You meet a new man. He seems like the type of man you want in your life long-term. You get excited. You’re optimistic. You are eyeing the possibility and that in itself has you walking a little taller. It feels good. Then, out of the blue you find out he’s attached, or you find out he’s got more women than a reality show, or maybe you find out he has kids he doesn’t see, or maybe you find out he hasn’t worked in a year and he’s pretty much given up on finding work. Suddenly the man that seemed so promising doesn’t seem so damned promising. Logic says let him get it together. Logic says he’s has things in his life to handle that have nothing to do with you. Logic says this basket has holes in it maybe you shouldn’t put all your eggs in it. That’s what logic says, but what do you say? Maybe I can fix him. Maybe if I cooked for him more often. Maybe if I treated him better. Maybe if I listened more. Maybe if I just loved him a little more. I’m not saying this man is a loss cause. All of us hit bad times. Bad times do not discriminate. I’m saying this man is his own man and whether he gets his life together this month or three years from now it’s not up to you. That’s just sound advice though no one wants to accept it.

So what happens? You throw your time, energy, money, heart, emotions, feelings, hopes and dreams into an almost stranger. Now, it would be okay if you were Mother Theresa. Mother Theresa helped starving children because that’s was her calling in this life. Mother Theresa didn’t help poor children thinking those children would pay her back or take her on a date or marry her. You want a return on your investment. You may be a nice person, but baby you’re no Mother Theresa.

In the real world people move on their clock not yours. In the real world you can move mountains for someone and they’ll appreciate it, but it guarantees you nothing. Zero. Nada. Zilch! In the real world going over and beyond expecting a payoff 9 times out of 10 will leave you disappointed. I’m not saying you shouldn’t help someone I’m saying if you help someone unless you have an agreement upfront, a commitment upfront, an understanding upfront I’m telling you that person you’ve done all these kind deeds for owes you nothing except a smile and a thank you. Get it? Do things because that’s who you are. Do not do things expecting to get a reward at the end.

This story works both for men and for women. Any person can go too far trying to help someone only to realize later there’s no future and where does that leave you? Disappointed, crushed, feeling used or worse – sitting right where you started. You can do all the right things, but if you do them for the wrong person at the wrong time you will get the wrong results. It’s a bitter truth most people never accept. I’m one of those people who didn’t accept it easily. I always thought I could change the people I loved for the better than I realized I could help, but they had to change themselves. This is not my rule. This is life’s rule. Help people, but accept that you are not the master of anyone’s universe. If anyone is…It’s them! May you look back a year from now at this week and say with a smile “BOOYAH BABY! This was the week it all changed!”.


Written by Renee Atwood