Nobody cares about you. Except maybe your family, some of your extremely close friends and your dog. That’s it. No body else genuinely cares about you UNLESS you are directly or indirectly doing something that matters to them.
It’s not necessarily always a bad thing, because the truth is if no one genuinely cares, should you even bother about what others think of you or what you are doing in your life? Countless people’s dreams have been crushed by the famous Hindi Saying “Log Kya Kahenge” (“Don’t you fear what others are gonna say about you?!”)
But the reality is most people don’t care about you. They are too bothered about their own lives and worrying about what you think of them. Even if they do judge you, it only reflects their character and insecurities. That’s it. So when someone doesn’t care if you died today why should you care about their criticism if they talk crap behind your back just because you chose to do what you want? They are not the ones feeding you, are they?
That being said, ignore the critics whose only motive is gossip but don’t ignore everyone you meet along the way. You do need people’s good will to succeed. At least you do need the support of the right people. Sure, barring some exceptions, they may not genuinely care about you, but you still need their support because no one in the world is self made.
Everybody at some point needed the support of someone or the embrace of someone. Someone who would open the door for them when nobody else did. Someone who pushed them up the ladder while everybody else was trying to pull them down. Whether you realize this or not, whatever you will achieve out of life will never be out of your efforts alone. It is going to be your effort plus the efforts of the people you associate with.
I don’t go to a lot of networking events, especially not random ones because it seems everyone is only pushing themselves. And why not. After all, isn’t the point of networking trying to find people who can become allies in helping you achieve your goals. It sure is.
But most people do it the wrong way, over promote themselves and become super annoying. Instead of trying to show how they can provide value to the other person, they are interested in how they can extract value out of the other person. Again, nothing wrong with pushing your own interests, but unless you are giving something of value to people in return, it’s not gonna happen.
I am not saying you should go out of your way and be exploited by others just to make it seem like you genuinely care. But understand that every relationship in the world is a give and take relationship. Every single one. Unless you can prove you will provide value to people, you can’t expect anything in return.
An awesome story to drive the point home!
I will share with you a beautiful story called “The Tiger in The Toilet” by K. Ajayakumar. To make my point clearer, I am going to change around some details of the story but all credit for the original goes to K. Ajayakumar
So the story goes like this, a hungry tiger happened to come out of the jungle in search of food and reached a nearby city. As it was late at night nobody saw it and it quickly entered a corporate office nearby and hid itself in the men’s washroom in a corner where nobody could spot it.
As the office hours started, people came to the office and started using the washroom at regular intervals. The tiger was terribly scared and thus hid itself quietly for the first several hours. But then he could handle his hunger no more. He decided he would have to make his move and eat the next person who entered the bathroom.
The next person that entered the bathroom happened to be the Assistant General Manager of the organization. He quickly pounced on him and ate him.
Most people didn’t really notice that the Assistant GM was nowhere to be seen. A couple of subordinates did notice but they were happy he wasn’t around as they could relax and waste time gossiping. So they didn’t bother to find out.
The tiger was still hungry so he decided to have another go. After a couple of hours the vice president of the company came in and most people in the organization hated him. The tiger attacked the VP, dragged him to a dark corner and ate him.
Yet again, most people did not notice as they did not care. Some people who did notice were actually happy he wasn’t around so decided not to search for him.
Around the evening the Tiger realized he needed one more meal that would last the night. This time, the office boy who supplied tea and coffee to all the employees came in. The tiger attacked and out of shock, the man lost consciousness. The tiger decided he would eat him later and quietly dragged him to the corner once again.
But this time, something else happened. People who wanted their cup of tea or coffee began wondering where the office boy was, everybody wanted their tea and became frustrated. Quickly the entire office started searching for him, finally they stormed the bathroom where they discovered the tiger, the remains of the two senior employees and the unconscious man and saved him just in time!!
The moral of the story is that people are ultimately motivated by self interest and if you want to save your behind or need their help in any situation, you better be of use to them in the first place!
When it comes to professional network building, identify the right people, the people who can actually help you. Obviously it doesn’t mean you should be rude or discourteous to everyone else. Make sure you are humble and as far as possible, avoid conflicts with people unless you have no other choice. Some people may not be great as friends but they can be terrible as enemies. Be friendly with everyone but your networking efforts should focus more on the people who are in alignment with your professional goals.
But the key is this, instead of meeting someone and expecting them to help you with your dreams and goals, see how you can provide them what they need. If the value you provide them is not their need, then all your efforts will be pointless. You need to ensure that whatever you provide fulfills a BURNING need they have but at the same time your presence must be necessary to ensure that need is being fulfilled. If you just help them with what they want and they don’t need you anymore, many ungrateful people will not return the favor, make you work for free and make you feel used. Make sure the fulfillment of their burning need depends on your presence at all times. Once you can do this, you can get almost anything done even from the most powerful of people!.
About the Author
Anubhav Srivastava is an author, speaker and the director of Carve Your Destiny, a first of its kind inspirational documentary featuring some of the most famous personalities from diverse fields. It has been seen by over 1 Million People on Youtube. Anubhav has also been featured in numerous International and India Media outlets such as BBC , The Times of India, Hindustan Times, Rediff.com, Leicester Mercury and many others.
For one on one consulting or a motivational workshop at your organization please email firstname.lastname@example.org . If you would like to write a guest blog post on Anubhavsrivastava.com you contact me on the same email address.
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