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Last Updated on February 28, 2018

How Not to Finish Last as a Nice Guy

How Not to Finish Last as a Nice Guy

We have all heard the cliche: Nice guys finish last. The idea behind the saying is that good deeds go unnoticed and you have to be selfish to succeed. After all, there are two kinds of people: a nice person and a selfish person.

A nice person is kind and selfless. They are givers who are willing to help others and don’t mind helping without giving something in return. But a selfish person is a taker. They only think of themselves and aim to get more through doing less.

While a selfish person seems to be the one more people hate, “nice guys finish last” is still a common belief. So can nice guys actually finish first?

Nice Guys vs. Selfish Guys

    You can find a nice person and a selfish person everywhere; they’re at work, among your friends, and in different relationships.

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    Think about it, at work you definitely have that one guy/girl who seems to always get recognition from the boss, and maybe even a raise, despite the action they are being rewarded for having been a group effort. While a nice guy would share the recognition with his team, the bad guy would justify that he deserves the praise.

    Likewise, you have probably had a friend at some point in time that seemed to always cancel plans you made in order to do something they deemed to be a better opportunity. Meanwhile, they expected you to drop your plans for them. Or, perhaps your friend who gets a lot of dates is constantly standing them up in exchange for a different, better choice. He/she winds up with an amazing partner, not knowing they are simply the best option at the moment. Meanwhile, you may be single because you’ve had to cancel dates to hang out with your friend.

    Nice people make others happy but exhaust themselves.

    Nice people typically always have big hearts. Because of this, it’s in their nature to try to help others by trusting them and working as a team. In their eyes, this teamwork can help the group achieve more. Because of their interactions with people, they tend to get help and support from those people when they need it.

      Unfortunately, working with others and always trying to make someone else feel good can often lead to exhaustion. It can also make it hard to keep up with which compliments you’ve given people and which you haven’t. This can lead to some people feeling unappreciated. In turn, you feel like you’ve let someone down, and that can really weigh on your self esteem. Because people see the way they impact you, it can lead to them taking advantage later on.

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        Selfish people make themselves happy but ignore others.

        Selfish people are assertive because they know what they want. If you’re a selfish person, then often times you are willing to break the rules to win. You aren’t afraid to let others know what they’ve achieved, and while this can sometimes seem self-absorbed, it can also help remind people that you are an asset. You’ve also learned not to worry too much about what other people think. This confidence can provide a leg up on the competition.

          Success and intimidation don’t usually win a lot of friends, so if you’re selfish, you may not be well liked by many people. Along with being self-centered, you can’t always do all the work on your own; you’re bound to fall behind on occasion.

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            How to succeed as a nice guy?

            Ideally, you compromise. See, the above list of pros and cons outlines something very clearly: everyone has good aspects and bad aspects when it comes to personality and character. So it stands to reason putting those two character traits together would make a more ideal individual.

            Be nice, but also a little bit selfish.

              When nice people go to extremes, others can take advantage of them and nice people will still keep giving because it’s their nature to help. This is when others can mistake kindness for weakness. And let’s face it, life is survival of the fittest. But kindness can achieve great things when people learn when to be selfish and when to give.

              In the short term, being a selfish person has benefits but eventually poisons the well since others become bad around them. In the long term, being a nice person pays off big, though you risk exhausting yourself helping others.

              Achieve the best version of yourself

              Determine what you want to achieve the most. If you’re willing to really fight for that thing, then you should probably focus your attention there. For example, maybe you’re not a giver when it comes to creating a charity event, but maybe you’re a lot more willing to give in order to make a restaurant succeed. Great! You can be selfish about that cause while also recruiting a team of equally like-minded people to help.

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              Next, you have to build trust. Even if you know one hundred people who would want to help make a restaurant succeed, no one will want to help you if they don’t like you. In this case, you may need to be a little selfless and help others in order for them to see that you are worth helping, too. Besides, a support system is necessary. It will be good to have those people on your side in the future for other tasks you may come across.

              Stay humble when you need to, and promote your hard work when it’s called for. And if you’re working with a team, ensure you are promoting good behavior, and not negative, overly-selfish behavior.

              If you follow these tips, it’s possible to be a nice guy who can still finish first. Hard work and determination can get you far, but knowing when to be selfish and when to rely on others can get your farther. It’s not about using people, but learning when teamwork is the best choice for your success, and ultimately the success of those around you.

              You don’t have to be a “bad guy” or compromise your beliefs. You just have to compromise and continue to learn.

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              Anna Chui

              Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

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              Last Updated on January 9, 2019

              7 Signs You’re Ready to Change Your Life (And What to Do Next)

              7 Signs You’re Ready to Change Your Life (And What to Do Next)

              Changing your life can be both scary and exciting, but more than anything it’s necessary to grow. Most people come to a point one day where they have to make a change in their life to either grow personally or professionally, but it’s hard to figure out when you’re ready to make that change.

              So how do you know when it’s time that you’re ready to change your life?

              The truth is there is at least one sign in front of you that you have been ignoring or not even noticing. This article will take you through 7 signs that shows you that you’re ready to take that next step.

              1. Your Motivation Is Gone

              Humans all have something that makes them tick. A goal that makes them wake up at 5am even though they would love to sleep in late. A drive that makes them decline social events, because their jobs need them to stay all night, or maybe it’s the opposite and you attend social events to please the ones close to you.

              It comes from your motivation to succeed either professionally or personally, but once the drive is missing, then you can’t keep going and you will lose your motivation.

              If you suddenly can’t find that drive inside you once had, then it can be a sign. It can be your needs or wants that have changed. The important thing is that if you don’t feel the same motivation any longer, then it’s time to do something about it.

              We’ve been taught to keep going even when it gets tough, but it’s okay to change and redefine yourself. It’s not about giving up. It’s about stopping up and revaluate whether you still want the same things in life.

              Sometimes you may find out you still want the same time, but the way you’re going about it isn’t working for you.

              Chris Sacca, an American venture investor, and entrepreneur, bought a cabin in Tahoe’s less-expensive neighbour and moved to the prime skiing and hiking country when he felt his motivation sliding away. He still had the same goals, but described a need for a change in his life to get back the right mind-set:[1]

              ”I wanted to have the time to focus, to learn the things I wanted to learn, to build what I wanted to build, and to really invest in relationships that I wanted to grow, rather than just doing a day of coffee after coffee after coffee.”

              If you still want the same things, then do what Chris Sacca did and change your daily routine. If you want new things, then maybe it’s time to quit your job, or make a change in your personal life.

              It doesn’t mean that you have failed. It simply means you are ready to focus on what matters: You.

              Find your passion and motivation back to live a better life with these tips:

              Want to Know What Truly Motivates You, and How to Always Stay Motivated?

              2. You’re Unhappy at Least Once a Day Every Day

              We tend to ignore unhappiness because it’s normal to get upset or feel a bit down. It’s true. It is normal, but if you feel unhappy every day and usually without even knowing exactly why – it’s a sign.

              A task, a job or a relationship can be both giving and draining — most often both. While we have to accept a certain struggle, we don’t have to accept being unhappy.

              Here’s a little test you can do easily:

              Take a look at what you do every day, and take a look at the things you have assigned yourself. How many of these things do you do for yourself? And how many do you do to please someone else?

              Once and a while, we need to take a step back and look at our to-do list. Are you dealing with a to-do list of others, or your own to-do list? There is a difference.

              This can easily be misunderstood, but you need to remember it’s not about being selfish or lazy. If you’re unhappy on a daily basis, then you can’t make other people happy in the long run either.

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              If you’re unhappy every day, then it’s time to recognize it as a sign that you’re doing something wrong in your life when it comes to your own happiness. It might have seemed right before, but it’s clearly not doing you any good anymore. You’re ready for a change.

              You can learn how to be happy again from this article:

              How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

              3. The People Around You Are Changing

              The grass is far from always greener on the other side of the street (at least most of the time), and while we shouldn’t compare ourselves to the people around us on a daily basis, it’s okay to take a look once a while.

              The people you surround yourself with often reflect back on yourself. If you’re going through a phase where most of your friends have been going out all the time, and then they suddenly start to focus on work and family, it might be a sign.

              This by no means imply you should change your life if you’re still feeling fulfilled and good about it. But if you turn your head and start noticing a change around you and it makes you rethink things, it’s probably a sign of you being ready to change as well.

              4. You’re Bored

              A healthy life shouldn’t be all fun and games, but if you’re starting to feel bored on a daily basis, then it could be a sign. There’s a difference between waking up on a Sunday and not knowing what to do, and waking up every day and feel bored.

              Maybe you don’t feel challenged in your job any longer, or your normal idea of fun is no longer giving you the enjoyment it once did before.

              Take the time to check with yourself. Are you just bored? Or do you need something more in your life?

              Humans are run by habits and routines, which makes it tough to change them. It also makes us stay in bad situations much longer than needed.

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              It’s always hard in the beginning but you can do it! Take a leap of faith and change your life.

              5. You’re Stressed

              Stress is probably one of the most common signs that you’re in need of a change, but it can also be one of the signs that can be the hardest to react upon. Because when you’re stressed, you automatically feel anxious about making a change.

              It can be hard to deal with stress, but luckily there are many different types of solutions to deal with it. It often comes down to trying different ways and figuring out what works for you.

              Tim Ferriss notices that:[2]

              “More than 80% of the world-class performers I’ve interviewed have some form of daily mediation or mindfulness practice.”

              Take a look at this to find what’s best for you to relieve stress:

              The Healthy and Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms for Stress

              But sometimes all you need to do is to figure out what is stressing you out and whether it’s worth it. If the stress comes down to being a sign, then you need to accept it and create a change in your life, because you’re clearly ready.

              6. You’re Scared

              Everybody lives with fears. They’re afraid of losing someone. They’re afraid of losing their job. They’re afraid of making the wrong decisions. They’re afraid of a lot of things because life is pretty scary.

              The trick is to recognize whether the fear drives you or brings you down. It’s okay to be scared, but it’s not okay to live in constant fear.

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              If you’re scared about a specific thing or just feel anxious on a daily basis, it’s time to get a better understanding of where it comes from and also see it as a sign.

              When you’re already scared, it can be tough to consider making a change in your life, but look past the fear and know that you can choose to stay in this state of mind or work through it.

              Try to visualize a future where the fear is no longer present and use it as a tool to make the hard decision now and change your life for the better.

              This guide written by the author of Fight the Fear – How to Beat Your Negative Mindset and Win in Life will help you conquer your fears:

              How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

              7. There’s No Stimulation in Your Life

              Humans need stimulation in their daily lives because we will feel scared, stressed and unhappy at times. If you can tell that you no longer have that stimulation in your life, then it’s a sign that you’re ready for a change.

              What drove you in the past or got your heart pounding faster once might not do the same for you anymore. Before you get to the previous mentioned state of minds, you can get ahead of things and recognize this lack of stimulation as soon as possible as a sign.

              The Bottom Line

              All changes are hard and shouldn’t be taken lightly, but we need to start seeing change as a positive rather than (as we often do at first) a negative. Changing your life can be tough, but it’s worth it.

              Once you decided to change your life it won’t be easy in the beginning. Try to use a phrase Chris Sacca used when he was going through the same:[3]

              ”I had a phrase I kept repeating in my head over and over again, which was, ‘Tonight, I will be in by bed…”

              This will help you remember whatever you’re feeling right now is temporary. But if you don’t find the courage to make a change, then the negative feelings and emotions you’re dealing with won’t be.

              Featured photo credit: Joshua Ness via unsplash.com

              Reference

              [1]Tim Ferriss: Tools of Titans, page 165
              [2]Tim Ferriss: Tools of Titans, page 149
              [3]Tim Ferriss: Tools of Titans, Page 167

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