Don’t forget the rest
If you want to take ‘making the most of life’ seriously, you’re going to need to give at least some consideration to not just your primary connections and stakeholders, but all of them. It remains my current opinion that we live in a world where most of us feel a need to cut ourselves off from each other just to ensure we have enough of ourselves to take sufficient care of those primary stakeholders. The truth behind this methodology is ensuring you’re not sacrificing the welfare of more important connections for less important ones, however that can still be achieved without entirely cutting oneself off from the rest. I refer once more to one’s ‘infinite list’, where you we don’t ignore the things we can’t address immediately or as a priority, by keeping an appropriate record so as to ensure we remain capable of returning to address such things, should time/resources eventually permit.
When the rest are cut off entirely, we forego opportunities to connect with them and both be further edified by each other, to whatever extent we can be. It’s often very small seeds with very little nurturing that we’re able to provide to those distant connections but don’t underestimate just how helpful those things can be. It’s very common place that in our darkest times a little intentional connection from anybody can go a very long way. Making yourself available to those that you can is not lost or wasted due to those times we’re genuinely incapable of connecting due to more important priorities. I recommend that we would be wise to ensure that the whole world, effectively, is on our list. Every person we could possibly connect with, we should try to do so, to the extent we can.
Consider those you might be able to help in significant ways, but don’t yet know how or even who they are. Consider remaining open enough to allow others a chance to help you, to respond to your attempts at helping them, to connect with those who might help you or they might even be able to help your stakeholders at some point in the future. Consider those who have contributed to our past, things we might be able to do to in order to give thanks. Consider what we can do now to prove our readiness to receive whatever’s to come from others in our future. Build the bridges we can, to the extent we can. Try to remain aware and open to starting new connections with those around you. You never know how much good you might do though the small simple connections you can make with the people around you. Let our worlds collide.
People are extremely valuable. I give it as my opinion that they’re the most valuable thing in this world. If I’m right, then the relationships we form and foster establish and solidify pathways connecting and uniting not just our entire respective worlds, sharing and magnifying both our value and potential. Just as no gratification is beyond our reach; no redemption is either. Those we glance at as a black hole, expecting any good for them we do will go to waste, are in fact people with the potential to be far greater than ourselves and it’s my experience that individuals who have experienced the life’s hardest struggles and have eventually come out the other side often carry with them a deep-rooted appreciation for the contrast in living which can create within them a burning desire to push hard and work honourably, a desire that’s very difficult to find equalled by those who haven’t spent at least some time viewed as that black hole of worthlessness.
Those we might think are too far gone, remain our responsibility. We are to remain prioritised, sure. Don’t sacrifice more important goals, roles or stakeholders. At the same time however, having those greater priorities doesn’t excuse us from doing even the small things we can do, for the rest of those in our world. One thought I often return to is: We make the most of our future by maximising the utility of our past. Give serious consideration to potential reasons and value found in meeting the people we have the chance to bump into, even in our otherwise seemingly normal day-to-day lives. Those we could meet today, those we did or even could have met in the past, as well as those we might meet in the future. Don’t underestimate the value of colliding worlds. Especially all of the worlds you’ve failed to connect with to date. Bloom where you’re planted: don’t assume the answers are on the other side of the world when you haven’t yet asked the questions to the people next door.
Build, refine & connect your worlds
All of the connections that stem out from ourselves are ones we have the power to strengthen, solidify and enhance. Doing so provides health and vitality to our world and increases the good that our world can accomplish just by bumping into the worlds that belong to others. Failing to nurture those connections then of course has the opposite effect as relationships and bonds weaken and decay over time. Improperly focussing on more external stakeholders while leaving more central roles unattended to will gradually crumble your own core. While the more central connections remain appropriately sustained, we can continue to gradually reach out, further and further, with greater strength and capacity to edify even those distant connections we get to make. It has to continually be from the inside out.
Just as we shouldn’t betray our conscience to appease our spouse, or neglect our children to placate family or friends, we would be wise to look for ways to align our effects so that the way we choose to live provides continual life and light to those we want to reach through those we should reach, or those who rely on us, first. Find the way that honours your conscience and sustains your wife; that supports her and helps your children become who they should be; that protects your children and allows you to throw life-lines to those around you that need them. If it has to be one or the other, pre-decide who the one is, but don’t think most opportunities aren’t ones where both hats can be worn and all connections appropriately edified. Build up, build out, connect as many to you as you can allow, refining and edifying yourself so much that all those around you can’t help but benefit from your connection to them.
Again, the better you get at aligning and sustaining those more internal stakeholders, the more capable you’re going to be of simultaneously maintaining those connections as well as reaching even further out to help others as well. If you prioritise those others at the cost of the more important connections, you’ll only be able to do so for so long and will eventually disconnect from both.
Remember that people matter more than anything else. This is why the ‘who’ is first on the 3DLifeSpan. Let us be mindful of the times our lives evidence our prioritisation of anything above people. We’re all in this together yet a common self-created roadblock to our connection is our desired yet often unrequired need for independence. We’re often more than willing to help others but simultaneously remain hesitant to let others help us. This causes us for forfeit many opportunities that could be used to draw closer to each other. We’re potentially all drastically undervaluing and underutilising each other. How many worlds are bypassing each other on a daily basis? Public transport, in the street, at work and even in the home. Don’t wait until your world is perfect before sharing it with others and don’t be too hesitant letting others share theirs with you. It’s quite possible that connecting the two could very well be what’s needed to fix a number of the holes that are in both.
Output ratio makes you attractive
Remember that at each level, you need to be mindful of your output ratio. If you’re not offering more than you’re taking from them, they’re not going to want to stay connected. We need to be people committed to self-improvement so as to ensure we’re constantly increasing our capacity to give more than we take, to everyone, including our own conscience. Life isn’t found finding ways to easily drain those around you, it’s found in self-refinement to the extent that anything and everything that comes to you, leaves better off. Mastering those tiny interactions with every aspect of your world, appreciating that even the smallest of improvements, matter.
Habitualising that mentality and living a life where one is endlessly sowing, forever improving, eternally upgrading, even in the smallest of ways with the otherwise seemingly meaningless moments of life. Remembering that loving them means respecting their wishes and not ransoming our willingness to edify them based on the choices they make, but to the extent they allow us to help them, we will remain committed to doing so. Listen to them regularly to make sure your idea of helping them isn’t getting in their way, even if you don’t agree with their way. Exemplify what you believe to be the best way to live and allow them to do the same. Truth reveals itself over time to all honest observers. It never needs be forced.
Give from surplus, but also experiment with how deep surplus really goes. Don’t be afraid to test to see if you have more surplus than you think you had. Report often to the stakeholder on efforts invested for their welfare to get their feedback and advice on more effective/beneficial investment strategies
Review your own beliefs often, invite others to do the same. Our beliefs are extremely central to both our own being as well as the way we interact with each stakeholder. They’re like the turning point or the rudder or the heart of the machine. Gratifying beliefs will kill your relationship and them. Edifying beliefs will enliven your relationship and them. If we want to increase your output ratio, we need to start at the core and purify/solidify ‘our way out’, working from the inside out. The more internal conflict we have between truth, our beliefs and how we live the more inefficient we’re going to be at helping any of our stakeholders.
Committing to this mentality is how we improve our output ratio, making it nothing but completely obvious to those around us that they’re involvement with us can only be of benefit to them. The more we instil this way of life with our more core connections, the greater the reach and ‘potentially influential power for good’ our world will possess, as we reach for and connect with more and more of the worlds around us.