Become Someone Worth Helping

457569270_434a85ae08_oSome people think that the world is out to get them, and that there’s some kind of organized conspiracy going on by unknown bad guys, to keep them from rising up.

Are they right?

Of course not.

That’s just something that lazy losers think so that they can feel good about themselves, without having to put in the hard work needed to rise up.

Is the opposite thing true then? That the world is a harmonious place, and that everyone wants to help you succeed?

No, that’s not exactly true either. Even though there’s no harm in thinking that. Always think things that benefit you.

Anyway, the world is not out to get you. But at times, certain people are.

A lot of people are dissatisfied with their lives. Some of these people want the same for you — and will want to bring you down to their level. Because they’re unintelligent, they convince themselves that they can make their own situation better by ruining things for you. The typical example of this would be:

  • The stupid, angry, guy who goes out to get into fights with other people.
  • The mean bureaucrat who won’t help you with some small thing, just to spite you.
  • The bouncer, cop, or exam guard who misuses his position by messing with you for no other reason than to feel like he’s a more important person than you are.

Clearly, everyone you meet aren’t going to be cool and friendly people who want to help you.  That’s just the reality of it.


Who Will People Help?

Here’s a basic principle about human nature: We admire the strong and we avoid the weak.

This behavior manifests itself both consciously and unconsciously. We are attracted to the things we think will help us get closer to our goals and improve our “biological value”, and we avoid that which we think will make us weaker.

Consider street beggars. You avoid them, don’t you? Don’t try to bullshit me.

While it is socially correct — in western countries — to help the weak by donating money to charities or giving money to beggars,  most people flinch internally and feel uncomfortable about it.

Why? Because we’re wired to avoid weakness.

Or phrased differently: we go where the value is and avoid that which doesn’t have value.

Pretty straightforward, right?

beggars have no value

Well, obviously everyone does not understand this — beggars are a great example. They provide nothing of value.

Actually, it’s the opposite: They steal value. Because they’re trying to make you feel guilty. They think you’ll help them if they can get you to pity them.

Does this work?

Nope. Never has. Never will.

Now, even though most people are NOT beggars, they will sometimes use the same lousy mindset. They think that they can get people to help them by playing “the guilt card” or by seeking to be pitied.

Of course, this does not work.  As you know, people are NOT attracted to weakness or value-leeching behavior.

There’s also another reason why most people won’t help “weak losers”, and it’s super important, so pay attention: It’s called the drop-in-the-bucket effect.

The drop-in-the-bucket effect states that people will not help someone else unless they think it’ll make a noticeable difference.

Let me give you an example: There have been experiments where two different people begged for money. The first person dressed as a beggar and the second person dressed as a businessman. The businessman was much more successful in his begging because people believed he was serious.

The businessman subcommunicated that he had his shit together. People believed he wanted to help himself, so if they gave him a dollar for a phone call, they knew it would make a difference — because it would fix things for him.

But what if they gave money to the beggar?

It probably wouldn’t make much of a difference at all. Give a dollar to a beggar and you’ll find him in the same spot tomorrow, asking you for another. The root problem would still be there.

So, who will people help?

People Will Help a Hungry Winner

Think of Hannibal Barca, the guy on the elephant in the image up top. He was one of the most skilled leaders ever.  He roamed around Italy undefeated for 15 years straight, during a time when the Romans were at their height of power and supposedly undefeatable in combat.

During this time he had all sorts of bad things happen to him and his army. For example, he lost one of his eyes to a nasty infection. He was stuck in hostile territory and never got any backup (supplies or soldiers) from his own country, Carthage.

Despite all this trouble, none of his soldiers ever rebelled, fled, or committed mutiny. Why?

Because Hannibal understood something incredibly important: How to create a compelling vision.

He supposedly said:

I cannot predict the future and I cannot force any of these men to cooperate with me. But I can tell them how I see it. I can show them my vision of the future — and if they like it they will join me.

Hannibal had a compelling vision of the future — he was a hungry winner. He wanted to conquer Rome and defeat them at their height of power, and he probably would have, if he had received backup at least once during his 15 years in Italy…

…But the council of Carthage didn’t like Hannibal’s ambition. Secretive elites conspired to his defeat. But they did not succeed. Hannibal remained undefeated during his time in Italy.

A question worth asking is: What value is there in having a compelling vision of the future?

And the answer is: Plenty.

One reason that a compelling vision of the future is valuable is because the future is uncertain. And anything that is uncertain or risky is fearsome to most people. Therefore, a compelling vision will help them feel better. And anything that makes someone feel good has value.

Having an empowering vision is synonymous with strength. But you don’t necessarily have to talk about your vision. Embodying it, leading by example, and being a hungry winner is better.

Hannibal Barca did all that brilliantly.

Other Reasons People Want to Help

Just like Hannibal said, you cannot force anyone to help you. The only reason anyone would ever want to help you is because they find value in it.

Sometimes people may want to help you for reasons you cannot even understand yourself. It’s easy to think — or rather unconsciously assume — that other people value the same things you do. But that’s rarely the case.

When Cuz D’Amato, the legendary boxing trainer, decided to mentor the shy and slightly overweight street kid Mike Tyson, he did it for selfish reasons. In fact, he did it for the most selfish reason in the book — the will to live.

…I had no reason to go on. But I have a reason now, because Mike’s here — and he gives me the motivation; I will stay alive, and I WILL watch him become a success, because I will not leave until that happens.

You see, Cuz was ready to die. He was an old man who had lost all interest in living. It was not that he was unhappy or dissatisfied with his life.  In fact, he was directly responsible for creating two world champion boxers: Floyd Patterson and José Torres. It was simply that Cuz  felt he had done what he wanted to do…

…Until he was introduced to the thirteen year old Tyson and decided to mentor him.

If that hadn’t happened, Mike Tyson would probably have become a felon who would’ve ended up in prison, or at best, made a semi-decent boxing career.

But Cuz decided to help Tyson — because he saw that Tyson was a diamond in the rough. Tyson was a hungry winner.

Become Someone Worth Helping

So there you have it.

People don’t want to help beggars because they won’t even help themselves. So why should people care about them, if they don’t even care about themselves?

You’ve probably seen the TV series Shark Tank, or Dragon’s Den. The entrepreneurs who come to the show to pitch the venture capitalists on the jury — do you think it would work if they sought to make the venture capitalists pity them?  Would they get any money or help?

Hell no.

You want people to help you?

Then quit being weak and become strong.

Stop leeching value and start providing value.

People will not help you unless they believe it’ll make a difference. They will not want to help you unless they believe you’ll implement their advice.

Become someone with a strong ambition, someone people want to help. Become a “hungry” winner.

 Photo credit: 1 & 2

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  1. Hi Ludvig,

    “Consider street beggars. You avoid them, don’t you? Don’t try to bullshit me” – ha, you bastard!

    Unfortunately in the past I’ve fallen ignorant to helping leeches (what can say, I’m nice person). And surprise, shock leopards don’t change their spots and they usual want more help after a couple of weeks.

    As I’m sure you’ve already guessed, I’m still a nice, lovely person and still always willing to help another person where I can… BUT I need to see those signs that they are trying to help themselves.

    At some point in life we will have to face a situation alone and just deal with it – giving and receiving is cool, but to just be carried… forget it.

    Also one more point… I’ve noticed that some people enjoyed being leached off. As though it makes them feel needed. Not my thing.

    By the way, nice profile pic :)


    • Heathenwinds says

      “I’m still a nice, lovely person”

      And humble too!

      What’s a shock leopard?

    • Hey!

      “By the way, nice profile pic :)”

      –Thanks Naomi. I could say the same about yours!

      “As I’m sure you’ve already guessed, I’m still a nice, lovely person”

      –Of course you are! ;)

      “I’ve noticed that some people enjoyed being leached off. As though it makes them feel needed”

      –Yeah. I guess the best example would be sugar daddies?

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