Partner School Stories

Other People Matter and Cheering Others' Successes

By Joey Pagano

Imagine you find out a friend received the opportunity you both have always wanted. After the initial disappointment, would the bitterness linger or would you celebrate with them?

It would be difficult to swallow your pride, but the alternative — ending the relationship over resentment — is much worse, I would argue. Instead of dwelling on what you didn’t get, I hope you would be conscientious of the pillars of The Positivity Project’s Other People Matter Mindset.

Cheering others’ successes is one of five elements of the Mindset. It is grounded in being happy for others when they make progress and then generating excitement when they do succeed — even when we don’t have skin in the game. When we do cheer others, they will return the favor and encourage us on our path to success.

This resonated with me as I became involved in the athletic programs at my high school, Fayetteville-Manlius. For two years, I was invested in the varsity football, basketball, and lacrosse teams and built relationships with all of my teammates, and we constantly encouraged one another to excel at our craft, which was sports for them and writing for me.

Although I was closer with some than others, I was proud of what all my teammates had accomplished — whether they got accepted into a college or if they found out they did well on an exam, for example.

Then, when I found out I was accepted to Syracuse University, everybody was congratulating me and that felt great. Yet, I knew it wasn’t my accomplishment alone — which I let them know. I wasn’t going to allow myself to pretend I was an island and take all the credit because there were constantly people going above-and-beyond for me.

When all was said and done, I was the one who got the grades and accepted into Newhouse. But they’re the ones who worked to support me — which is another element of the Other People Matter Mindset — and I needed that support.

That resonates with me to this day. Having a network of people — whether it was family members, friends, assistants, or teachers — encourage me and celebrate my success was something I valued, so I consider it my duty to cheer others on and embrace the Other People Matter Mindset.

Joey Pagano
Student, Syracuse University

Building the Other People Mindset and remembering and emphasizing its importance is what I aim for day after day. As I continue to pursue a career in journalism and attend the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, I aim to show people that buying into The Positivity Project doesn’t mean you have to be happy and positive all the time, but instead means we have to work together more and build positive relationships. You can also find Joey on Twitter @WheelchairQB_ and at his blog