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Lead by example: Don’t wait for someone to be kind to you first

February 1, 2017

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Set good examples because you never know who’s watching

-By who cares?

Okay, so this article has been long overdue, and the discussion today is in relation to the act of “kindness”.

I feel like we live in a very cynical society where people will always question the motives and agendas of others when they show kindness towards them, especially if it’s coming from a complete stranger.

I’ve been in situations where even the smallest gesture of goodwill triggers the questions “why?” or “what do you want from me?”. I suppose this is the knee-jerk reaction so to speak.

The reason I’m writing about this topic is simple: I was recently a recipient of an act of kindness from a complete stranger whom I’ve never seen or met before in real life:

The caption in the picture above reads:

“I just want to take a moment to give a shout out to a fellow blogger and entrepreneur @strengthwithsubstance. His motivation and thirst for knowledge are contagious and I’m extremely excited that he used my free blogging resources to build his digital platform. I’m so appreciative of his support and I can’t wait to see what he does next. Be sure to follow”

Let me tell you why this is a big deal

First of all, I’ve been humbled by so many positive comments on the overall aesthetics of my website BUT, I can’t take all the credit: it all started with a man named Ben Cummings.

Ben is a successful Digital Marketing Specialist as well as an entrepreneur. Amongst other things, he is a blogger, podcaster, teacher, father, husband and more importantly, he creates some truly informative and inspirational content on his YouTube channel as well as his website.

In essence, what I’m trying to say is, Ben is just a boss!

He is self-made and the true definition of a multidimensional human being, who has much to offer in different capacities. When I grow up, I want to be just like him. People like him motivate me so much.

Not only did this man provide a simple, but yet comprehensive tutorial video on how to design a WordPress Blog, he also took some time out of his busy schedule to reply to my messages to provide assistance. In addition to this, Ben also offered some extremely useful advice for my future aspirations and let’s not forget about the Instagram shout out too!

Ben did not have any obligations to do any of the things which he has done for me.

He doesn’t owe me a damn thing!

He didn’t have to reply to my messages; he didn’t have to promote me to his thousands of followers and, he absolutely didn’t have to counsel me but yet, he still did these things regardless.

Ben led by example. Especially in a situation where he had nothing to gain from it

Ben wasn’t motivated by self-interest and, I am certain that he wouldn’t have predicted that I would be writing about him in one of my articles.

Further to our email communication, I gathered that this man genuinely wants to share his knowledge to help others and he certainly deserves all the accolades and financial rewards he receives in the process!

I know a few people that have reached out to an individual via social media (or other means) for help/opportunity but when they don’t receive the desired response, they get so emotional and butthurt.

I highlighted this because I have noticed that some people tend to have a misplaced sense of entitlement.

You can’t get butthurt every time you don’t receive the outcome you had hoped for. No one owes you a damn thing! Let me make this clear: the world…. doesn’t owe you a damn thing!

A sense of entitlement is bad, especially in situations where you might have done a favour in the past expecting to receive the same sentiment by return.

Simply because you’ve done a few favours for someone in the past does not mean that they have an obligation to indulge your requests. Get over it. Assuming Ben gave me the cold shoulder, I honestly wouldn’t have taken it personally, and I would have simply searched for someone else to help me on my mission.

I say all that to say this:

The fact that I’m proper geeking out over an Instagram shout-out may seem silly to some but to me, it’s a massive deal.

Not only have I received some traffic to all of my online pages, I was also reminded of a valuable teaching which I have long forgotten. That is, “be kind”.

It has been a while since I’ve done a random act of kindness and I intend to rekindle this habit in my life. I feel like we shouldn’t have to wait for someone to be kind to us first. Sometimes, taking the first step to demonstrate a gesture of goodwill is best.

Other times, it can even lead to some unexpected rewards as we simply don’t know who is watching or paying attention to our actions. Don’t get in the way of your blessings!

We are our own worst enemies

In commerce, we live in a very competitive world where Social Media is more prominent than ever. Unfortunately, the impact of Social Media has successfully cultivated a very peculiar habit in some individuals where they fail to provide a helping hand simply because they are afraid of the other person getting “bigger” than them. This shouldn’t be the case AND, I would very much love for Ben’s act of kindness to trickle down.

As such, I am using this opportunity to proclaim that if there is anyone out there that need assistance with something which they feel like I can help with… please, do not hesitate to ask.

So far, I have received some e-mails from people wanting to ‘guest post’ on my website. Get in touch and let’s discuss this. If your message fits with the values of ‘STRENGTH with SUBSTANCE’ then I would very much love to hear from you- let’s explore your ideas some more.

Never forget:

kindness is free. Give it out and prosper!

And to Ben, thank you once again big bro.

Don’t forget where you found this article and remember to like, comment and share it! #BeSafeTho

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Timi

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Timi Awolola

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