The Power of Connections

November 12th, 2010 by Steve Pavlina

One of the conscious growth principles I’ve been teaching for years is the principle of Love. This principle states that you’ll grow significantly faster — and enjoy the process of growth much more — when your life is rich in supportive, encouraging connections.

People violate this principle constantly — and to their detriment when they do so. Partly that happens because they don’t understand this principle deeply enough.

Consider two scenarios:

Scenario A – You wake up on a typical weekday morning, alone. As you open your eyes, you see several piles of clutter, including bills, reminding you that you need to sort through them. Your roommate hears you get up, pops through the doorway of your room, puffs some smoke from a cigarette in your direction, then glares at you and says, “Hey lazy ass, you’d better hurry up or you’ll be late. By the way… Greg is coming over tonight. I know you don’t like him, so just deal with it.” You go to the bathroom and brush your teeth, noticing how dirty the place is.

Scenario B – You wake up on a typical weekday morning. Your lover is lying in bed next to you, and s/he cuddles up against you, embraces you tightly, and says, “It feels so good to cuddle you. I love you. Mmmmm… And you really turn me on, sexiness! [Snarl]” S/he massages you a bit, which generates some feel-good endorphins. As you get out of bed, you notice a shelf full of books and pictures that inspire you. You go to the bathroom and see your list of goals taped to your mirror, so you review them as you brush your teeth.

What’s the difference between these two scenarios? Essentially it comes down to each person’s alignment with the principle of Love.

Which situation would you prefer? The second one seems like a nicer one to experience, but there’s a more subtle difference that might be harder to accept. The second person is likely to grow and change much faster than the first.

In the first case, the person is wallowing in unsupportive connections. The cluttered environment, the unsympathetic roommate, the messy bathroom — these will typically build stress, which reduces the person’s inner resourcefulness and promotes stagnation. It’s hard to feel motivated when your day begins like this. Imagine how the rest of the day is likely to turn out if this is how it starts.

In the second case, the person has created an environment that’s positive and supportive. From the lover’s touch to the positive books and pictures to the list of goals, this person is likely to start the day with uplifting, motivating thoughts. Imagine how the rest of the day is likely to turn out.

Which scenario does your life resemble?

Neutrality Sucks

Perhaps you’re in the middle somewhere. You might think that’s a neutral situation. Maybe you don’t have much positive support, but the negative stimuli aren’t present either. Generally speaking, that’s still a negative situation growth-wise. A lack of positive support will slow you down tremendously. It’s not enough to avoid the negatives. You need to add the positives. Otherwise you’re still likely to stagnate. Neutrality is just another form of stuckness.

Positive support is like gravity. It pulls you in the direction of positive growth. It might take some work to set it up at first, but it usually takes little effort to maintain. Without that gravity helping you out, you’ll have to push yourself constantly, and that isn’t very sustainable. You want to give yourself every advantage, and this includes creating a super-supportive environment.

Each scenario maintains itself. You can expect that the following days in each timeline will look essentially the same. The clutter will probably still be there the next day. So will the inspiring books and pictures. Neither person has to work at it — the continuity just happens.

Unconscious vs. Conscious Connecting

Which scenario you experience is a matter of choice. But it’s not about choosing between A or B. It’s about exercising your power to choose vs. not exercising it. It’s about being conscious vs. unconscious.

No one really chooses the first scenario or even a neutral scenario. It’s just something you fall into. In the absence of direct conscious intervention, these types of scenarios happen organically.

Scenario B, however, is no accident. This scenario happens because someone deliberately chooses to create it.

Even the presence of a supportive lover isn’t an accident. It’s a choice. Sure there may be a lot of action steps and some courage required to make it happen, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s a very achievable part of the picture if you make it a priority.

Alignment with the principle of Love is one of the key differences between unconscious and conscious growth. When someone is truly on a path of conscious growth, the telltale sign is that they’ve deliberately sculpted their environment to support their highest and best vision of themselves. Whatever doesn’t fit that vision gets cut.

If you took a highly conscious person and put them into scenario A, what would they do?

Get a new roommate or move to a new place. Clean up the clutter and dirtiness. Make new friends who are supportive and invite them over. Write out some goals and post them. Decorate the place with some inspiring pictures.

A truly conscious person could make these changes within a few days max. The conscious person would be unwilling to tolerate an environment that doesn’t support his/her vision. Their standards would be higher than that.

Create an Environment That Supports You

If you think you’re strong enough to be immune to the effects of your environment, then let’s put you in prison for a year and see how well you thrive there.

If you look at the most conscious people on earth, you’ll see just how refined their environments are, both physically and socially. Having a home base that’s super-supportive gives them the strength to handle less friendly situations without getting overly discouraged. Such people surround themselves with positive, loving support.

Start with the easy stuff. Change some elements of the physical space you live in.

This can be really simple, so don’t overcomplicate it. Google a picture of a place you’d like to travel to, print it out, and literally tape it to your wall. How long will that take? A few minutes perhaps. You can fancy it up later.

Take the piles of clutter, and stick them in a closet or drawer somewhere, so they don’t serve as a constantly stressor each time you see them. Pull out a small bit of the pile each day, and sort through it little by little. Or set aside a chunk of time to go through the whole thing as fast as possible. Don’t let clutter become a negative visual stimulation that broadcasts, “You can’t have what you want because you’re overwhelmed as it is.”

Make a list of qualities you’d like to have in friends, lovers, coworkers, etc. Post it where you can see it. Spend 10 minutes a day imagining that you’re already there. You can do this while lying in bed as you drift off to sleep.

Don’t hang out with people who disempower you. Not only will they discourage you, but they’ll turn away the very people who’d otherwise support and encourage you. Supportive people are repelled by negative-minded people.

Don’t leave your social and environmental support to chance. It’s too important. These daily influences matter. Put yourself in the advantaged position of scenario B. You’ll grow much faster in that situation, and you’ll enjoy your life more as well.

Make it so. :)


Steve Recommends
Here are my recommendations for products and services I've reviewed that can improve your results. This is a short list since it only includes my top picks.

Grow Your Business - Learn heart-centered marketing methods for free
Effortless Success Mindfest - Free online event with Jack Canfield
Site Build It! - Use SBI to start your own money-making website
Getting Rich with Ebooks - Earn passive income from ebooks
Lefkoe Method - Permanently eliminate a limiting belief in 20 minutes
PhotoReading - Read books 3 times faster
Paraliminals - Condition your mind for positive thinking and success
The Journal - Record your life lessons in a secure private journal
Sedona Method (FREE audios) - Release your blocks in a few minutes
Life on Purpose - A step-by-step process to discover your life purpose

If you've found Steve's work helpful, please donate to show your support.

Get Steve's Free Newsletter to stay in touch and receive the newest updates

Free Personal Development Insights Newsletter

Get Steve's Free Newsletter

Sign up below to receive my free email newsletter, which is sent about once a month. It includes original and insightful bonus material to help you grow. No spam. No sharing of your email address. Easily unsubscribe at any time.