The Power of Connections (Blog)
Use this thread to discuss the following entry from Steve Pavlina's blog:
The Power of Connections
Haha, when you asked the question, which scenario best describe you right now? My automatic answer was "somewhere in the middle." And then in the next paragraph, you mention the bit about "if your answer was 'somewhere in the middle'..."
I chuckled at that.
This post comes at a good time for me. Not in the sense of physical clutter, but, rather, taking care of business that needs taking care of. The mental clutter that comes from procrastination is a huge part of this.
De-cluttering is actually a huge thing (google it). There are whole websites and books and programs devoted to the idea, and I think it's a powerful source for freeing up mental resources. Even something as simple as keeping your email inbox clean makes a huge mental difference I've noticed.
Thank you for this post.
I'm in a "lucky" position of being neutral. No bad connections to get rid of, just good connections to add :)
I've already started at the CGW, and I'm staying in touch with those people, having a Master Mind group with some of them, being friends with most of them, and even starting a group that practices talking about growth and fun stuff in Spanish together!
(anyone who wants to join the Spanish skype call group, sent me a message! Only requirement, willingness to learn and/or speak Spanish and be a nice person!)
I haven't had the energy yet to really go out and make new friends, and I'm not sure when I will have that energy, it may be another week or so... but making the list is something that I can and will do today! :)
Some people in my life thought it was cold-blooded and ruthless of me to leave my city and abandon every single friend I had to go to a new city. Indeed, my thoughts at the time were "These people are unworthy of being in my life."
A few months later and I'm waking up to a psychic, loving, sexual, pleasurable, delicious and cuddly lover who makes me vegan meals every day; my friends are equally awesome.
Sometimes just making the decision to only accept high quality people into your life automatically draws such people into your life.
BRB, going to go clean my room & set my vision board up I bought yesterday...:D
Nice and inspiring. A supportive home base is where it's at :D
I have a bookshelf above my bed with lots of insightful and stimulating reads on it, I wake up to the best bits of my favourite music every day (yes I actually put the mp3s through Audacity to get the best bits of the tunes!) and I have inspiring posters on my wall... but I still have my mom to deal with since I still live with my family. So a bit of both, really.
What's more empowering? Being able to control your environment, or being able to control how you interact with it?
By holding a mindset that stresses you out whenever your environment is cluttered, or the people around you are ornery, aren't you then giving your power away to your environment?
What exactly are the best parameters for personal growth? Is it existing in an environment where you can control everything? Or learning to leverage the variables you have unconditional control over by exposing yourself to uncontrollable environments? Would you grow more from spending the rest of your life on the Holodeck—where EVERYTHING is under your control? Or by vagabonding and going wherever the wind blows you?
Just as no one can make you feel inferior without your consent, nothing can stress you out without you focusing on it in a way that creates resistance. If you can make peace with any environment, you can find peace in any environment. If you can make peace with any person (no matter their attitude), then you are free to focus on any aspect of any person in your environment and create interactions accordingly, because you're making what resonates with you most the topic of discussion, not what annoys you most.
Growth is everywhere. The better you can get at controlling your focus, the more freedom you'll have from the need to control your environment. You'll be able to enjoy yourself in the finest of restaurants seated next to the most conscious of people, and in the dingiest of prisons seated next to the most bitter of prisoners. Because the Oneness within us all means that the good within everything we love exists in every particle of the world around us. And it is there for us the conscious to find it, embrace it, and reap its benefits.
I was reading this at work and I found myself complaining about my coworkers. That what the lowest thing to do . . . my God! now I know why I am sorrounded by them! :eek:
Thank you Steve, this article was like a slap on my face! :D
(By the way -- IP -- I've thanked you before, but I want to thank you again ---> thank you again for how you once explained LoA & Abraham Logic to me. Peace and love my man.)
Cool post :cool:
Even though this post is shorter than usual, I can relate to it very well. Just a couple of months back, I changed my environment. Most of the toxicity I used to encounter is now gone. I am completely independent and free and it's a bliss. :)
The second part is a little difficult for me to incorporate. I have been a self-made person all my life, rarely taking help from anyone. While I do realize the value of loving connections, I have taught myself to manage without anyone's help. I am beginning to realize that it's going to take some major shift in my beliefs to form loving connections. As it happens, at the moment most of the people i know who are growth oriented and supportive are thousands of miles apart. I rarely meet such people in person.
So I am making a list and ordering them right away. :D
This article seemed a little more about the power of your environment rather than your connections per se. But, environment is incredibly important of course.
"The power of connections" does remind me of something Eben Pagan taught in a seminar once: That if you want to "get your life handled" you should start with 1) your health, because you can instantly change your diet and start exercising and see immediate results, then 2) building friendships and relationships (connections), because once you are getting yourself physically fit and physically healthy and attractive, it will be easier to find other healthy-minded individuals to connect to, then finally focus on 3) building your wealth, which could take years, but if you have already mastered your personal health and also built connections with other people, it will be immensely easier.
So, your building connections, and more subtly but just as important, choosing your environment, is one of the prime factors in getting the three main parts of life handled: health, relationships and wealth.
Start With the Physical
Ask Steve – Where to Begin Your Path of Personal Growth
My net take-away from this discussion is:
1) What I can control in my environment -- I should (as long as I'm compassionate to others and empowering myself) -- thanks SP.
2) If I can't control certain things in my environment, that's okay too -- I can still control my reaction or my interaction with them, and I can still make the net result positive and empowering -- thanks IP.
After reading this post I had a dream that I was sitting with Steve (and some other people that I didn't know) in a seminar, or workshop type of thing.
We were discussing traveling, and Steve was talking about how he was making plans to travel and I was advising him to just trow some clothes in a bag and get on the plane.. :D Then we talked about where I have traveled to, and how amazing it is to just go without a plan.
I take this as a sign that my future will be filled with amazing connections who are all conscious, love traveling, and see me as an equal, and I can see them as an equal.. :D
Oh, and funny fact; in my dream Steve was complaining about the economy right now, and therefor not being a good time to travel.. and I actually answered "Your economy is doing great right now. My economy is doing great as well. We have nothing to worry about!"
I take that to mean that there is financial abundance in my future! :)
At the beginning of this past summer I moved into a new apartment and totally lost hold of all of my exercise habits I had been practicing before then.
I just read your first link and your comparison to extra body weight being the same as carrying around a dumbbell of weights every day really struck me, namely because I have a pair of 25lb dumbbells sitting on my living room floor that I haven't used in weeks, and I am definitely 25lbs or more over my ideal weight. I just thought about how difficult it would be to carry those around all day, and then realized that I already am carrying more than that around in bodyweight that I don't want.
Your comparison really struck home for me and in fact, because of it I just placed an order on Amazon for a workout-at-home fitness DVD set that I have been meaning to get for the last several weeks but have been making up excuses for not doing so.
So.. thank you. I will have them in 4 to 14 business days and be exercising daily once again thanks to you and your very "heavy" (:rolleyes:) analogy.
However, I have found that where I am now, my skills at self improvement are about on par with my swimming skills. I have never been a strong swimmer - 50 meters freestyle still leaves me wrecked. Similarly are my current circumstances - I have identified that they do not fit in with the person I wish to be - and I struggle with resistance in the forms of frustration and anger.
So while I could definitely find contentment and probably even happiness by making peace with my current circumstances and accepting them unconditionally, I believe that endeavoring to do so right away would be like attempting to swim 500 meters non stop under my current level of fitness. I know that it's not impossible, but it's not something that I will achieve immediately.
I like Steve's approach because it is an easy place for a guy like me to start. Changing my surroundings and meeting new people will help me to improve my outlook and slowly help me gain the power to identify what's holding me back - finding the sources of stubborn resistance within myself that need to be faced - and how I can eventually overcome them.
Also, as a guy in my mid 20s, there are many things that I wish to experience and quite a few goals that I wish to achieve. Going wherever the wind blows me just seems a little too airy fairy from my present perspective. If I tried to let go completely, my ego would fight me, hard.
Nonetheless, if this is something that you desire for yourself and have already achieved, then I am happy for you. Maybe someday I will surrender too, but just not today or tomorrow.
but what if scenario B is really imposed into you? And you can't do a thing about it? What if you're 14 years old, from a country called Lebanon, and you wake every day to the sound of babies crying, a yelling mother and a father who doesn't care a **** about you, and doesn't even know in whish grade you are?
Because that was me 2 years ago.
I know you'll say things like: "You should do your best" or "Be patient", but never mind because I already know that.
I used to sneak once a day to the local Internet Cafe to chat and Facebook, until I discovered blogs, and especially personal development blogs, I then started applying the principles and life-hacks I learned into my life.
After a while, I started my own blog, The Conscious Living Blog, where I can share my thoughts and transfer my learnings to other people.
I hope you visit the blog so you can see the end result of the story.
But imagine a cell in your body saying to all the other cells: "My growth depends upon what I decide to focus upon."
Other cells: "LOL... what you smokin', dude?"
The timing of this article is perfect. This topic was the most enlightening part of the CGW for me.
Here's a video I took of a short demonstration Steve did at the CGW last month.
YouTube - Steve Pavlina And Your Social Environment
Steve, is it ok to post this? It was my favourite part of the workshop so I'd like to share it with my friends. But let me know if it violates any copy writes.
Thanks for the video, Dan.
Btw, after watching that one, I clicked on the one that said "How to sleep better and become early riser" and found that they are in fact, advertising Steve's approach.
Hope it's done with your consent, Steve.:)
YouTube - How to Sleep Better and Become an Early Riser
What I was trying to illustrate in my earlier reply was that the true measure of growth is in your focus, not your environment. And that shifting your focus will impact your environment much more than shifting your environment will impact your focus. Because, all things being equal, you will see better results if you shift your focus and THEN take action to shift your environment, rather than the other way around.
Let me see if I can illustrate this a little more clearly using the examples from the original post.
From the outside looking in the person in Scenario B has grown more than the person in Scenario A, but is person B really equipped to grow faster? Let's compare both scenarios and see if we can find out.
(Editors note: For the sake of brevity I'm only going to use one example to explain what I mean. But since my insights are coming from a consciously cultivated and fine-tuned focus, I can easily apply my focus to nearly any example and come up with an intelligent approach for shifting into a focus that will naturally yield the desired results. I actually planned on comparing each scenario point by point and offering what I might do to release resistance in each situation, but I ended up going so deep with the first comparison that it didn't feel necessary to elaborate any further.)
While the example tells us nothing about how Person B would handle their situation if their lover left, at least we know they're currently focused on what they do desire, rather than the lack of it.
Let's embellish Scenario A so that we can create a more detailed example of how we might make peace with that situation.
Let's say that you want to meet someone you might be interested in being in a relationship with, but you're deathly afraid of being rejected. This fear leads you to not risk any rejection at all, and idly hope that something will change on its own. Every time you see someone you're interested in you hope that you'll somehow magically end up together and then curse yourself for not having the courage to approach them after the opportunity has passed you by. Every time that you wake up and notice you're alone your mind flashes back to all those missed opportunities, and you feel like crap because you know you have no one to blame for this situation but yourself.
How I might make peace with that situation:
Rather than kicking myself for the desires I haven't yet manifested, I'd acknowledge myself for the desires my actions were easily meeting. Then, rather than trying to immediately create my desired environment, I'd aim to see each new encounter as an opportunity to improve my focus.
So let's say you're at a party and you notice an attractive women sitting alone. The first thing you notice is how much you might desire to be with her—but before you can even enjoy the pleasurable thoughts of being with her your focus jumps right to your fear of rejection and you lock up. This is to be expected because you've encountered many situations like this and this is how you've become accustom to reacting. However, this time you're not focusing on your failure to react in the way you desire; you're focusing on you ability to see this situation differently. And so rather than focusing on how you'd like to act, you start looking for ways in which your actions are already meeting your desires. And you notice that in this moment, your desire to not be rejected is far greater than your desire to strike up a conversation with a potential mate. And look! Your actions are in perfect alignment with that desire! You desire to not be rejected, and you're not putting yourself at risk for rejection! Well done!
Of course since you've trained yourself into thinking that the only appropriate response to this situation is to summon your courage and go talk to her, you may not feel great about how this turned out right away. And you may not see how practicing your ability to NOT talk to women is going to help you get what you want. But let's fast forward a little and see how this might play out in the long run.
With practice you start skipping the whole "experiencing the fear of being rejected phase" and immediately see your actions for the desires they're meeting. You'll be able to see an attractive woman from across the room and feel the freedom of NOT having to go up and talk to her. You'll marvel at how you are totally unafraid around her even though just a short while ago this sort of situation would have scared you stiff.
You'll start waking up in the mornings thinking about all the desires you can currently manifest for yourself, rather than the missed opportunities that punctuate a desire that you haven't yet shifted into alignment with. And this sort of shift in focus will begin to impact the other areas of your life. And things you discover from focusing differently in those areas will be useful insights to one day help you with desires that now seem out of reach.
Eventually you might even be able to stare right at a beautiful women and think "Wow, look at me. Meeting my desires so easily. I bet a chick like that might dig a guy like me who can so easily meet his desires. Hah! Too bad she isn't going to find out anytime soon because I don't have to life a finger to go talk to her."
Of course, that sort of focus might lead you to wonder what would happen if you did go up and talk to her now. And then you might get scared again. But the beauty of this focus is that you have the FREEDOM to focus on a different desire when your current desire seems painfully out of reach. And once you realize that you have the ability to stop the pain that may come from things like rejection (by changing your focus, not merely avoiding things that may lead to that pain), then the risk involved eventually becomes a moot point.
If going after your desires is the equivalent to stepping on the accelerator, then learning to shift your focus is the equivalent to installing brakes. The fun is in the accelerating, but you'll have the freedom to go a whole lot faster once you realize YOU have the power to control the brakes. The alternative is to create an environment where no brakes are needed. Where you can keep driving in circles at a very fast pace without worry of hitting anything because you know the terrain so well. Which works perfectly fine until you decide to set your sights on a whole new destination in life and realize that you can't take that environment with you. And even if you've developed the best of construction skills, your ability to alter the terrain will never allow you to travel as fast as anyone who's learned to master the brakes.
PS: I actually used a similar focus to attract my current lover. It was amazingly effortless and she was the one who ended up approaching me. But because my focus was firmly on how I was focused and not on trying to control how things worked out with her, I always felt in control of the situation. The first time she came over to my place my bedroom was a mess. Normally I would have cleaned up to make sure I didn't do anything that would possibly mess up my chances of getting laid. But this time my focus was on doing what felt good to me, not trying to make things happen by altering my environment. So I just told her "this is my natural environment," and we threw a few things off the bed and ended up having stress-free sex right in the middle of all that clutter ;)
Loved this blog post Steve. One of my favorites of yours in quite some time. Couple of reasons why:
* I love when you stick to empowering language like you did in this article
* I also love it when you paint a picture like you did in the 2 scenarios - really helps bring it home
@ inverse paranoid: Thank you for explaining that to me a little better. That was a very detailed post, I appreciate it.
Be what you want to see.
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