Happy Thought for the Day: Non Zero Sum People

There are an unfortunately large number of people who believe that the world is a zero-sum game. If someone is to “win”, then someone else has to lose out.

While I can understand how mindsets like this develop, it’s a very limiting way of thinking. There are people who think in the opposite way, who believe that, by working hard, we can make it better for everyone.

One of the things I love about the Internet and all of the different social media channels it offers is that I am meeting more and more people who don’t believe that life is a zero-sum game. They don’t do it for a reward (though they can make a career out of it if they’re good at it), they just work hard to help other people. You see a lot of this in the world of blogging. People take the time to share their experiences or to teach other people skills and knowledge that can help make their lives easier. A recent post on The Thirty Something Student about the Bloggers helping Bloggers program really got me thinking about this.

Sure, you could say that some of these people make money off what they do, but they don’t win at the expense of others. They win when the people that they help also win.

I think that every time I meet a person trying to make the world a better place like that, they become another happy thought for me. So, my happy thought for today is people like that in general. Here are a few of the people that have helped me with either personal advice or advice they’ve given on their blogs:

Nerd Fitness: A fun and approachable source on physical fitness, health, and general advice on life, from a guy who enjoys all things nerd just as much as I do.

Making Sense of Cents: A great blog about budgets, travel, fashion and a number of other things. Recently, she has been bringing in incredible amounts of side income from her work as a virtual assistant (amongst other things). She could hide how she makes that extra income, but she freely shares details on how she does it – helping other people make more money. That’s definitely not playing a zero-sum game!

Modest Money: A great source of information for all things money. Jeremy, who runs Modest Money, recently had his one-year blog anniversary. He is incredibly generous in offering guest post opportunities to other writers, letting them share in the traffic and SEO benefits offered by getting guest blog links from a bigger blog like Modest Money.

This is just really scratching the surface of the amazing blogs I read on a regular basis, I just cut the list short so that the blog post doesn’t go on forever! I’m always looking for more amazing people who help make the Internet (and the world in general) a better place. Do you have anyone you follow that you’d recommend?

4 thoughts on “Happy Thought for the Day: Non Zero Sum People

  1. Justin@TheFrugalPath

    This is something that I’ve never thought about, but I guess that I felt the same way. When I began blogging in Oct, I thought that all bloggers fought amongst one another for audience. However, I have since learned that many network and help other bloggers in the same area (in my case Personal Finance). This made blogging a great deal less intimidating and have had great experiences.
    Justin@TheFrugalPath recently posted..The Benefits of a Mortgage Free RetirementMy Profile

  2. Gareth

    Poignant Alex. I am always inspired by the views of the great positive psychologist Abraham Maslow who saw human ‘higher’ nature as fundamentally altruistic and concerned with the welfare of others. The problem is, like you say, so many people never fully harness that higher nature because they see things in terms of win / lose dichotomies; they never reach that level of self-actualisation. I’ve certainly noticed the Internet change radically over the last few years though; from a cut-throat commercial jungle to a place where a sense of common interest and community prevails. It’s nice to see; maybe the Internet is finally achieving the self-actualisation that many people on an individual basis never seem to achieve.

    Kind Regards, Gareth
    Gareth recently posted..Giving Up Cigarettes: It’s All about MindsetMy Profile


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