Very few people in the world work in a vacuum or without an end-result in mind. Most people work with a specific objective, a goal or a target. They work towards a cause that is dear to them. But by and large these causes are limited in their scope.
Most people are self-serving so their efforts are only directed at helping themselves. They want everything for themselves, whether it is money, recognition, praise, awards, success etc. They may achieve all that they desire but that is a very incomplete success. It is restricted to the person only.
A larger cause
On the other hand, if people decide on a larger cause, one that is bigger than their own wants and needs, the success is also bigger. If they realize that the actual purpose is greater than they themselves, they attain success for others, apart from themselves. This spreads success and happiness to more people and attracts further success.
It is only by enabling others to grow and develop than people can grow themselves. When you teach others you learn more because you read up and try to find out more. When you help others tone their bodies by exercising, you exercise along with them and improve your own body. Every time you help others you help yourself too and when you work for others, you feel good and empowered too.
Sacrificing for the greater good
People who fight for their country do so, not for any personal glory but for the greater cause of getting freedom for their country. And doing all this also means sacrificing a lot for the greater good. But a truly selfless leader will willingly sacrifice his own comforts and happiness if it means that others will benefit and go ahead.
This type of leader looks beyond personal goals and works for the greater common goal of his people. We see such leaders all through history – those who made personal sacrifices for a cause they strongly believed in and endorsed – Gandhiji, Mandela, Martin Luther King, and others.
Purpose that is wider in its scope
Life is better and richer when you find a purpose that is wider in its scope, that goes beyond personal material benefits and seeks benefits for all. If you have a big cause to live for, you wake up feeling more charged and energetic – you know you have to go and achieve something that is bigger than you. It gives you a sense of balance and stability. It makes you stronger and more resolute. It makes you overlook the small and petty problems of life. When you contribute something to the greater good, you feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction and fulfillment that you rarely feel when you do something to satisfy your desires alone. You make the world a better place to live in. You help others attain their life’s objectives. You don’t have to be a great world leader to do this, you can do it in a small way in your own life, in your family, in your business, in your community.
William Wallace, who, in the 13th century, was instrumental in gaining freedom for Scotland from England’s despotic rule, inspired his countrymen to fight for their land – Scotland – rather than for each person’s individual land, with these words, “Yes, we might die. We will all die sooner or later. But we will die for a cause worth dying for. So that our children and their children might live in freedom.”