You’ve probably heard a motivational speaker say something along the lines of

If it is to be it’s up to me.

They’ll tell you that you and you alone are responsible for your success. And that is true as far as it goes.

But it isn’t enough. If you start looking at biographies of successful people you will find that remarkably few (if any) of them achieved their greatness in a vacuum. There were invariably other people around them who filled critical roles in their paths to success.

Take, for example the inspiring story of Wilma Rudolph. You may never have heard of her, but her story is incredible. As a child she contracted polio and was told by the doctors and medical experts that she’d never walk again. Yet by the time she was 16 she won a medal in the Olympics – running! And four years later she won three gold medals and earned the title of “Fastest Woman Alive.”

How does one go from being crippled with polio to three time Olympic gold medalist in a little over 10 years? With lots of help. Every one from Wilma’s parents to her coaches helped her along her path to gold.

Was she an exceptional person in her own right? Absolutely.

But she didn’t achieve her greatness in a vacuum. She had a lot of help along the way.

So what’s the point here?

People skills are critical to our own success. If we want to achieve our best and reach our highest potential we need to be aware that there will be folks who help us along the way.

It is interesting that nearly all the world’s major religions have some form of what is called the Golden Rule. Personally, I’m biased and I like the way Jesus said it best

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.

But the point is that all of these major religions recognize that we need to get along with other folks. And something that is nearly universally recognized as important to our spiritual well being probably has significant implications to our personal success as well.

If we are ever going to step out from the masses of mediocrity out there and see the success that is apart of our potential, than even the most introverted among us is going to have to learn to become a people person. The reason is simple, other people are critical to our success.

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