This week, I discuss how to help others become their best selves and achieve their virtuous ends.
Table of Contents
- Relationships Should Serve The Virtuous Ends Of All Involved
- How To Help Someone Achieve Their Virtuous Ends
- Help Others Build Themselves, So They Can Do The Same
Relationships Should Serve The Virtuous Ends Of All Involved
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa
What are virtuous ends? Goals that promote sustainability, virtue, and rational pride. Sustainable objectives promote longevity within the individual and community: smart financial habits, long-term health decisions, and life-long commitments. Virtue reflects what is necessary but uncomfortable: being patient with our loved ones, remaining grateful despite our suffering, and so forth. Rational pride comes from pursuing what is hard but meaningful to achieve what is fulfilling. Rational pride does not come from worshipping one’s whims or lack of commitment.
Virtuous ends are not goals that serve the worst within us or strengthen our vices. Therefore, our relationships should not promote what makes us weak, petty, distracted, or small.
How To Help Someone Achieve Their Virtuous Ends
That being said, how do you support your friends and family as they pursue their best selves? What steps are involved in helping all individuals within your community achieve their dreams and a virtuous, sustainable life?
Firstly, you must focus on cultivating virtue within yourself, then help others do the same. Next, determine how achievable and meaningful your friends’ and family’s virtuous ends are. From there, create or perfect the plan they need for achieving their goals. Also, have regular check-ins. Lastly, allow them to help you accomplish your virtuous ends.
1) Understanding Virtue By Cultivating It Within Yourself
Virtue is the pursuit of moral excellence. Therefore, virtue is an act. You cannot be passive and virtuous. Furthermore, virtues are a set of principles that dictate the best behaviors in given situations.
To help others be virtuous, you must pursue excellence in your actions, thoughts, and ideas. For example, if you do not understand authenticity, then you cannot practice it. If you cannot practice it, you cannot guide others in how to be more honest.
2) Challenge the Goals Of Those You Care For
“What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.” – Kurt Vonnegut
Are your friends and family setting reasonable goals? Will the pursuit and accomplishment of these goals help individuals and the community? Are these goals realistic? Are they overly dependant on the actions and behaviors of others? And so on.
Your goal is to fiercely engage the dreams, hopes, and aspirations of the people you are close to. Hit them with reality and challenge both their resolve and their expectations.
For example, if your friend wants to be an all-star NBA basketball player in middle-age, you need to remind them of reality. Or, if your friend expects to be a doctor within a few years while balancing a job and three kids, then you need to help them roll back their expectations.
Remember, you are trying to help your friends reach their virtuous ends. Any goals that avoid responsibility and spit in the face of loyalty are not worthwhile.
3) Discuss A Game Plan, Benchmarks, And Clear Rewards
Once you determine if your friend’s goals are worthwhile, create the best action plan. Do your friend’s dreams have an end date? Can they track the progress of their daily goals? Does your family member have short-term, long-term, and yearly goals? What about life goals? And so forth.
The small, daily goals should feed into more significant objectives. From there, all actions must be trackable. You can use a number system or calendar; it doesn’t matter. However, your friend or family member must track their progress, so they can see how far they’ve come.
Lastly, create a series of rewards for each accomplishment. Rewards keep us motivated and ensure we have a light at the end of the tunnel.
4) Do Regular Check-ins
Once your friend starts pursuing their virtuous ends, your job is to request updates. If your friend or family member knows you are constantly checking in, they are less likely to slack off.
How do you check in? Go over their tracking methodology and see if they are hitting the goals they set. Ask them questions about their progress. Is it too difficult? Do you feel as if you are making strides? Should you reorient your expectations?
Remaining engaged with your friend helps them achieve their virtuous ends. Your engagement serves as one more piece of inspiration to keep them going. Do not ignore this crucial step.
5) Share Your Progress
“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.” – Dorothy Day
Once you have assisted your friend, share your progress. Have them evaluate what you’re doing and request their input. They will appreciate being asked for feedback and advice.
Sharing your progress helps you for two reasons. Firstly, you are gaining accountability as you pursue your goals. Secondly, your friend will flex their muscles. They can show what they’ve learned about time management, emotional control, and goal creation. A friend you help will remain loyal to you and strengthen your community.
Help Others Build Themselves, So They Can Do The Same
Always remember helping people means introducing inconveniences into your life. You cannot help others unless you are willing to deal with their struggles.
Lastly, you have to help the right people. Help those focused on bettering themselves. Do not waste time with parasites or predators. You are not obligated to help anyone you have not previously agreed to help. For example, you are responsible for your children or your spouse. Why? Because you have willingly created these relationships.
However, you are not responsible for a deadbeat brother. You did not choose to be his sibling. If your family is addicted to vice and refuses to change, then you can reduce your time around them.
Once you improve the lives of others, your community will thrive. Push yourself forward and help others do the same.
“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.” – Shannon L. Alder
- What are your virtuous ends? What are your life goals?
- Do you know the life goals of the people closest to you? Why or why not? If you do know them, what do you think about them?
- What are the daily goals of your friends and family? Do these goals serve the needs of others?
- How do you show those in your community that you care? How do you let them know you are grateful for them?
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.