This I Believe

Ralph Leroy Nafziger - Kansas City, Missouri
Broadcast during the 1950s
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I believe that success in life, whether it be in the attainment of fame, fortune or friends, comes in proportion to a person’s ability to understand people, to know what people want. A fortunate few are born with the quality of knowing or divining what other people want, however these few are not as fortunate as the millions of others who benefit from this great quality. The quality can be cultivated by years of experience, by spiritual maturing, by applied study. I have learned that it is worth the effort to know what other people want because knowing this and doing something about it, can lead to success in the pursuit of happiness.

I have found that it works in every phase of life. It brings harmony in marriage and family relationships. The good rulers are those who know what the people want from their government, and give it to them. Many technical experts can and do invent ingenious devices, which have no real meaning, but famous and successful inventors are those who create things that people want and need. The manufacturer who knows and makes what people want leads his industry. The retailer who unlocks this secret, will find the people flocking into his store. The author who writes what people want to read turns out best-sellers. The advertiser who knows what people want breaks the sales records.

The most important thing to for me to remember is that what I want is not necessarily what other people want. Thinking of what people want does not start with self; it starts with the Golden Rule. It comes from the heart. Basically, a person must love others. One must feel for others, before he thinks for them. Success will often elude the man ambitious for his own gain, and choose instead to bestow its rewards upon the man who finds the answer to the question, “How can I help others in what I do?” I believe that people often do not know themselves what they want, but they respond enthusiastically when some benefactors offers them the answer. The person who has this gift of knowing what other people want in life is like a Christmas card, continually wishing other success, happiness and a long life. A person who develops this eighth and ninth sense, is on the way to success. Really, the only people hard to understand are the dishonest and abnormal ones. Fortunately, most people are fundamentally sound, honest, and upright. Knowing what people want and providing it for them can bring the material rewards of this life and the biggest bonus of them all: true, eminent, satisfaction. This I believe: the most direct path to personal happiness is to make other people happy.