Hello there, Questers, and welcome back! It’s Wednesday, November 17th, and this is episode 468. We have a quote for you today from a president that many of us hold near and dear to our hearts, Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Now, Abraham says, “I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me, and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.”
The pureness and innocence of this quote is so adorable and so beautiful and so profound too, because this is that whole idea that you can borrow your belief. You can borrow someone’s belief, particularly their belief in you. Many of you can probably relate to at least having one teacher in your life that believed in you, that was special to you, that made a difference for you, and that you didn’t want to let them down.
Now, if you’re like me and Kay (I think you’re like this too, but I think I’m more like this out of the two of us), you hated disappointing your parents. That was the worst thing you could do was let them down. It hurt more than the punishment. It hurt more than your failure. Letting your parents down was so hard. So, this is one of those things where Abraham Lincoln, I’m sure, felt that way as well. But the flip side of that coin is that you can also borrow other people’s beliefs, and you can use their belief in you and your commitment to not letting others down, to help drive you and propel you forward.
Well, while I did not have quite so much of that fear of disappointment from mom and dad, I do know this principle on a very super personal level, because they happen to be shoulder to shoulder and side by side, and I don’t have the heart to let them down.
Probably around 18-19 Shila decided to slap me around a little bit in my life and say, “What are you doing? You are so capable, and you’re so worthy and you’re so smart.” And it’s, oh, making me emotional. The belief that Shi had in me was one of the things that helped to propel me forward to actually take action toward my dreams. She started workout challenges with me for my wedding, and even beyond that, which grew our friendship, which had us talking every single day.
She continued to believe in my ability to the point of becoming her business partner, to the point of becoming her second in command and so much more now in the entrepreneurial journey so far down together. I continue not to have the heart to let her down. So, where I couldn’t disappoint mom and dad or you couldn’t disappoint mom and dad, Shi, I can’t and could never disappoint you.
Well, I appreciate that, and love that you can borrow my belief sometimes or use that disappointment fuel. It’s helpful for everyone, I think, when you can understand what those leverage points are for yourself, because if you understand it, then you can play chess with it, not checkers. That’s an analogy Kay and I like to internally use a lot. There are a lot of people out there playing checkers, but those that are playing chess are playing at a different level, and you can play at a different level when you understand yourself and you understand your motivators.
That’s exactly what Abraham Lincoln is telling us here is that if you can understand that you’re motivated by other people’s not necessarily approval, but their belief in you and their hope for you and their sight of worthiness within you, then you can use that and you can propel yourself forward. Then you win because you don’t let them down, and you also win because you’ve achieved whatever the thing is.
They win because they get to be proud of you and hopefully be along for the ride as well. So, it really is one of those win-win-win type situations. But this is also a great encouragement. Not just look around at who believes in me that I can lean on, but who do you believe in that could benefit from hearing about that belief or that maybe you could share with them, or maybe when they’re in a tough time or they’re down that, that belief could make a difference? Who are those people in your life that you know your opinion matters to them? Maybe consider a way to share that belief with them to make a positive impact.
You know, just earlier today we were on a meeting where a trusted and respected mentor of ours gave Shila and I some of his belief in us and it meant a lot. It really meant a lot to have that. And I don’t have the heart to let the people who believe in us down. And chances are, you don’t either.
Another political figure who had a very similar thing happen, and it’s reflected mostly in the memoir of his wife, Michelle Obama. It talks in her book Becoming about how when Barack won his first office and really started charging toward the presidency, she realized that she had a duty that wasn’t necessarily to her husband, but she had a duty to the belief that her husband created in the people who believed that he could create change.
I think there’s a real duty that comes alongside other people’s belief in the more successful you get, the more people believe in you. And that can feel like pressure, but it can also be a really great motivator, especially if you’re able to anchor to it, to get yourself just started to maybe borrow that belief in competence for just a little while because, like Abraham Lincoln tells us, he’s a success today because “I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.”
Alright, this is a Double-Sided Quest, just like the double-sided advice you got in today’s podcast. The first side is we want you to acknowledge the people that have believed in you along the way. Reach out to them and thank them for their faith in you. Send a quick text message to somebody who’s shared belief with you and tell them what it’s meant for you. Now, the other side of the coin, you don’t have to be a genius to figure it out. You know what it is. We want you to reach out to somebody and share your belief in them and remind them that they’ve got this. This will make a ginormous difference in their lives. Are you ready for this one?