Humans are social beings, requiring social engagement to maintain their mental health and wellbeing. To be a part of a social group, family or tribe requires nothing more than living by within the code of what each member ordinarily does. An ordinary child in a class where being average is acceptable ensures that another ordinary being nearby will not be threatened by them. They know what reactions and actions to expect, because that is what ordinary peers expect and believe will occur. If you think this paragraph assumes too much, it holds true across cultures worldwide. Why can we make this statement? Because without this premise, there would be no relationships between like-minded individuals who seek the ease of their comfort zone. Young ‘rebels’ who buck parental or societal norms and rules challenge this status quo, become either very successful in their own right or in trouble with the law of the land. Where there is a mis-match between the desired pathway to being extraordinary and a failure to achieve the same, mental illness or social exclusion often occurs.
“I don’t work at being ordinary.” Paul McCartneyThe primal fear of standing out from the crowd, of being alone or doing things that no one else is doing paralyses many into inaction. Although leaders are frustrated by members of their teams and business owners fall into a pattern of copying a competitor, the fear they fight of standing alone is for many a daily battle. Why can this be labelled a ‘primal fear’? When we conform we are acceptable for reproduction. We may have characteristics which make us a better choice (hence Darwin’s, “survival of those best able to adapt to change”) in a changing environment or society; yet the ancient reptilian part of our brain always directs our actions to areas which it does not fear or ‘comfort zones’.Although there are enormous risks associated with being the ‘first’ the only, the founder, the rewards create leaders history reveres. Sadly, humans tend always to focus on the negative world changers, the leaders of revolutions, the creators of dynasties or monarchies, the barbaric conquerors. There are of course just as many change makers who, complete with their own demons, led millions into a different understanding or pathway to greatness. Being at the forefront takes its toll on the individual. Often excesses in personal habits accompany these people. Debauched leaders of armies or nations. Blood stained national or regional histories. Crushing individual personalities in multinational corporations. Environmental carnage by individuals, corporations or governments that can never be restored. Technologies that destroy the health and well being of factory workers and the towns and villages they live in. Although these principles are well documented and known by many, few stand up for balance. That place of harmony between man and beast, plant and soil, land and water, water and the skies above it. It requires a shift away from being ordinary and accepting the status quo, a shift only the individual can make. Moving from the position of judge, dictator, leader or employee in a rat-race, to that of being truly extraordinary. A place of balance must first exist in your own mind. The standpoint of an observer, one who sees but is not involved. One who hears but does not shout or protest, argue or cry out. The one who is aware but not aroused. This is not a position a young person easily understands; those who try to find it early slip in and out of balance. Like a child learning to walk, stumbling but seeing gradual process. The person of balance anchors those who drift; yet do not strive to lead or push them into a mould. They observe and stand beside; allow the individual to fulfil their potential.
Very, very few clients, friends or neighbours have ever seen the photos in this blog. Not surprising actually. I haven't seen them for 20 years either! As I shortly become a global citizen with a permanent home in the tropical paradise of Sri Lanka, I have had to cull my life to its skeletal remains.Business records, financial and employment histories. Lives, loves; lost and found, remembered and long forgotten. As I reviewed family and friends, memories ignited emotions. Feelings of sorrow, joy, laughter, regret, joy. Sorrow over lives cutoff before attaining their potential. Joy seeing friends and families from a bygone era. Laughter at parties, special events and unexpected moment. Ah the memories! Each photo tells a business or a personal success story. Pushing the boundaries of all that may be considered normal. Of fashion faux pas that will challenge your visual concepts of decency, for those who recognise themselves; a moment to reflect, a smile of joy.
The Terror of DisconnectionWorking with business owners and executives for more then a decade of mentoring, mindset development and sales training provides a foundation of the necessity of connection. Let's look at this in three key areas.
- Connection and bonds required to develop strong leadership and help businesses grow a vision based brand. When we look at a business as an entity a legal, physical, individual being with its own vision, goals and destiny; we quickly see how vital connection is to drive the business to efficiently deliver its goods or services. Where a disconnect between vision, owners, leaders and the delivery team, the business entity is headed for failure. Statistics support the importance of leadership, vision and an 'on board' team as a key factor in business profitability. Businesses and owners who lose their way in day to day busy-ness quickly suffer the consequences. It is net very long before a leading brand disappears, it's customers voting with their hip pockets.
- It is possible to get connection terribly, terribly wrong. Successful products or services stay in our memory. This is not just because of good marketing. Its because we have bought, seen or know someone who has one or talked about it ourselves in our social groups. A good product connects. A bad one doesn't. It is that simple. if I build it, they will buy... said the manufacturer of the 'Segue' So you've never heard of it? Investors who lost their money wish that was their position! Consumers simply didn't connect with the inventor's vision. There was and still is, a total disconnect, despite dozens of marketing campaigns.
- Owners or executive disconnection destroys not just a business, but people. Whether this is based on a lack of clear vision, personality, or a personal emotional, health, relationship or financial crisis, it destroys companies, people, networks and relationships. The disconnection that occurs among people, merely reflects what is actually going on.
Hijacked!The oldest section of the human brain is lovingly known as the "Lizard" brain. Estimated to predate our ability to walk up right at some 500 million years, it has two primary functions.
- To steer you away from pain.
- To coax, attract or draw you towards pleasure.
The Emotional Tearing of DisconnectionI'm an old hand at this. Moving cities and networks should not be an issue. After all, every decade since turning 20, I have rehearsed this. What's more its in my genes. My parents had a crack at travelling 1/2 way around the world in 1960 to arrive in a lucky country where they didn't speak the language and raised 6 children in an isolate Victorian country town. Why? Post WWII starvation in Europe. My first memory of the feeling of abandonment was at age 10. There was no smile on the face of the grade 4 boy as he left home for the first time. Simply a look of utter despair. At 18 I was at it again, leaving the country forever, drawn to the excitement of an urban life I did not comprehend. A decade after working on the outskirts, my life and relationships fell apart once more. When nothing remained, I commenced a new path into higher education. I was 30 before ever settling into a relationship that mattered; 5 careers past, 2 businesses built, one sold and another about to be started. In the very heart of Melbourne's funky strip my partner and I built a million dollar business in 13 months, and a property portfolio with an asset base more than 3 times that. Somewhere in my thirties I went out socially for the first time; still a green country kid who had no idea when he was being lied to or why. On a shoestring budget, we travelled, partied and added more assets and business interests. Never did I think that my day job would provide the opportunity to build the largest Gymnastics teaching business in the country and see me transferred interstate as my relationships failed. My arrival in Sydney can only be described a pathetic. A friend from university days sat beside me on the steps of a club; I found out he didn't drink either, and was wondering why he was even there. Driven to succeed, once more I worked 18 hour days, hiding from the pain and loneliness. Meeting my current partner changed that with stability and reality. It was never plain sailing. Renovating together is still the quickest way to kill a perfectly good relationship! But the balance of holidays regularly and time out together changed me. Yes it was slow. 15 years to begin to attach value to my learnings and journey. 5 years of giving away my best empowerment tools. 2 years of powerful engagement to help others grow and seeing the outcomes in their lives, businesses, bank accounts and vision.
Connected.Settled. Time to relax and rest. Not so. Time to launch into an adventure bolder and riskier than any other. Migration to a 3rd world country to work from within a community to make a lasting mark. The fears and frustrations, learnings and systems learned over 30 years provide the vision and the clarity. What has taken 50 years to create, will be replicated in 3. People who engage and are prepared to take the risk will be on a fast track, a bullet train of shifting mindset, connected to a vision older than mankind itself. But first there is a tearing away, uprooting and leaving of the known and comfortable. There is no easy way to trick your brain into believing something that is simply unnerving. There is the knowledge that we leave the Lucky Country and the Lucky People; not to build a fortune but set out a clear legacy. A legacy that creates the space, the skills, the physical activities, the organic diet and the spiritual connection that allows those who have the ability to physically connect will feel from the first arrival breath, the rejuvenation of their spirit. Coaches, teachers, Yogis and those with shared interests seeking a focussed, rejuvenating group retreat should connect with the team at 9 Provinces: www.9provinces.com or firstname.lastname@example.org All the faces will change, but the joy of serving those who are weary, need realignment and those leaders seeking a new clarity of vision will find a place to recalibrate energetically, and expand their vision.
Wally Salinger is a Mindset Coach who initiates lasting change through unlocking client's potential.
His connection with 9 Provinces provides retreat guests with systems, strategies and mindset change through neural grafting, timelining and and mindfulness training. Clients gain clarity around the vision of success and happiness, experiencing reduced stress and expanded horizons. His clients range from executives and managers to athletes and business owners.
Extreme views provide us with the opportunity to examine polar opposites. The Startup Economy teaches it is ok to fail. Most things are not wrong but right in most ways. Political correctness provides the means for us to tolerate things we actually oppose and children learn that they can resist exams until they pass. The mindset of talking rather than doing pervades everyday life is enhanced by the ease which any
PTSD is living in the debilitating world of reliving cycles of trauma. Symptoms may include nightmares and insomnia, violent or emotionally extreme responses to everyday occurrences and being unable to form or maintain relationships. This umbrella list includes thousands of variations. No two cases are exactly the same and two people who experience the same situation may respond totally differently.