When I was young, my mother always told me, “No man is an island.” I don’t think I really understood the meaning of what she said, or how true it is, and how it affects every area of our lives. I’m not even sure why she told me. Possibly it was because I was so independent, or so sure of myself, or because I didn’t really care about others and their opinions so much because I thought I knew better, and I knew I was right. Either way, I have never forgotten those words, and today, more than ever, I realize how profoundly true they are.
No man is and island works both ways. We cannot operate alone, unaffected by those around us, and if we want to be successful in any endeavor in life, we cannot do it alone. Whatever we do also affects others, for better or worse, whether we want it to or not.
As an example, if a successful person tells you they are a self-made woman (or man), either they are not telling the truth, or they have not been paying attention to how they got where they are. Why? Because nobody succeeds alone. From the time you are born, living with your family, going to school, playing with friends, working with your colleagues, we are always surrounded by others, and it’s always a combination of our own efforts and the help and influence of all these others that make it possible for us to succeed.
One of the real keys to getting ahead in life is understanding the power there is in working with others, learning from them, pooling resources and ideas. Working with others is not always easy, but if you want to make the most our of your opportunities, you can’t do it all on your own. You need others. You need a team.
John Maxwell puts it this way. “Teamwork makes the dream work!” If you want to achieve your dreams and reach your goals, don’t try to do it on your own, but start by looking for people to work with, to learn from, to help and be helped, to build a team. And by building a team, I don’t just mean getting some people together to do whatever you want. They help you and you help them. They strengthen you and you build them as well, by teaching, training, investing, giving, and trusting.
Then in the end, when you succeed and win the victory, there are more people to help you celebrate. If you don’t have a team, make one. If you do have a team, make it the best. Then together, make that dream work. Enjoy!