Jul 072014
 
Win:Win Networking = Covey's Habit 4

Win:Win.

A crucial input to any business relationship/transaction – community/clientele/friend to friend/within a family – whichever, or all of the above.

How does it apply to networking?

Here’s a simple sketch – if any questions from those who read this blog, please feel free to ask, and would be glad to go into more depth.

High level: Be sure you are mentally prepared to expect to give and give before you anticipate/expect a return. However, once you do receive, you’ve cemented a long lasting business connection which won’t be based on a mere transaction, but on deeper bonds of trust, service, and selflessness.

Mid level: Get out there into the public and expand your network. Your network is not simply there for you; not even close! It is there to share with others in your network whom may need a product, service, or just a friend. Think ‘Level 4’ ( Interdependence ) and eschew/abandon ‘Level 3’ ( Independent ) and Level 2 ( ‘Dependent’ ) – you’ll find that the ‘air’ in this sphere of building and bonding is far longer lasting than when you look at someone as simply a transaction, or a sale as a utility.

Finally, at the lower level ( this is mostly geared for where I live geographically – please study ( go well beyond merely “googling” ) the groups in your area to see what’s available for you)

Options where there will be a LOT of people, and connecting for win:win will be more challenging, however, definitely possible:

* CBus Business First (Breakfasts/6-8x/year, Friday mornings)

* Big Fish Networking ( periodic events, mostly evenings, and also certain mornings )

Add’t options which are in smaller settings which are free form and not structured :

** DelawareO ( every 3rd Wednesday evening , location varies )

** COBB ( every third Weds. morning )

Micro options – very small groups which can range from just 2-3, to upwards of a dozen or two. Very informal, and free form like the above

** Meetup.Com ( many many different options – can either be an organizer, or just someone who attends )

Structured Options – These are pay to join and usually have some structure/scripting and a very firm time frame for meeting starts/ends.

** BNI ( Dr. Misner, founded 1985 -groups all over the country)

( there are also several others in this same space – Goldstar, AmSpirit, & Synergy National )

** Six Degrees Networking

** TORN

____

With all of these, be sure to take the principles of win:win, as taught by Covey 20 odd years ago, bring Level 4 thinking ( Tribal Leadership ) and understand the crucial value of tribes and community building ( Godin & Block, respectively ). If you have the right mindset, you will meet so many new friends and grow your business all at the same time!

All best, always. Thank you for reading.

Jun 192014
 
The confluence of social capital, servant & replicative leadership, and systems.

Social Capital.

Servant leadership ( upside down pyramid being the most apt visual )

Replicative leadership ( Level 4 )

Systems thinking ( a la, Senge, Kiyosaki, Gerber, Woodward, Brady, & others less well known. )

They do intersect, and confluence exists in a metaphorical “river” – this spark that connected them together for me came while reading a page in a remarkable book by H.W. Crocker III.

The author is summing up the Battle of Chancellorsville, talking about Robert E. Lee & Stonewall Jackson and the aftermath of the tragedy which prematurely took the latter General’s life in a ‘friendly fire’ incident on the battlefield.

The quote is powerful :

“People matter, individuals matter; no system, however well-oiled, and no leader, however omnicompetent, can afford to ignore the importance of personnel and having the right people in the right posts.”

So so true. Major league level truth in a matter of a short paragraph!

Mr. Crocker then quotes General Lee …

(speaking to one of the Army of Northern Virginia’s chaplains) “He [ Jackson ] has lost his left arm, but I have lost my right.”

To Lee, Jackson was far more than a subordinate officer. He was supremely trusted to handle the fires of war and the enormous task of leading a tired, under nourished, out-manned & gunned, and strongly individualistic group of men. Clearly, he was the right man in the right post; so to borrow a portion of the quote, “people matter, individuals matter …”

What came to be after this decisive Confederate victory quite likely would have been different if Stonewall Jackson, the “great and good” leader in his own right, had lived. Lee had replicated his impeccable leadership traits, skills, and courage in those within his inner circle – he was by definition, a mentor, a teacher, and a Level 4 leader. Yet, while the system in place within the South’s military was pulling victories from the jaws of defeat and causing President Lincoln much angst and soul searching, the system could not by itself replace Jackson. The personnel mattered too much, empowered as they were to take action and lead from the front.

Think about this. Live it out. Build strong social capital -those wide & deep relationships which are cultivated like that of the farmer in his field. Be the example. Live for those whom you serve. Align your personnel to their strengths, and build an iron clad inner circle. Yet, never lose sight of how valuable one person can be to the whole.

Jun 082014
 
Here Comes The Boom - 2014 Rascal's Guide to + Movies Series - One

Here Comes the Boom‘ was released in late 2012, and I first watched it at a family/friends/fun themed movie night in the summer of 2013.

I can most certainly recommend it. Will this test your advanced knowledge at a credentialist level (PhD or otherwise)? Not in the least. Rather, this movie pulls at heart strings which you may not even know exist. It also will offer a hilarious account of a 40 something public school teacher who pursues something that seems wildly out of the question for someone his age. Its script lays out lessons in chasing dreams, the difference between schooling and education, the building of relationships, how to handle adversity and persevere.

In short, here are some of what I drew from the movie ( which I’ve since purchased & have watched numerous more times )

Schooling v. Education
– Already have learned this, however, this movie further cemented the very large gap between the two.

Dreaming
– Always chase your dreams and never live a settled for life. Case in point was Mr. Voss’ friend who was unhappy as a painter, yet found he was perfectly happy as a chef

Encouragement/inspiration
– Always be a “balcony person” and not a “basement person” ( see my other blog for a review on the book which taught this so very well: ‘Balcony People’ )

Adversity
– Resolution 12 is ‘AQ’ ( adversity quotient ). The script embeds this crucial trait in it’s movement of the storyline from a very dis-engaged teacher at the onset to one who refuses to quit even after being nearly defeated near the end.

Friendship & Relationship building
– Always value how important this is. Do not, at any time, rely only on social media/networking.

Fighting
– Fight for the right reasons. Have a purpose, a cause, and/or a mission to answer the most valuable Q : “Why?”

Example/role model-ing
– Be one in your life. Daily. Don’t attempt to change people; change yourself from the inside -> out, and transform your own thinking & mindset. That is far more powerful and transformational than any other means.

Serving/Giving > Receiving
– Mr. Voss, after starting on the wrong foot, realized that to be what he had to become, he had to give & serve others before thinking of himself. He shoved his ego aside, and put his time into looking after his friend, the music teacher, the kids in the school ( esp. his biology class ), and others.

Success is comprised of failure
– You will see numerous instances of failing in this movie. That is great! Failing is required to be successful.

In sum, definitely give this movie a chance to impact your life as it did mine. Am glad that my life & business mentor chose to share this flick with me last year & am glad to pay forward my review of it in the blogosphere.

* * * * *

One of my favorite clips / scenes :

http://www.wingclips.com/movie-clips/here-comes-the-boom/earning-respect

An excellent source for additional media is found here

Thank you for reading this first post/entry in the 2014 rascal’s movie guide & create your best day ahead!

Feb 152014
 
Eight Strengths 4 Success

Please think in depth today, and every day thereafter, about the correlations between these strengths and success principles; they are intertwined & inseparable.

 

Attitude

Courage

Character

Duty

Honour

Relationships

Passion

Tenacity

 

If you’re already pursuing true success (please don’t confuse this pursuit with mere money) , this correlation may seem more clear to you than to the other readers of this post. Regardless of where you are on your journey, my hope is that this made you consider your life in a different, more significant way than before you saw it.

 

Recommended readings on this topic:

Toughen Up!

Courage: The Backbone 

Resolved: Primer

Voyage of a Viking

Character Counts

Nov 042013
 
Why aren't you doing (or have quit doing) something worthy? ...

… There’s a strong likelihood that the reasons are deeply seated, below the surface of your life, and in need of being brought out so you can dedicate your days to something that will leave a mark in our dark world. Being a candle in such a world isn’t the easiest thing you’ll ever embark on doing, however, it will have the most worth — by far.  ( I am living testament to this truth. )

From a fantastic audio recorded from a talk that I had the utmost pleasure to hear and experience in person,  below I’ve recapped the Top 10 reasons ##.  The reasons are fully from the speaker’s vast experiences in working with people for years upon years; the commentary below them is mostly my own, tying to my own ongoing journey taking the road less traveled.

**

10 > Pride

Prideful-ness is a major contributor to many negative traits and decisions. Often, it is connected to crowd-satisfying peer pressure, or negativity of some type. Study ways in which you can learn how to remove pride from your life to the greatest extent.

9 > Besetting sin(s)

In most anyone’s closet, there are skeletons from the past. After all, man is not by nature “good”, he (she) is a fallen sinner. We all have done, or perhaps are still doing, things which are sinful. Many quit something of value to avoid conflict, or to avoid having to confront thing(s) which are unpleasant.

8 > Lack of character

Resolution 2 from the highly regarded book, ‘Resolved’ includes an equation:  Integrity x courage = character. Do you know someone who quit before the finish line?  Perhaps he/she simply lacked the former, integrity itself. Or, on the other hand, maybe there was a shortage of courage at the root. Either way, character counts, as Os Guinness taught us in his short, and profound book of that name.

7 > Distractions

Broken focus. Ah, what was that you said again?!.  Yes, your focus was just broken. Maybe it was the lure of “lesser things” ( good > great , reversing the order ); or, was it a lack of sorting out your priorities from your urgencies and obligations?  Regardless: Distractions hurt the pursuit of the worth (-y).

6 > Comfort.

Odysseus fell prey to a siren song, did he not?  Have far too many modern day Americans, let alone most of the ‘First World’ citizens done the same as this well known Greek legend? Yes, I say — the verdict is in. Entitlements?  You’re entitled to very very little, except which is transmuted to you via natural laws. Comfort comes in many forms – if you want to join the 2-20% of society that is far ahead of the rest, avoid it! Have lots of fun, and restore yourself — self-care, so to speak, but don’t get comfortable!

5 > Dream is too small

The cure for this at the very root?  Three fantastic books:  ‘The Magic of Thinking Big”, “The Dream Giver”, & “Visioneering”.

You have to dream. And dream often & consistently. Please, though, do not confuse this with fantasy, or wishes, or the ‘SFN’ (Something for Nothing) club. Dreaming is a discipline, a requirement to be successful, and very invigorating to the soul, spirit, and mind. Be sure yours are B-I-G. !

4 > Relational challenges

We all have them, or had them, including me. It’s part of life in many ways – people are … people! And, since the 80-98% don’t study, learn, and practice human relations/people skills as a matter of due course, chances are, they have these challenges more often. To fix this instead of quitting something valuable to your legacy, study conflict resolution first. Best books in this area?  “Courage” & “The Anatomy of Peace”

3 > Personal responsibility

You’re the project. Simple as that. You cannot change others, and never, ever should you blame another person, let alone something inanimate, such as a golf club, for what you alone control. Personal responsibility is a brother to personal growth/change; it is the antithesis to dependence. Jump over independence, and move into the interdependent level of action & thinking to really learn how to get better on this point.

2 > Selfdoubt / low belief

Belief, and its companion faith, are imperative in everyone’s life. Quitting, being the opposite of success, easily can tie into missing the ‘belief’ coin. Let alone letting self-doubt, or being in a valley reflect your day to day living. Doubt is cured by plugging into better information — stopping listening to yourself — and, finding better association. One’s ‘tribe’, community, or platoon/foxhole should be shared with only those who are going to edify, uplift, encourage, and coach/mentor you to greater things. Get your hands on the new in 2013 book, “Confidence of a Champion” as a key add-on. It is stellar!

1 > Lack of mental toughness

A leader armours him/herself – tough skin required. Toughness is an ingredient in large quantities. The best read to counter-act this reason for joining the ‘quitter’s contingent’?  “Toughen Up!” — Mr. Hamilton pushes all the right buttons in this 2013 tome. In a world of correctors, cynics, discouragers, and unhealthy skeptics – many of whom do not read, or grow themselves in any other discerning way, adding layers of toughness, while keeping a soft heart, is the right way to prevent quitting due to this reason.

**

My hope is that this list & the books/tidbits tied to them, added a large measure of value. As always, comments & shares are deeply appreciated & welcomed. Gratitude in abundance is how I live.

**

## – that talk was from Mr. Chris Brady. You’ll find his blog in my blogroll, and numerous books that he authored, or co-authored, reviewed and recommended on my second (Tumblr) blog, also linked in the corner of the main splash page.  All the best to him & his family at all times, as his example is one that I wish to emulate as a lifelong self-directed student.

Aug 112013
 
What you do MATTERS -- Serve. Pay forward. Give. Bless Others.

Ripples in the still water…

They are caused by something which breaks the stillness; something which serves as the cause, while the effect is palpable to the naked eye …

Who among us, likely while with your parents on a hike, a camping trip, or at a retreat, hasn’t tossed a rock into a pond, a lake, and watched with glee as your act caused something so obvious?  Raising my hand, I am one of them 😀

So, why would we, as adults, not apply this same principle to your life?

What you do MATTERS.

Here’s the principle I speak of. This is not a new idea, yet I wished to cover it today, as earlier this summer, I was privilved to hear a moving talk from an accomplished business owner ** ( w/ her husband ) who re-told the story that I’ve linked back to at the bottom of this post. The story is a core of the ‘Butterfly Effect’ , and is synonomous with ripples from a smooth stone tossed as a young child. Rather than re-tell that story, let’s use it as inspiration – print it off, and refer to it often …

Let’s apply this to our lives today. Stop spending so much time on obligations that only benefit ourselves and which have limited value to our families, trusted friends, and our society. Our families are the cornerstone of our culture – thus, the butterfly effect, the ripples, matter – and our culture is in dire need of an infusion of leadership that rises from organic growth of our own thinking. Our friends are valuable, so why would we not spend time and effort cultivating those relationships?  That will ripple.

And, social capital can only be rebuilt by conscious focus on restoring values which will bring satisfaction in our business ownership (or our careers/jobs), our faith/spiritual development, our marriages/parenting, and in our time spent community building (anything from the YMCA, PTA, church youth groups/VBS, et al.)

Yes, what you do MATTERS. Focus on priorities! Match your calendar to them at all times. No excuses, please. If you rank something as #1 in your life, it should be #1 on your calendar in terms of the time you spent on it, as often as possible. Sure, urgencies will arise; so long as you remember Covey’s ‘Big Rocks’ vid clip, the visual should stick with you  to guide you back onto the path in case you are knocked off of it.

It is a privilege of mine to serve others, paying forward world class/gold medal information which has the highest potential to lead to the butterfly effect in others’ lives. Help one person/family/entrepreneur fix an issue and grow their servant leadership?  Define their purpose? Sharpen their vision?  Up their adversity quotient?  Fix their finances at the deepest roots?  Those are ripples. They are priorities for those folks, right?  So, the stone and rock tossed is the information, that which, once learned & applied, will effect the change.

How amazing a feeling to shake hands, hugs, fist bumps, and pats on the back with the people whose lives you bless!  Up your count. Give of yourself & pay forward transformational info that has benefited you/your family/your business. And, you will have  your own opportunity to be the Moses, the George W. Carver, the Henry Wallace, and the Norman Borlaug in your own ways.

+ + +

** Thank you so very much, Laurie Woodward, for your ability to inspire through stories! The story that she cited can be found elsewhere; however, here’s a great source that is found easily online > http://lifetoday.org/connect/words-of-life/the-butterfly-effect/  <

Jun 072013
 
Mission --> Submission --> Co-Mission --> Transmission

Mission.

Comission.

Submission.

Transmission.

What do these words signify for those who are pursuing, studying, or are already (servant) leaders(hip)?  They are core themes, and are much like a step-ladder on the way up from the ground floor to being truly significant. We are well past survival ( which 85-95% of the population, regrettably is doing at most/best. ) and beyond success at this point — you, yes you, are pursuing truly making a ‘dent in the universe’, like Steve Jobs talked about before his untimely passing.

Let’s start with mission. The ground floor of a 5-10%’er, so to speak. This is deep, the petri dish where genius is born, and where potential is developed. The benefit of having your mission detected ( a term coined by Viktor Frankl, when discussing mission’s cousin, purpose ) is that you are able to lasso your true potential, bless others’ lives without expectation of return, and to truly benefit society.

Here’s a list of missions – with metaphorical thought, you may be able to come up with others beyond the below:

Feed the hungry.

Clothe the naked.

Liberate the captives.

Educate the ignorant.

Spread beauty.

Heal the sick.

Spread prosperity.

Restore families.

For me, I have two: spread(ing) prosperity & educat(ing) the ignorant. What is/are yours?

From here, we go deeper — level/stage two —  submission.  Don’t mis-interpret the definition or the context; this is a healthy and effective type – it is a mark of a truly successful person striving for significance who submits to a mentor: his/her thinking, taking direction, and realizing that there is a whole lot that you don’t know.

A great mission is worth submitting to; you are developing your genius, which is inborn within you, and oft-times lies fallow due to a lack of a vehicle, or the best quality information, to bring it to fruition.

A simple question to help shape:  Who is it for?

How about taking another step up that all-important creator/builder ladder?  Stage/Phase three is comission. Mission detected; check; submission to mentorship and more; check.

Co-mission includes two cores: omission & tribes/community.

First, face up to things, events, and persons that are blocking you from the first two phases, and stopping you from moving into a 5-10% leadershift mindset. Begin to omit these from your day to day life.

Second, you’re ready to travel the roads and carve a pathway as you polish your genius, much like a diamond. Is it not far, far better to be positively associating with those who have also detected their mission and submitted? Working together in a tribe and pulling together under the banner of something like ‘restor(ing) families’ = profound and powerful, is it not?  As a sidebar, recall that Jim Collins discussed a similar concept in ‘Good to Great‘ when he explained the ‘putting the right people on the bus’ mantra. Community is a skeleton key to so much great in our ever changing internet age!

We’ve now reached the final stage: The ladder has been scaled & you’ve learned so much on this Resolution 13-themed journey!  This is now moving into transmission. How do you take a stand between where the world is, and where you want the world to/should it be?  Ah, the power of service is so very strong!

At this point, you have turbo-driven your genius; you’ve empowered it in the direction of making a difference all the while being humble. After all, turning your mission loose on the world could lead to a big ego, and other maladies of (non) leadership without the proper grounding. Leadership can be defined in the context of this final phase as changing the world regardless of whom gets the credit.

How do you transmit the most effectively? You channel all your work, efforts, successes, strengths, challenges, fun, passion, connections/relationships, and failures/mistakes. With ”force of will“, you have charged your own motor and go out to impact the world positively. As you achieve this, please don’t forget to act like a window and hand out the credit to your community, and give the glory to God. You are just here for a whisper of time, and maximizing that time on this journey will make your life so fulfilling.

Are you willing to explore, think independent & inter-dependently, and commit to these steps?   I hope you do, and will join me. Thank you ever so much for reading!

———————-

With every fiber of my gratitude, I extend gracious appreciation, thank you’s, and applause to Mr. Oliver DeMille, whose rapier sharp intellect, humble-ness, and service before self was beyond evident in the audio talk he gave that forms the entire backbone of this post.

Apr 102013
 
Making a difference starts with ...

… better quality information.

Contention of the day:   Information changes lives.

Better yet to sharpen that & say:   World class information changes lives, so long as one has the courage to grow, to be honeable, and humble enough to confront his/her thinking head-on.

Personal testimonial. This is what I did starting just about three years ago. The information I had in my life up to that point had produced the results that I had, which, far from bad, were just … mediocre; additionally, my happiness was nearer to low tide than to flood tide level.

So, thanks to finding a mentor, associating positively with those who cared about my happiness and wanted to build a long lasting trusted friendship/relationship with me, things started to change, step by step:  days, then weeks, months, and now, into the years.

Now, rather than spending so much time worrying about things due to a bad attitude (especially on Mondays; now, all 7 days are equal in how much I look forward to them!), and a focus on self, rather than service, I live a far richer, blessed, and fruitful life in all areas measured through the 8 F’s and the 13 resolutions. I used to make ‘resolutions’ ( not really: they were ‘preferences’ and not decisions), and not live up to them; I used to spend a lot of valuable time sleeping in, or watching television, or reading books that just made me angry about current events, but offered no depth based solutions to fix things. Now, each of these time wasters and productivity drainers have been replaced by far more effectives uses of time, which allow me to make a difference and build a legacy; things such as:

Reading world class books – have built up a library and always am happy to recommend titles ( see my second blog for the write ups ) and also loan out books to those who are hungry to change

Listen to audio recordings which make me think, which challenge me to grow more, and which contain voices of those whose results I desire to have.

Watch various webinars, DVDs, and vid clips (You Tube) that contain information which leads me to be able to write up quotes to help stretch my thinking, push me out of my familiar zone, and bless others by being part of the 20% of society which “vibrates” to a positive frequency.

Association with other climbers, encouragers, and dreamers who have put serving others through servant, replacement driven leadership far ahead of their personal affluence, whims, pleasure, comfort, and entertainment.

And, am able to describe to others just how I did it and am able to pay it forward – Level 3 motivation is the capstone of a life well lived. Being a creator and part of a huge sea change in the West (esp America) which stresses putting the entrepreneurial/freedom values like tenacity, creativity, long term vision, and numerous others in one’s day to day lives.

Unquestionably, it is those who challenge their own thinking through the doorway of better information that can lead the way to an even brighter tomorrow. America’s best days are ahead, and so are the West’s, so long as we recognize the golden value of time far, far ahead of the silver value of money, and as we see the actions and habits we perform & take blaze a new pathway to far better results which will make a difference in our life, our immediate families, friends, community, and even, the nations in which we live.

May your days be filled with gratitude & all the best!

Apr 042013
 
Personalities & People

Greetings!

These two words could, and have (!), filled entire books, so my discussion of them and how they are fused together is necessarily brief in breadth, but is meant to still be impactful, esp.. for those readers whom are not in a mastermind/leadership growth style group, familiar with effective networking principles, and/or have not yet embarked on a self-directed/liber educational model.

Personality types:

I strongly recommend reading and applying the information from the following books:

Personality Plus  

The Great Connection

Robert Rohm also wrote a book ( I won’t list it above since I haven’t yet read it ) whose theme is personalities; I have listened to a leadership talk he gave on the backgrounder for them – so I can still easily recommend the D.I.S.C. model from the audio learning alone.

Layers”

Readers should most definitely check out the blog of one Mr. Bill Lewis to dive in further on this people related topic –>  http://bill-lewis.net/2012/11/01/be-encouraging-by-removing-your-layers/

From notes taken tying back to his blog, and from an audio he recorded, am happy to summarize details that I gathered from both sources. While I didn’t realize it before, most definitely, layers impact every single relationship, and person to person  encounters that we have, so understanding them & learning to grow through the below areas can only benefit you in every area.

The common layers >

Super serious all of the time; makes it difficult to laugh at yourself.

Sarcasmsarcastic

Cocky attitude / cockiness

Very defensive when questioned

Joking all the time ( there’s a diff. between being funny and this )

False humility

—— Two root issues if we don’t ‘shed’ these?  —-

We are seeking a desired avoidance or a desired response, rather than truly connecting with someone. The layer impedes trust and the ability to serve them without having yourself/self in the way.

You’re not in control and forcing something to happen; reaching for a desire should not be a motivating factor in relating with others.

 

Can the personality types in any of the three books discussed above lead someone to have more layers? Conceivably, yes. However, speaking personally, several of the layers from the above list were ones I had until I started to change personally — taking a mental ‘shower’, if you will. While facing issues like layers will be a lifelong challenge, it is one that I face with aplomb, and information like the above from the books, blog, audio, and associating positively (while rebuilding social capital), many more will learn their personality, be able to relate to the differing personalities of others, and avoid or remove the layers.

Have a terrific day ahead & be blessed on your journey of a 1,000 steps.

Mar 182013
 
Do social capital & mental fitness overlap?

To answer the question in the post header …  my answer is an unqualified ‘Yes’.  Of course, as always with my blog, comments are most welcome, however, first, let’s discuss this in more detail:

( note that these are core topics that can fill entire books, so the post’s purpose is to encourage sensus plenior = metaphorical, systems based type thought, reflection, and focus. May it make you a better person too! )

 

Social Capital

Social capital & a related ‘twin’, community building, both cover some similar ground. One way to describe is putting a premium on voluntary association in/with groups of like minded people. Rebuilding of organizations that focus on positive social capital creation & maintanence is imperative in order to restore a key building block that made America what it used to be in the time of the Founding generation, and well into the 19th century.

I could cite a litany of groups that fit under this vast umbrella; to wit:  YMCA/YWCA; 4-H; Red Cross, Salvation Army, PTA, church youth groups/Sunday school, and even local governmental bodies / positions within like a (low or non paid) city manager or mayor, council member, or volunteer fire fighter.

Regrettably, as our culture and society has fractured due to various reasons over the past century, participation in these groups has not kept up with population growth and the aging of those who made time spent in/with these groups central to their lives. I’ve nothing against technology, as its march into our lives will continue forward and has brought us numerous positives, however, I’d cite it, a too relentless focus on trading time for money, and too many hours spent on personal entertainment (mass media) as the main culprits to lift time spent building social capital and community to where they need to be.

How does the ‘twin’, community building, come into the picture?  Community building is a focus on growing your own leadership ability to lead someone to follow you. Cast a vision, focus on one’s purpose, coach/mentor/counsel, and bring out the best in everyone, and you have the core “tools” to build a community. And if you compensate it, that’s the icing on the cake 🙂

Mental Fitness

Mental fitness. A broad category/classifiation, indeed. For the purposes of this post, let’s define as a focus on strengthening your ability to handle what life brings your way – for instance: building relationships (esp friendships); generating the right mindset/attitude; how to handle conflict & adversity.

What vehicle are you using to grow your mental fitness ‘muscle’?  Are you even growing it, or is it weakening?  It is really important to realize how important it is to be humble, honeable, and hungry  to get better; no one who understands people skills will think any less of you if you admit that you can be a better person through conscious focus!

The mental fitness of our society overall, I believe, has been weakened by the very same forces that I discussed above: technological over-dependency; mass media over-entertainment, and too much focus on making money over making memories and putting time ahead of dollars instead of trading them. Like the re-generation of social capital, this can be fixed, and there are people out there who realize this – anyone from Peter Block, Robert Putnam, John StahlWert, Chris Brady, Dan Hawkins, and Charles Murray, to name just a few.

Some concluding thoughts >

The overlap gives those who want to restore a foundation in America (let alone other Western nations) a ring of bulls eyes to focus on. Does this mean that someone who wants to improve his/her mental fitness or rebuild social capital cannot ever entertain him/herself?  That he/she cannot have a smartphone, or social media accounts?  No! It just means that you have to parcel out your time more wisely:  We have the exact same 24 hour day as all the men and women who have walked the Earth before us, yet there is far too many who say they are “busy”. That is a time allotment and prioritization issue, and nothing else, at its direct core.

Recommendation:  Find a mentor & join a group that is focused on building communities & instilling mental fitness and social capital in our society. By definition, it’s a voluntary decision and quite often, the decision is the best thing that you’ll ever do. Why?  You are growing yourself personally, and given tools to bring out your inner genius, so you can, over time, pay it forward to someone else. Your legacy won’t be written by how many hours of TV you watched, how many songs you have on your iPod, how much O/T you worked, or how many times you posted on your Facebook:  these are all part of the fabric of your life, however, your real legacy is reflected back in how many people you edified; how many marriages you helped improve, how many you helped to get out of debt & grow their financial literacy, how much better you handle conflict and adversity, and the revival of the numbers who are joining you in whichever social capital groups that you are part of.

These are part of a mission which has completely revolutionized my life, and I extend my hand to others to ponder it in depth as I did/have. Many kind regards, blessings, and success to you!