In our last installment we began a discussion regarding your community or tribe; and how it either moves you forward or acts as a limiting governor in your life that slow you down and actually halts your progress.
This is a harsh pill to swallow but true nonetheless. Nothing is neutral. Everything has impact. Everything is either contributing to the appreciation of your life and purpose, or it’s contributing to the depreciation.
Everything is either contributing to the appreciation of your life and purpose, or it’s contributing to its depreciation. There is no neutral.
A conversation regarding your community and social circle is rarely included in a conversation on purpose, but I can assure you it definitely should be.
The fact, and you have experienced this, is that if your community, particularly your household, doesn’t support you in the fulfillment of your purpose it can be toxic.
Other people’s opinions of who you are or should be, if bought into, can keep you leashed, limited, and stuck.
I was coaching a young lady recently who was confiding how a family member was projecting his own fears upon her as she decided to follow her purpose and dreams.
Not so much.
Other people’s opinions can keep you stuck.
The Pygmalion Effect has been well documented in psychological research. Pygmalion was a figure in Greek mythology who literally fell in love with his statue, his own work of art, and the act of him projecting these qualities upon his art actually brought her to life.
Two more recent examples of the Pygmalion Effect are the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha as well as the movie Pretty Woman starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.
In both cases the image that one held of another became the reality in fact. This is not just the fodder of entertainment lore.
You can measure the quality of your life by the quality of your relationships.
I know a 28 year old man who’s heavily rooted in what psychologists call “learned helplessness.” The work of Psychologist Martin Seligman proves that when behavior is conditioned repeatedly over time it literally becomes reality—even when it’s only a reality in the mind of the person conditioned.
This man never picks up after himself. Never does his own laundry. Being the baby in the family he’s been conditioned into being just that—a baby—not a man.
It’s not his fault, but it is his responsibility; and life is going to knock him about the head and shoulders hard one day.
If our parents, our teachers and our friends all treat us as if we’ve helpless, helpless is what we’ll most likely believe ourselves to be; and most likely what we’ll become.
Their projection upon us is the Pygmalion Effect.
We’re all composed of multiple people with multiple facets, but which one of them we activate at any given moment may be just as determined by the people surrounding us as the person within us.
How many times have you seen a man who’s an absolute tiger at work only to become a pussy cat at home?
I remember dating a woman, who was fully grown and seemingly mature, only to experience her becoming an immature child when she was around her parents.
How about the savvy business man who leaves the office, gets together with his buddies, and his entire language reverts to college slang while they’re all in the living room playing air guitar?
Not that the people we want to be is of no consequence. But when who we want to be is in conflict with what another person’s perception of who we are triggers us, the person we want to be often gets suppressed.
The bottom line is that the people that we surround ourselves with often exert far more power and influence upon us then we like to admit.
If the people around you are primarily energy vampires, there’s a high probability that you will suck as well. Get a new community!
When two people interact they actually create a third person. The person they are together. I know that sounds mystical but it’s truly practical nonetheless.
If you ever hope to fulfill your purpose then you must surround yourself with people who believe in you and support you in your most noble pursuit.
A pursuit I call your Magnificent Obsession.
Just as powerfully and proactively you must begin removing yourself from those people who do just the opposite.
I love my mom; and she loves me as only a mother can. Yet I remember when I left AT&T to start my own company she had a long talk with me.
Son, have you really thought this through? You have a good job, a good salary, good retirement and great benefits… are you sure this is a smart thing to do?
When you choose to pursue your own greatness, you represent the courage that other people don’t have for themselves.
It’s being with someone and wishing you were alone.
You see mom grew up in the “get-a-good-job-and-retire-with-a-pension” era. What mom didn’t realize is that era is long gone.
Your true security doesn’t reside in a job, salary, company or position. Your true security resides in your power to produce.
So once again, other people’s opinions of you can keep you stuck. You need a powerful community around you as we discussed, forget “like-minded people” find Harmonic Wealth-minded people. Find productivity and performance-minded individuals who like you, are committed to their own mastery.
Who are committed to bringing their greatness to the world.
Committed to creating world-class work.
Committed to becoming the very best in their field at what they do…
And if you can’t find them right this minute then wait.
All in due time.
Time is your friend when it comes to mastery, greatness and purpose for only with considerable time—a minimum of ten thousand hours to be exact—can you fully bring your greatness and purpose to the world.
You must be willing to invest at least ten years in obscurity
to leave a lifetime legacy.
Like Captain Ahab in his absolute obsession with Moby Dick. So too must you find your Magnificent Obsession and give your total heart, mind and soul to it.
To recap what we’ve learned:
- You’re a purpose seeking being in a purpose-filled Universe. The purpose of life is to find your purpose and give your entire heart and mind to it.
- Your spiritual purpose is one thing only: fuller expansion, experience and expression. You’re here to develop, advance and grow.
- Your physical purpose is how you go about actualizing your one spiritual purpose.
- To fully actualize your ability, you must find your unique genius and develop it to a level of Ultimate Performance. This takes an honest self-assessment which very few ever do.
- Your community either makes you or breaks you. If they aren’t in full support of you they’re holding you back. No exceptions. Nothing is neutral.
- Don’t expect even those that love you to support you in the pursuit of your Magnificent Obsession. They can’t. You represent the courage that they don’t have.
Now it’s time for you to get busy…
It’s your move.
Stay Awake, Love Life and Be Epic!