If you are finding success to be elusive and difficult to reach in relationships, money and careers, or happiness in general, you might be asking the wrong question. Often we as human beings ask “What’s in it for me?” whenever we are faced with any given opportunity. It seems to be this way in many cultures, certainly in business, and even embedded in our very nature.

Yet the what’s in it for me attitude never seems to work out the way we had hoped. We typically end up passing by relationships or opportunities that we deem to be ‘unprofitable’ somehow for us without really ever knowing what results would have been yielded. If we do jump on an opportunity, we may end up feeling shorted if our ‘return on investment’ does not end up being exactly what we thought it would be and miss seeing or taking advantage of other unexpected rewards.

What if we reversed this question of what’s in it for me to “what’s in ME for IT?” Instead of asking what will my returns be, ask what do I have to offer or contribute. This question sets a whole different tone—for evaluation, for course of action, and for performance.

It helps us to see if something is right for us in the first place. First, it makes us examine ourselves which is really the only thing we have control over anyway. It makes us take a good look at what we can offer and the best way to offer it whatever the situation or opportunity is. As we do this, we can clearly see if something is right for us to pursue based on who we are and what we have to contribute.

It helps us to have a positive course of action. As we place our focus on the opportunity, relationship, or even just our life rather than on how we feel or what we are getting, we can act in a generous and powerful way that lends itself to whatever we are contributing to with integrity.

Lastly, this all inspires us to be at our very best. With the reward essentially now being shifted to our level and effectiveness of contribution, we will be trying our very best to give all that we can give. Not only are we in top form, but we are guaranteed success because our measure stick for success is now based on our effort and our contribution. This becomes our reward, and it is something that we actually have complete control over. As a special bonus, the relationship, the project, the career and money, or again even just our lives in general become successful in popular opinion as well because of our choices, our positive course of action, and our inspired performance.

Why not give it a try? Instead of asking what’s in it for me, ask What’s in ME for it?

Author's Bio: 

Linda McPharlin is a motivational writer/teacher and social entrepreneur. She is the concept creator of The Power in We, which is a guiding philosophy for success, happiness, and peace. Visit powerinwe.org to learn more about how WE can help you!