Does Paying It Forward Work?

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Does Paying It Forward Work?

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Have you ever stopped to consider who helped you along the way? Someone who helped your career, your life or the outcomes that you have achieved? Do you pay it forward?

Consultant in the office

Too often people become focused on their short-comings, they focus on the promotion that they didn’t get, the person who stole their idea, or the feeling of a lack of fairness that has plagued their career.

Sure probably most people have experienced some of those, but to those who have continued to work hard and always moved on they’ve probably accomplished a lot. We tend to be quicker to measure our result for today while seldom considering the accomplishments of one year, or ten.

Has someone else who paid it forward helped you? Have you been the positive influence for someone else, the kind of influence that you could be?

Every day that you climb out of bed and start your day is a day that you’ll be a role model, a day that you’ll set examples, and a day that you’ll solve a problem or two.

People you meet along the way, a client, a customer, a co-worker, or a direct report, they’re all someone and they’re all opportunities. They are an opportunity for you to pay something forward.

The decisions that you make, the way you manage your emotions under pressure and the problems that you solve will all help position someone else to pay it forward again.

Unfortunately we don’t often see it until it’s too late, we focus more on the work that is yet to be done, the mistake that has set us back, or the decision that didn’t play out as we had hoped.

All of those are real world problems, the lack of fairness, the unexpected hurdles, and even someone who wished us the worst instead of the best.

Now it is your choice though, your choice to consider what you’ll pay forward. You might stop to think about where you would be without the influence from others, where you would have ended up without the value of the lesson learned, or how decisions helped you find your way even when the way seemed difficult and unclear.

Paying it forward does work, but only when you allow it to.

When you pay it forward someone else will grow, someone else will shorten the time to a new break through and someone will have learned and understood a better path. Someone will see you as a role model, a trend setter, and a person who didn’t quit. Someone will go further, reach higher and make a better decision.

Someone else will recognize the strength in others, the power of passion, and the reason for having a purpose.

Pay it forward.

It works.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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