In my life, I started low, with little to no resources; therefore I worked my way up, built my skills, my network and my life. I took risks, some of them severe. Despite the progress throughout the years, I never forgot my origins and never looked down on anyone. However, there are those that do forget where they come from, and those who are afraid to advance in the first place.
Granted, achievements and success – however one may define it – are not for everyone. Some people do prefer to remain in their comfort zones, no matter how often they express the wish to move past it. As a professional and as a person, I have attempted to help people on several occasions, and I stood witness of this.
There is nothing wrong with it. On the contrary, many people are content where they are, even if they appear to not like it. Some might call it a metaphorical equivalent of the Stockholm Syndrome. Indecision accompanied by sticking to what’s familiar can form a very powerful grip on a person. As a result, the prospect of entering an unknown area can paralyze with fear. A single step of a staircase may seem as high as mount Everest.
Curious as it might sound, one’s comfort zone can become dangerous to someone outside it. Imagine you have a powerful car and you drive down a road. At some point, you see someone waving at you, with his own car stuck in the mud. You stop, throw in a rope and attempt to pull them out to the highway. Instead of that driver trying to free himself, he pulls the handbrake and slams his foot on the trapped car’s brakes. During that effort, you risk burning your own engine to pull someone who – eventually – does not want to be pulled out.
The road to higher grounds in life is a lonely one. Your allies, whoever they might be, will join you on their own accord, due to your achievements and proof of leadership, never due to your initial help. So, when you reach the higher grounds in life, remember, lower the elevator only half-way down. This way, the people who are serious enough to exit their comfort zone and achieve something better in their life, will have to make a genuine effort of their own.
Do not try to become that savior driver. Do not burn what you suffered to build for someone who has not dedicated the energy to make a singular step forward. You will most certainly be sabotaged. This is a mistake I did a few times over, which I believe taught me a significant lesson.
When someone truly wants something, they will put in the initial effort. If you put it in for them, it will become your damage and your damage alone.
All of us who seek something better in life, are not super-humans. We are just people with dreams, and a tendency to respect others. As much as we want to elevate everyone, not everyone wants to be elevated.