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Is Life A Zero-Sum Game?

What is the benefit-cost ratio of giving a compliment? Most people would probably agree that it's fairly high.

Singing the praises of a friend, highlighting a good trait of a colleague. Or even to simply say thank you for a good deed done.

The human need for appreciation is profound. The feel good for the recipient is enormous. One’s spirit is lifted as a result.

And what does it cost? In real terms, nothing.

So why is it so difficult?

As is often the case, the reason for this is our own lack of self-esteem. We incorrectly feel that by lifting someone else up we are belittling ourselves.

This is because we don’t love ourselves, nor are we fulfilled in our own lives.

Instead of discovering our own individual paths, we try to imitate others, as we desperately try to fit in.

Sadly, many of us do not have a compass or sense of intrinsic orientation. We assess ourselves by comparing ourselves to others.

If life’s a game of comparison then it’s a zero sum game. Any accomplishment by someone else would thus make one feel further diminished as a consequence.

If, however, we had a healthy self esteem and were genuinely happy with our lives, we would be more comfortable, perhaps even eager to praise others.

In fact, this is a win-win situation. Because by complimenting others, we make them feel good, and as a result they will praise others.

This could even be a game changer, at home, at work or in the community.

Very minimal cost. Tremendous benefit.

It could change the world.


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