You’re a judge for a professional dance company. Many dancers have auditioned before you and you are down to making a final choice between two very graceful and equally talented dancers.
They both dance with exquisite form and technique. They both know how to captivate an audience – but you can only choose one…
One dancer, she is elegant, and she knows it. She moves with precision and with emotion. She is confident and sure of herself, she devotes every waking moment to perfecting her craft.
For her, there’s no time to waste, she is fully invested in herself, and has not a cent to spare since she must maintain that regal dancer’s look every day.
The other dancer, she puts her heart into every performance. She puts herself inside the music and becomes the song. She doesn’t focus solely on perfection, but on telling the story.
Though she’d like to spend every moment practicing, she realizes there are people who need her help and family members who want to spend time with her. She values the relationships she’s built with family and friends.
She doesn’t mind sacrificing expensive name-brand gear for similar quality, yet less costly items so that she can contribute regularly to a local charity and volunteer whenever she can. In fact, it was a friend who also served at a local shelter who told her about this audition.
Both of these dancers want to build strong careers; both hope that this audition will be the one that catapults their career forward and rewards their years of hard work.
One is concerned mostly with herself. The other dancer is concerned with helping others. Who is more likely to have a better career?
The dancer who cares more about helping others is more likely to succeed and here’s why:
- She genuinely cares about people. People know when you really care about them and when you don’t. People who know you will go out of your way for them are more likely to do the same for you. Plus, people that you’ve helped tend to want to show their gratitude by returning the favor. What if the person you helped years ago suddenly became famous? How nice would it be to be able to call in a favor when you need one?
- You never know who you’re helping – they may end up helping you! Some opportunities only come when you extend yourself for the good of others. Had the second dancer skipped out on her commitment to serve at the local shelter, she would’ve missed the opportunity of a life time. It just so happened that the director had a friend who works for the dance company!
- You get back what you give in ways you can’t imagine. It’s just like dance practice, the more work you put in, the greater the final performance. It’s like making a deposit that earns interest – you won’t know when you’ll get it back, but good that goes out, always comes back in greater numbers.
- You shouldn’t be the only one who benefits from your success. Dancing is a gift that should be used to enlighten and bring joy to the audience. A performance can motivate, inspire and encourage, but it requires a dancer to give of him/herself emotionally and physically to benefit those who are watching. Your success should also benefit the people who have helped you and supported you as you’ve progressed. People tend to support people and companies that they know will give back and contribute to the community.
Not long ago, I was watching television and one commercial, in particular, caught my attention. It touched my heart to see helpless ducks being rescued from the Gulf oil spill. They were taken and gently washed in Dawn dish washing liquid. That company had donated funds and products specifically for this cause and was making a difference in the world.
Successful businesses go out of their way to let the public know that they are giving back to the community, that they are offering scholarships, and giving to charities, etc. They do this because people want to know that rather than keeping all of the profits for themselves, these companies will support the community that is supporting it. People want to know that the money they’re spending will go to a company that is doing more than just profiting, but also cares about our environment.
What does this have to do with dancing?
Simply put, people tend to become enamored with people who can see beyond their success, who care about other people and are willing to support the success of others. A dancer who values developing his or her character as much as the career is one who will stand out with integrity and honor as opposed to one who is just concerned with being a well-paid celebrity.
A dancer who chooses to make it a point to help and be a blessing to others is one who creates more opportunities, possibilities and who builds more positive relationships that pay off in the long run. It’s those mutually beneficial relationships built through helping and serving that have the greatest impact on a dancer’s career.
If you had to choose, which dancer would you select for the lead spot?
If you’re like most people, you’d choose the one who would be most likely to help others, right? So what have you done lately to help someone?
If you’d like to learn more about ways you could help and bless others, check out Be a Blessing: 77 Ways to Bless Others, for ideas on what you can do to make a difference in someone else’s life.