This article will be published in the October 2006 Anniversary Edition of " The Network Marketing Magazine ". I thought the topic of this article especially fitting since, every month The NM Magazine provides a cornucopia of topics, teachers and styles, the perfect venue for those that enjoy "diversity and freshness in perspective"!
At a young age I made an important decision and a promise to myself. With a voracity for learning and a fascination for "how things worked", I told myself that anything I read or participated in going forward, would be for my learning … and fun. This decision was born out of many years of reading fiction and school texts, I was at a place where my "stories" lacked "challenge" and they did not seem to answer many of the important questions that were coming up for me at the time. So I started visiting different parts of the library and bookstore … and found a way to attend college, which I did while working full time for almost 10 years.
When I made that decision early on, my Masters were in the pages of books … I did not have the role models and mentors in my life to teach me the things I read about in books … my college courses were more technical in nature, the authors of my books became my early mentors and models.
At the same time, Network Marketing and various other opportunities were presenting them all around me in one form or another, it was not until many years later I figured out how well building a business and self-development went so "hand-in- hand "together, and I discovered my true love for networking and assisting others in developing their business – and consequentially themselves.
I now have a deep respect for the value of focusing on my own growth and hold my commitment to learning as solely responsible for the success and abundance I enjoy today! Priority is on self-awareness and putting my self in situations where I need to stretch or step out of my comfort zone … the end result is a life of simplicity and ease and everything else seemingly taking care of itself! You have heard,
"Your business will grow as fast as you do."
yes? Take it to heart.
Make your development # 1 priority and everything else will "flow and grow"!
A dozen years ago I read one "far out" book that started me on a journey of learning that forked extremely from the road I had previously been on. I say "far out" because this particular book was a refreshing new perspective from that which I had been reading – and enjoy the irony with me – a work of fiction. An adventure story based on self-awareness concepts, not only did it make sense, it seemed to resonate as "truth" in every cell of my body. All the way through the book I kept asking myself, "Is this real or fiction?" Either way, this one book had me considering some new things "possible", and opened my mind to the fact that there were some fascinating and fun subjects I had not considered before.
One of the greatest things I ever did for myself was to explore a wide variety of different teachings and a variety array of "Masters". I am like a kid in a candy shop at the bookstore, to choose a book I always rely on my intuition and faith in the Universe to present me with whatever I need most at the time. I set my intentions upon entering into a seminar or workshop in a similar fashion. I stay open to what it is I am to learn or confirm the most, I'm never disappointed and I always take inventory of what I learned when it was done and hold huge appreciation for the lessons – no matter how painful it may have been to learn them. I was always – and still am uncomfortable – settling into one particular way of seeing something – there are as many angles of "perspective" on life as there are people perceiving it.
I have also discovered that my own perspective is "moveable" and changes as I allow for more to enter into my experience.
At first, as I ventured out into unfamiliar territory, it appeared that I often bumped into something about a belief system I did not like or understand. Usually over time, with a new discipline in watching where my focus is, I learned to focus on what it is I appreciate about a certain set of beliefs as taught through a Master – keep what works for me and toss what does not. It is a paradoxical place between being detached from the incoming data and at the same time paying close attention to what feels good and what does not.
One of my favorite Masters is famous for saying,
"Do not believe a word I say."
He says this because his teaching comes from his perspective only. I take the basic lessons from his experience and fit them into mine. Doing this eliminates the need for or use of words like 'right' or 'wrong', 'good' or 'bad'. It's simply a matter of "What works for me?" and "What does not work for me?" The ultimate question being, "How can I make things better?"
Studying many different belief systems, techniques and perspectives allows me to really zero in on what I prefer and practice. By studying with many Masters I have learned to get to the underlying concepts, values and perspectives of the material that they are presenting and inevitably, every time I end up at a place where their information fits quite nicely with what I already "know". Anything I do not understand is out of context or out of my current level of understanding. If I go back and re-read a book or listen to an audio I read or listened to 2 years ago, I hear a whole different message and brand new information catches my attention … or, I suddenly have a place to put the information I did not resonate with before. My growth continuously has me re-framing previous data. It is the essence of the famous quote by Einstein,
"We can not solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."
As we take new-found information and put it to work in our consciousness and our lives, we grow … and suddenly those things we did not understand 2 years ago now totally make sense and we have a place to fit the new information in an empowering and serving way. Today I am in huge appreciation if I take even 1 golden nugget or "aha" from something I'm reading or listening to – sometimes that 1 golden nugget can cause a shift in my perspective that ripples through my entire understanding of myself and the world around me! I continue on with an expanded view and a larger bucket for collecting new and empowering data.
A key benefit of studying many belief sets and masters is that that makes us more "relatable" – both to others and to our Selves.
Reality is personal for each and every one of us, I can "allow" for another to believe what they believe and still feel a connection to them through underlying values and a common set of beliefs – we do not have to agree on everything to get along! What's working for them is working for them. It might not work for me. The amount of contrast between our perspectives usually determines how much time and energy we invest in the relationship … an important aspect to have clarity on when working with many different people like we do in the referral-based marketing business.
Probably the best place to study one's Self is through the interaction with and observing the actions of others.
Every person in my experience is a mirror for my learning about "Me," they're in my reality to reflect the best (and the worst) of Me.
My greatest gifts of learning have been through the feedback of others. I now give and take my feedback as I do all other learning … gather the data from a detached emotional place and pay attention to my inner guidance as to what feels good and what feels not-so-good. It's my choice – and responsibility – to accept what works and set what what does not.
Sometimes through trying things on, implementing a new tool or creating new habits and replacing old habits, we hone our preferences and always have a set of values and rules to personally operate from – with integrity.
It's my belief that every experience and every interaction with others is for our learning pleasure!
Stay open to what presents itself to you and how.
Know that everything happens for a reason and that what you focus upon expands – always, no exceptions!
Grow yourself and your relationship to the world around you and watch your life grow in some entertaining and magical ways! The more you know the more choices you have and the more value you have to offer others.
Get used to the exhilaration of "shifted perspective", know that change is inevitable and everything – especially our awareness – is always expanding!
Invest in YOU first, follow your bliss and expect miracles – they're there if you look for them!
Happy Learning & Growing …