kindness, accepting, attuned

Kindness is Selfish (Redefining Success – Part 2)

In the previous post in this series of redefining success, we saw how it’s important for us to be happy and do the work we’re talented in, to be successful. I quoted that happiness is the primary quotient for a successful life. In this post, we’re going to see how significant it’s to stay kind. Even if you’ve made millions of dollars of money, if you don’t value and respect others and treat them equally, then you’re living a life of authority and not a success. In fact, being kind is also an act of selfishness, as studies confirm. Let’s explore how.

By putting in the hard work, dedicated efforts, and showing up to your craft, you can become successful. But for you to stay successful, you should be humble. You should respect people. When you start to degrade and look down upon people who’re less fortunate or of a lesser grade than you, then it means all the success you’ve accumulated over time add to become zero. There’s no real meaning to life without kindness, humility, and respect towards others.


I would like to share with you a video shared by the famous TV anchor Joe Morrison on Twitter.

You never know how your random acts of kindness can light up someone’s entire day. Look at the faces of those people with whom Usain Bolt fist-bumps. It might’ve been a small act for Bolt. But that means a lot to them.

The famous Greek philosopher Plato once said

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle

One of the main reasons why some people stay at the top for a prolonged period of time is their ability to be kind, even during the testing times. It’s easy for us to be kind to others when things are going our way. But sometimes, things may not go well as we planned. In those times, it’s very easy to lose our temper and shout at literally anyone. We pass on our frustration to others and shout, especially at our loved ones.

Passing on your frustration and anger to others will only make things worse. Instead, when you’re not getting the results that you wanted, practice being kind to people around you and even towards strangers.

Some ways you can practice kindness

Even though as a child we were wired to be kind to each other, as we grew up, we lost this virtue due to facing circumstances that made us lose faith in humanity. But we can restore the childhood version of ourselves by practice. Let’s see some of the ways we can practice kindness.

  1. No matter how small, make some donation to a charity that helps poor and differently-abled people on a regular basis.
  2. When you see someone stranded in your city or place without knowing the local language, help them out.
  3. Be kind to servers in the restaurants. This is called ‘the waiter rule’. People who’re kind to the waiter, are more successful ones. (Do you know ‘the waiter rule’ is used by big tech companies to hire people for higher positions?)
  4. Appreciate people more often for their effort rather than their result. This kind of gesture makes them work better to get the result.
  5. When you come across someone who inspired you, don’t hesitate to tell them how they made you feel.
  6. Say ‘Thank you’ more often to people who serve you daily, like the bus conductor, driver, shopkeeper, etc. This makes them feel special and encourages them.

To know more ways on how you can be kind to people and nature, click here.

Kindness is selfish

These small acts of kindness not only make others happy but also makes us feel satisfied and better. The act of kindness increases oxytocin and serotonin levels in the brain, which gives us a feeling of satisfaction and content. Many medications that are generally used for lowering depression in people are the ones that boost serotonin levels. But it comes at the cost of your physical health.

Being kind can naturally lift your spirits up and lighten up your mood. That’s why I said, it’s especially important to be kind when things are not going your way. So the next time, you feel frustrated, be kind to someone.

Whenever you’re about to act out of rudeness, use it as a cue to practice kindness. Be aware that your mood isn’t right and anything that you say or do out of rudeness will affect not only others but also you. Negative moods, as research suggests, are associated with negative outcomes. This includes an increased rate of coronary heart disease (CHD), a higher mortality rate among heart disease patients, and decreased social support.

An important thing to note here is that one random act of kindness isn’t enough. You’ve to make kindness a practice which you do regularly and not once in a blue moon. Make it your daily ritual. At the end of each day, ask yourself “How many times I’ve been kind today?”

The 5 side effects of Kindness

In his book “The five side effects of kindness”, Dr. David R Hamilton, points out that, like any drug, kindness also has some side effects.

  • It makes you happier.
  • Being kind is good for the heart.
  • Kindness slows aging
  • It improves your relationships.
  • Kindness is contagious (spreads faster than Corona Virus)

All these are backed by proper scientific research, which can be found here.

Summing Up

Sometimes, to get the work done, people resort to rude and stern behavior. Even some organizations and companies never treat their employees with respect. Their idea is that if they show some compassion or give appreciation, employees may cut lose and never get the job done. If you’re such an employer who employs this tactic to get the most out of your employees, I will let Mr. Dale Carnegie deal with you.

You can make your employees give your cooperation – until your back is turned – by threatening to fire them. You can make a child do what you want it to do by a whip or a threat. But these crude methods have sharply undesirable repercussions. The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want. What do you want? Appreciation and the desire for a feeling of importance

Excerpt from the book “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie

I know many of you want to be treated well and appreciated by your superiors or team lead or managers. Even I have a similar craving. I hope one day the people in higher positions understand this simple tactic and treat employees with kindness and respect. This not only results in better cooperation from the employees but also increases the quality and quantity of their output. And of course, it makes both the employees and the employer much more successful.


Usain Bolt’s gesture of kindness was compiled by Karl Nillo and shared extensively in many social media platforms.

Some ideas on practicing kindness was inspired from the website

As a child, we were wired to be kind to each other. Children who gave their toys to other children experienced more happiness. This was a study conducted at the University of British Columbia.

Many types of research showed that our serotonin levels increase while receiving, giving, or even while witnessing an act of kindness. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for our mood. The more the level of serotonin, the happier we feel.

The role of negative mood in increasing the risk of heart disease and the mortality rate was a study published in the Journal of Biological Psychology by Emma Williams et al.

Dr. David R Hamilton’s book on “The five side effects of kindness”. You can read about him and his works here.

Dale Carnegie was the most inspirational speaker, author of international best-selling books, and an amazing individual who changed millions of people’s life. The quote in the last paragraph was taken from his book “How to win friends and influence people”. You can grab your copy of the book here.

1 thought on “Kindness is Selfish (Redefining Success – Part 2)”

  1. Pingback: How to identify and live by your core values - Chidam Speaks

Leave a Comment