A young, 18-year-old orphan student, with practically nobody to support his studies was struggling to pay his fees at Stanford University, in 1892. One of his friends came up with a bright idea of hosting a musical concert in the campus. Accordingly, they struck a deal with a poplar pianist of the times, Ignacy J. Paderewski, at a stake of $2000. The big concert day arrived; Paderewski performed at Stanford. But unfortunately, the total collection was only $1600.
They gave Paderewski the entire $1600, plus a cheque for the balance $400. "No way!" said Paderewski. "This is just not acceptable!" He tore up the cheque, returned the $1600 and told the two boys, "Here's the $1600. Please deduct whatever expenses you have incurred. Keep the money you need for your fees. And just give me whatever is left!" The boys were surprised, and quite overjoyed. It was a small act of kindness which clearly marked out Paderewski as a great human being -someone special. Great people think of the differences an act of kindness could make in the life of others.
In due course of time, Paderewski became the Prime Minister of Poland. He was an able leader, but unfortunately when the World War began, Poland was ravaged. There were over 1.5 million people starving in his country; the state hadn’t enough money to support them. Paderewski reached out to the US Food and Relief Administration for help. The head there was a man called Herbert Hoover - who later went on to become the US President. Hoover agreed to help and quickly shipped tons of food grains to feed the starving Polish people. A calamity was averted. Paderewski was relieved! He decided to go across to meet Hoover and personally thank him. When Paderewski began to thank Hoover for his noble gesture, Hoover quickly interjected and said, "You shouldn't be thanking me Mr. Prime Minister. You may not remember this, but several years ago; you helped two young students go through college in the US. I was one of them."
Everybody is on the run to achieve this and that. It is worth remembering that the key to achievements is the simple theory that achievement in your life depends upon how you help other people achieve what they wanted in their lives.