This article was originally called, "Why You Should Help If Your Neighbor's House Is On Fire," which more accurately reflects the premise that we continue being supportive to others even while reaching for our own goals - but that was way too long a title.
If I were to believe that I am only as good as my neighbor, would that cause me to behave differently towards them? Would I take more time to get to know them, and be more helpful? The answer is Yes. Knowing that my personal success depends on whether or not the people around me also have opportunities to be their best selves, may in some way inspire me to make it a personal responsibility to contribute to the success of others.
In a way, it may seem to be coming from a selfish place. "If I want to get ahead in life, I have to help others get ahead." In another way, there are great benefits to this sort of communal thinking which would simply be a better way of life. The reality that we must all get ahead together would replace the idea that we must get ahead of each other.
Imagine there is a fire in the home right next to yours. You look out your window and see your neighbors run out and away from their house to safety - except for the bravest of the homeowners who is desperately making every effort to extinguish the fire herself while the blaze gets bigger and bigger. At first, you conclude this scene is way too dangerous so it's best to just let the fire pros handle the issue - they're on the way. Then you realize that the blazing fire is spreading rapidly, and quickly making a trail towards your own house. All of a sudden, doing everything you can to help your neighbor and stop these homes from burning becomes your top priority.
We can't ignore one another's situations. How others around us are doing is interconnected with our own circumstances. Real success does not only involve the individual, but society as a whole - and brings us closer to healing our entire human family. This is the level that we should be thinking on when we are making plans to get ahead.
If it were recognized that each person could indubitably amass greater wealth by focusing more on working together, rather than focusing so much on competing with one another - we'd be more productive as communities and as a society.
Find out what you can do to help someone reach their goals and in turn you are bringing yourself closer to reaching your own. It will be a great thing when we realize the immeasurable benefits of each person using their individual talents, abilities, and gifts to contribute to progressing as a whole.