Monday, June 25, 2012

The Power to Make People Happy

If you can make people happy, you have a vital key to your success.

All your success depends on other people. People give you money, raises, contracts, praise, support, opportunities, help and advice. They recommend you to other people who also give you what you need. If you can make people happier than they already are, you get more of what you want.

People can also hinder your success. If you make them unhappy, they may give you criticism, opposition and bad reviews. Even if they do not actively oppose you, they can withhold their support, hide your options or do nothing for you.

When you make others happy, you own an important skill. You can open doors to success. Just the act of making people happy is rewarding.

"If a person thinks he can be happy without making those around him happy, he's crazy."
-- L. Ron Hubbard

However, the first step to making people happy can be difficult.

Step One

Everyone has an identity. It's how they want to be. You can call it their "beingness."

Trying to make people change their beingness is a common activity. For example, a 10-year-old girl's parents are worried that she likes to act like a boy. They are afraid she'll grow up and join a motorcycle gang or become a lesbian. So they make her wear dresses and play with dolls. They forbid her from playing baseball or riding her skateboard. They fail to notice she is no longer happy.

As another example, Fred is a computer geek. He likes to wear goofy clothes and tell silly jokes. Fred goes to a college where the popular students criticize him. "Fred, your jokes are so dumb I want to gag." "Fred asked me out to dinner once and I laughed at him." "Check out Fred's striped pants! What an idiot!"

Married people often try to change each other's beingness as well. "Jill, I wish you were not so talkative. You're on the phone all day." "Jack, you lazy bum. I wish you were more energetic so you would take me out dancing!" Jack and Jill's marriage is not happy.

How do you feel when someone tries to change your beingness? Perhaps you feel resentful. You might even want to attack the person. You certainly do not feel happier.

Granting Beingness

The first step to making people happy is to allow them be who they are.

"The ability to assume or grant (give, allow) beingness is probably the highest of human virtues*. It is even more important to be able to permit (allow) other people to have beingness than to be able to oneself to assume it."
-- L. Ron Hubbard (virtue: good or desirable quality)

In past TipsForSuccess articles, we've covered how you must "be" something before "doing" or "having." For example, before "having" a successful accounting firm, the accountant must first "be" a successful practice owner and then "do" the steps necessary to then "have" the successful firm. Assuming the "successful accounting firm owner" identity is necessary to success.

More important than assuming your own beingness, is permitting others to be whatever they want to be.

For example, you need to let Fred the computer geek be exactly what he wants to be. You grant him beingness. You say to yourself, "It's completely okay with me for Fred to wear odd clothing and make bad jokes." You then realize Fred is actually a good person. You laugh at his jokes. You admire his purple tie. You become friends. A few years later, you get an executive job at his new multi-million-dollar computer company.

Granting beingness to marriage partners can seem very difficult, but anyone can do it. "Jack, if you want to lie on the couch each night, that's okay with me." "Jill, let's get another phone line so you won't be interrupted with other calls." If you sincerely grant beingness to your spouse, you are both happier.

For most parents, ensuring their children are happy is their first goal. Granting beingness is essential to this happiness. For example, on Monday, little Joey wants to be a fireman. His mom says, "You'll be a great fireman!" On Tuesday, Joey wants to be a basketball star. "I think you'll be a wonderful basketball star!" And so on.

Later in life, if this mother is smart, she still grants Joey beingness. "So you want to quit college to work for a rock band? You'll be setting up the stage? Well, I think you'll be the best stage manager they've ever hired!" One week later, Joey decides he should finish his education and goes back to college..

What if Joey's mother had not granted him beingness. "Joey, that's the stupidest decision you've ever made. You must quit this job and go back to college." Of course, Joey can't be wrong about his decision and so sets up stages for rock bands for the next 50 years.

Change the World

Imagine how the world would be if everyone granted beingness to everyone else. No more discrimination because of the color of your skin. Women would be treated as fairly in business as men. Everyone could join whichever religion they preferred. Career choices would come from the heart. You could be whomever you wanted to be.

Such a world is possible. It starts with granting beingness.

Managing Others

If you are a teacher, boss or parent, you can get others to change what they DO and still grant them beingness. For example a car repair shop boss should not tell his new mechanic, "You need to cut your hair and become a hard-working mechanic like me!" The boss gets better loyalty and more work from his mechanic if he says, "I don't care how you look as long as you fix 10 cars each week.."


Grant beingness to everyone you meet today. Let them be whoever they want to be. Make no attempt to change their beingness.

Grant beingness to someone you already like. Notice what happens to your feelings and your relationship with this person.

If someone irritates, grant him or her beingness. For example, if another driver on the road makes you mad, grant beingness. If a someone appears odd or ugly to you, grant this person beingness.

If you dislike someone, grant this person beingness as well. You can do this right now, without even seeing the person. It may not be easy, but the rewards can be interesting, even amazing.

Watch how others respond to you when you grant them beingness.

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