always existed — this obsession with “me” and “mine” — or maybe I’ve finally tuned into it.

The truth is self-centeredness has always existed; it’s part of human nature to put yourself before others. People don’t always act out of self interest, but they often do.

And now that everyone has a megaphone and a brand and feels like they have something to say, things are getting noisy.

Can you relate?

Maybe you’ve been frustrated with me for doing the same thing. If so, I apologize.

This is tempting (but don’t do it)

The fact is life is hard, and it can be tempting to look out only for Numero Uno. But that kind of thinking can also get exhausting. Who wants to only help themselves? It’s often an exercise in futility.

As I’ve said before, we find our purpose in life not by staring at the mirror but by looking out the window.

In this competitive world, we can give into the temptation to seek first our own desires and put other people second. It’s quite easy (and normal). But in doing so, we miss out on a beautiful, satisfying part of life.

What we miss is something so simple that we often neglect it or downright forget to do it. So… what is it?

Helping people.

That’s it. Just reaching out and serving someone without agenda or hidden motive. Just. To. Help. To see someone else’s dream come true. It can be a lot more fun than tweeting out yet another one of your articles or trying to earn one more pat on the back.

The benefits of being generous

Here’s what happens when we promote others instead of self:

  1. We earn trust. People like people who care about other people. So the irony is the more generous you are, the less selfish you have to be.
  2. We are humbled. Often, in looking at what other people are doing, I realize my own work isn’t as good as I thought. Promoting others helps me get better.
  3. We feel good. Knowing we did the right thing goes a lot further than you might think. It can cure creative blocks and rejuvenate a tired soul. Plus, it’s quite a rush.

Are you tired of all the self-promotion? Try being counter-cultural. Try serving someone else for a change. It may be all you need to get refreshed.

What do you think about self-promotion and helping others? What does this mean for you? Share in the comments.