The title of this blog post simply cannot be overstated – the importance of understanding people. But what does that mean? And does it really apply to you?
Firstly, this applies to everyone – it doesn’t matter if you’re big or small, young or old, American or Indian, your ability to understand the people you encounter throughout your life will be one of the primary determining factors of whether you’re happy, wealthy and successful or not.
That seems like a big statement to make, however when you start to examine the human species and our need to coexist in vast societies in order to thrive, it becomes increasingly clear that if you can’t understand – and therefore successfully co-habit with – your fellow humans, then life for you is likely to be short, miserable and extremely lonely.
But what about the hermits, you cry! In return, I ask you this – take a good honest look at their lives; is that really the life you want for yourself? For your loved ones? For your children? Okay, so let’s cut the bullshit. Yes – people have managed to survive in the most destitute of circumstances, but that’s just the thing – they survived. Now let me ask you this – you’ve got one life; do you want to survive, or do you want to thrive?
For me, it’s ALL about living this life to the maximum and THRIVING all the way to the grave. The only way to do that is to push your own limits every single day, and to make your main priority in life asking better and better questions… questions are everything, and the right questions will change your life in ways you cannot even imagine.
But what does it mean to understand other people? Well, for me, it means to be constantly working towards achieving a certain level of comprehension around the subject of why people do the things they do. Why do they react in different ways to the same situation or stimulus? Why do people get crazy about sports? How do you inspire someone to be the best version of themselves by helping them to unlock the deepest depths of their unique mental capacities and empower them to unleash them upon the world?
But do you know why this is all so important? Do you know why it’s imperative you find answers to these questions? I’ll tell you; because when you enable others to understand themselves, and the limitless possibilities that lay before them in their lives by answering these paradigm shifting questions, you unlock the doors of limitless potential for yourself also.
Think about it, if you can unlock the world for someone else, then that means you have the key and you know how to find the door – just think about what that means for you in your life! Simon Sinek said it perfectly when he describes his realisation that we’re going about life all wrong – we’re going after our dreams, trying to achieve our goals and conceiving ways that we can be all that we want to be… when really we should be asking ourselves better questions – how can you help others achieve their dreams (so they in turn can help you achieve yours along the way)? How can you help others achieve their goals(so they in turn can help you achieve yours along the way)? How can you conceive ways to help others become all that they have dreamed of becoming (so that they too can dream with you about how you can achieve the way)?
Surround yourself by inspired people, and you too shall become inspired. Always work to inspire others – push them beyond yourself, and you will find that they often reach back and return the favour. The focus should always be on the difference you can make to the lives of others, rather than on the difference you can make for your own life – focus on the former and everything else takes care of itself.
Though, I digress.
You need to understand what makes people tick, and why they do the things they do in order to best manipulate your own life. That word – manipulation – is soaked in negative connotations. I should imagine most readers cringed at the mention of it in that context; manipulation of your life through the manipulation of the lives of others? Sounds terrible, and certainly more than a little conceited!
Well, not really – keep your knickers on ladies and gents.
You, and everyone around you, are manipulating events, people and situations every day of your life. As parents we manipulate our children through proven persuasion techniques and tried and tested methods that we develop over the years in order to get them to follow our rules, and conform (to a point) to acting in the way that we desire (dictate). As human beings we are adept at manipulation, and as with the gun and the hammer, just because it CAN be used with malicious intent certainly doesn’t mean that it’s ALWAYS used as such, nor that it has no value in everyday society.
Think of it this way, if we were crap at getting the things we want in life, then we would be pretty crap at surviving long term as a species – it’s pretty necessary in order for us to thrive, and sometimes that means utilising our skills of manipulating our environment to put us ahead of our competition – often in the past, this was a matter of life or death – survival of the fittest, and this instinct lives on in us all to this day.
Understanding all of this not only empowers you to get what you want out of life, but it also protects you from those in our societies who would look to exploit these principals and innate human characteristics. In fact, these techniques can be so reliable simply because they are built into our nervous systems – these programmed responses are literally a part of our DNA, and this is what leaves us susceptible to manipulation. It all works on a sub-conscious level, and so most of the time you have no idea what’s going on, or even that you are being influenced as much as you are. So in understanding and possessing these skills yourself, you are protecting yourself from the bad actors in the crowd, whilst still getting the most from life.
At a rudimentary level, it’s boils down to one thing – if you don’t understand people, then you’re likely to struggle in getting along with people, and your success in life depends on your ability to integrate into society in order to extract the benefits from it. If you don’t get along with others, others are less likely to be interested in building relationships with you, and opportunities are the babies of well nurtured relationships.
Your network is your net worth – financially, spiritually, and inspirationally. Learn to understand others and you shall not only learn to understand yourself, and what makes you tick, but you shall also fund the key that unlocks the untapped potential in your life… and when you do that, everything changes.