Socializing or Networking?

“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you’re doing.”

~ Pele‏ (Soccer Master)

We’ve covered a lot of ground regarding Mastery, Genius and Greatness. Let’s do a brief recap on what we’ve explored this far:

  • Genius is the structure upon which mastery is built. You’re a genius. Everyone is a genius in his or her own right. You must commit to finding your own unique talents, skills and gifts. (reference MGG1)
  • Once you find your own genius, turn your desires of the lower self into the aspirations of the higher self. This automatically focuses the aspirant on legacy and impact versus proximity and acquisition. Living a full and engaged life is the best reward. (MGG2)
  • Hold yourself to higher standards. Commit to excellence and mastery while letting go of the ideas of comfort and ease. Greatness has a price and we must be willing to pay it. (MGG3)
  • Find your One Thing. Your Magnificent Obsession. Make it the focal point of your entire life. Commit to it. Love it. Be it. (MGG4)
  • Solitude and Minimalism are the price of greatness. (MGG5-7)

Are you implementing these principles and strategies more fully into your life?

Do you understand their critical nature to living a life of energy, engagement and complete enthusiasm?

Since we’ve invested considerable time in solitude and minimizing… let’s continue the discussion that we’ve opened around socializing, which impacts both.

Masters find little value in those things
that do not contribute to their mission and purpose

Read more about The Pursuit of Purpose here and how to find it.

In a society that thrives and drives to social activity and interaction, this continues to possibly be a sensitive topic. It pushes some buttons. It goes against the collective grain.

“But James, we’re social creatures, aren’t we? Isn’t life meant to be fun?”

Yes and yes.

And more so than fun, life is meant to be meaningful. Properly understood, the greatest “fun” is experienced in the peak experience of mastery and purpose. Something to ponder.

The greatest fun of those who commit to mastery… is fulfilling their purpose and completing the mission they came here to fulfill. Please read that again. These unique individuals know full well that they are serving mankind, and the world, to the best of their abilities, by bringing their unique gifts in a grand act of love.

When you find your Innate Ability and Unique Purpose, and you fully commit to their mastery and fulfillment… all else falls away. All else becomes superfluous to your One Thing.

Multiple studies of individuals on their death bed prove that the number one emotional experience in those moments is regret.

Not the regret that I didn’t have and/or acquire enough…

Not the regret that I didn’t party and/or socialize enough…

The single most common regret is that I didn’t matter. I wasn’t significant. I didn’t accomplish anything of importance in my life.

The regret that I had a chance to be great, to build a legacy, and I was unwilling to take the chance and pay the price to achieve it.

The regret that I didn’t fulfill my purpose.

That I didn’t fully live!

It would appear to the masses that most who seriously pursue mastery are “anti-social.” Yet, appearances can be deceiving.

The beginner focuses on proximity.
The master focuses on the legacy of eternity.

Masters are not anti-social as in socialization… more specifically they tend to be anti-socializing. This is a fine nuance of semantics that I ask you to afford me.

Here’s how we shall differentiate socialization from socializing for the purposes of this discussion.

Socialization is defined by psychologists as the ability to fit into certain societal norms, morals and laws.

Socializing on the other hand is to mix, mingle, fraternize and consort.

Studies will prove that true masters have limited social relationships and the ones that they do have, are more networking and commonality based, versus socializing based. Big difference.

Furthermore, Keith Sawyer’s research from Washington University proves that in these networking communities of common cause and purpose, the aforementioned and discussed flow state (as well as transient hypofrontality), are both accelerated and increased. (reference MGG5)

Bottom line… masters have very few friends; and the friends they do have are leveraged toward their mastery. Period.

How about you?

Networking is interacting with another individual or group for the sole purpose of furthering your mission and purpose. This is not to say that the individuals a master networks with are not their friends. In many cases, if not most, they’re actually much better friends than the so-called “friends” of those who socialize.

Socializing plays in the shallows
Networking and true friends reside in the deep.

A recent study conducted by University of Michigan neuroscientist John Jonides, found that Facebook actually made people overall feel more lonely, anxious and glum. While the study didn’t go into the specifics as to why… I have my own theory.

A quick perusal of social media will show that the vast majority of posts are in the theme of “look how wonderful my life is; and look at all the cool and exciting things I’m doing; and look at how happy my family is; look at how successful my business is; and look how spiritual I am.” The list goes on but I think you get the point.

This is not reality.

Reality consists of both up and down. Dark and light. Pain and pleasure. Sinner and saint.

Ask a teenager today, “How many friends do you have?” Be prepared for a possible answer like “Oh, 2000.”


No one has 2000 friends!

No one has 20 real friends!

Let’s get real.

You’re blessed if you have 2 real true friends.

True friends are rare indeed; and masters focus on very few.
This allows them to give the love, attention and energy required.
Masters know the difference between an acquaintance and a true friend.

I remember back in the early nineties I was living in Atlanta, GA. I looked around at the “friends” that I had; and I suddenly realized they were not going in the same direction I was going.

They were good people. But the harsh truth is that something is either moving you forward or it’s holding you back. There is no neutral. Something to ponder.

There is no neutral in energy or life.
Something is either providing value and moving you forward,
Or it’s holding you back.

This is true in relationships, food, habits, television programs, social interactions, everything. Everything counts.



I made a decision right then and there that I would no longer spend high quantity time with people I did not aspire to be. Tough decision. But probably one of the best I’ve ever made.

They didn’t understand.

They called up the next weekend and suggested that we go out to the same socializing haunt we had so often frequented… to which I replied, I’m not going there anymore.

They were shocked to say the least.

I continued to inform them that if they wanted to go have dinner I was up for that (I was testing the waters). Of course, they had no interest in going to dinner.

None whatsoever.

Not that dinner would have made them my “true network,” but at least it would have been a step forward from where we were. Make no mistake… socializing is not networking.

I quickly realized that I didn’t truly have friends… I had party buddies.

There’s a vast difference.

I had no network. I had a socializing circle.

Once again, vast difference.

What do you have?

If all the people around you are behind you in mastery, contribution, accomplishment and greatness… you need to find a new circle of people.

Masters develop networks of individuals with a common purpose and cause. Individuals who can mutually support and assist each other in moving their lives, their business, and their purpose forward; and yes this includes their relationships as well.

Masters tend to not socialize, they network.
Life is too precious, and mastery too focused, to spend time in frivolity.

Studies of the wealthiest individuals in the world (these are people with a net worth of at least $3.2M and who make at least $160,000 per year), show conclusively that 79% of them network at least 5 hours per month. (reference Habits of Wealthy).

Not socialize. Network.

I trust by now we’ve defined the difference between networking and socializing, because as we’ve discussed many times, they’re vastly different.

Five hours a month is not really that much. By contrast, if you look at studies of the masses, I believe you’ll quickly find individuals (who are conditioned into mediocrity), that spend that much time or more socializing in just one week alone!

Often in just one weekend!

We were born into greatness…
But we’ve been conditioned into mediocrity.

Networking builds and contributes to mastery. Socializing more often than not wastes precious time and therefore, at best, hinders mastery.

In many cases it steals it completely away.

What are you committed to?

Are you socializing or selectively networking to accomplish your One Thing?

Are you building your network and your friendships around a common intention, purpose and goal? Be honest. There is no value in lying to yourself.

Every prize has a price. Are you willing to pay the price for your prize?

And the journey continues…

Stay Awake, Love Life, and Be Epic!

james arthur ray


Permission to re-post my personal articles is granted with acknowledgment of the author, James Arthur Ray and a link back to this website. Thanks and Enjoy!