Multiplying From The Outside In: The Secret To Becoming Your Best Self

Dan Sullivan
Hero image

The following is an excerpt from the book Who Do You Want To Be A Hero To? by Dan Sullivan.

It’s About Their Bigger Future

You gain great clarity and confidence from knowing that enabling other people’s improvement and growth uniquely accelerates your own.

When you’re given compliments, which is likely to happen when you’re providing a unique capability that helps move someone toward achieving their goals and the future they want, remember this: if it’s the right audience, the audience is always right.

If they tell you that you’re crucially important, then you are.

To deny or to not accept those complimentary comments is to do violence to reality.

If you don’t accept the other person’s feedback, you’re undermining the value you created for them, and you’re undermining your own capability to do it again.

If they accept your contribution but you don’t accept their compliment, then you’ve broken the loop, the energy flow between the two of you, by showing that you don’t care and that it isn’t about them for you. Accepting complimentary feedback graciously is an important part of being a hero to someone.

Freedom from “unfairness.”

When you focus on being more of a hero to other people, it instantly and automatically eliminates all thoughts about the world, or life, being unfair to you.

Fairness isn’t a factor. It isn’t about fairness—it’s about usefulness.

The world wasn’t designed for you. If there are times when it seems like it was, chalk that up to coincidence. We’re born into reality, but what makes our reality truly real is going outside of ourselves and having a useful impact there.

We can make the world more and more designed for us, but only as a byproduct of being useful to others. When we’re focused on fairness, we’re focused on ourselves. When we’re focused on value creation, we’re focused on others.

If you’re stuck in a discussion about unfairness, it means you’re a spectator, not a player. If you want things to be more “fair,” be more useful. The people you’re a hero to will not only treat you fairly, they’ll treat you as uniquely crucial.

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No more self-stagnation.

Every measurable improvement you help other people make in their lives also has the immediate impact of releasing you from situations in your own life where you’ve felt stagnant and stuck.

There’s no leverage inside of your own world that you can use to get yourself unstuck. The place you’ll find the leverage is outside of yourself.

For example, I had spent years thinking that Strategic Coach should be producing videos, but I found that I just couldn’t get myself to start doing them.

Then we started a project that involved doing videos for someone else. I watched the whole process, seeing what worked and what didn’t work. Within three months of completing that project, after having not acted on doing videos for ten years, we immediately had a video studio, and I was pumping out videos.

The only reason I could do videos for myself was because we developed that capability in order to create value for someone else.

Catching up in one jump.

This whole new focus of being a hero in other people’s lives will make you feel that you’re taking a huge jump in terms of your own future—that in any area you’ve felt that you’re falling behind, you instantly start making the best possible progress.

The experience of being useful is a complete experience no matter where you start. Even the first time you do it, it’s 100 percent. You’re doing all of what you can do.

The only question is, do you want to have more of that experience?

Being clear on who you want to be a hero to is a big part of the jump. You cut away all the other distractions and immediately know exactly what to focus on and how you can contribute uniquely to progress being made in that person’s life.

Multiplying from the outside in.

You’re going to become increasingly observant about and skillful at learning from how your external assistance to other individuals to achieve their bigger and better future can almost immediately propel your own internal improvements.

If you do something for someone else’s sake, there’s an immediate reward that you get from that: you now have the capability you developed in order to help them for yourself. And you can then also share that capability with others for whom it’s relevant. If you’ve paid attention and refined something so that it works for one person, you can be assured that it will work for other people as well.

Good things really do come to people who look for opportunities they can help with and take action on it.

Always becoming more useful.

You can continually develop, deepen, and expand everything that makes you more useful in the lives and futures of those individuals who are most important to you, always making you into a bigger and better hero to them.

It’s difficult for a lot of people to get and be comfortable with only being a hero to people who are important to them. I’ve been asked, “But what about all the other people who aren’t as important to me?”

Those other people will be important to someone else, but you aren’t responsible for them.

You can’t think of things in a general way, in terms of helping all of humanity, because humanity isn’t a substitute for actual individuals.

You’re responsible for being useful to the people who are important to you.