The power of the circle of influence
It is easier to achieve what you want than to recognize your true incentives and determine your goals. This is my opinion, based on my own experience. Once you know what you really want, your motivation will be strong and "the whole word will join together to help you" (P. Coelho, Alchemist).
In this article we will discuss how to achieve our objectives or how to resolve some problems. This will be a continuation of an previous article in similar manner. While in that hub we discuss what contribute to achievements on a very "technical" level, here we present some useful and powefull principles.
Don't act from fear
Many times we heard people saying "But, what I can do?.." - suggesting that he or she can't do anything in a certain situation. Indeed, what we can do if our superior continuously don't respect us, or we feel that our colleague is jealous because of our excellence?
While often in such a situations the facts causing our problem are doubtful and it is hard to have a firm evidence of our opinion, sometimes they are very concrete, measurable and clear. According to the psychologists and theologians the general rule of behavior in such a situations is that we have to defense ourselves but not acting from fear!
They claim that the opposite of fate is actually fear and that the every action motivated by fear ultimately leads to a failure. Instead, we are called always acting from love (even towards our "enemies"). It sounds reasonable, "justice always wins at the end" as it is said.
However it is very hard to establish which of our possible reactions is motivated by love rather then fear. If someone ask me, the best advice I know is to withdraw to our room and rethink and feel the situation again. On this way we avoid impulsive reaction, but we must not use this time to create some intellectual construction which will excuse our pure incentives. In any case, if we chose wrong reaction, life will "return us" i.e. we will be warn with some crisis. Namely, any time when we broke some ethical rule, the consequences will come; but usually not immediately and that is why some people don't notice this connection. On this way we are in an opportunity to continuously enhance ourselves, which is nicely expressed with saying “Learn your lessons!”.
To this reflection we can add that there are some situations when we have to promptly "defend" ourselves. On the other end of the scale, there are crisis. Crisis can be bigger or smaller, and they show that sometime is wrong. It can be said the deeper crisis, the higher motivation to resolve it. If we solved small crisis, the major one would not have occurred. Moreover, it seems that smaller crisis precede the big one. Usually, or might even as a rule, problems gradually become worse and worse ultimately leading to the crisis.
Gandhi and son who don't want to stop eating cookies
Once a women came to Gandhi asking for advice. "My son don't want to stop eating a cookies, in spate of my persuasion", she complained. "Ok, lady, please visit me with your son in three days", Gandhi replayed. Women and her son come after three days. "Why you call us just after three days?", said women. "Lady, because three days ago, I was also eat cookies".
Grain by grain – bread, brick by brick – palace!
Apart of problems in relationships we sometimes face completely different challenges. For example, what if we are in a need for more money? Or we want to be healthy? ...to become a great expert in our field? ...to transform our environment to a better place? ..."to make a world a better place" ...simply to be successful in every aspect of our life and enjoy it?
If we are in some need, the best we can do is to concentrate on things which we already can improve. One of the most influential American, a writer Stephen Covey, these things and occasions call "the circle of influence"; in his famous book "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People". He explain that when we are dedicated to this circle, it will gradually increase. Contrary, if we try to be hurry, to achieve the success immediately, the circle under our control will even decline. Figure 2 gives an ilustration of this principle.
Much earlier the same principle is described in the book "Path to prosperity" by J. Allen. Allen wrote "Perhaps you are living in a small cottage, and are surrounded by unhealthy and vicious influences. ... Then you must fit yourself for such a residence by first of all making your cottage as far as possible a little paradise. Keep it spotlessly clean. ... If you cannot afford a carpet, let your rooms be carpeted with smiles and welcomes, ... By so ennobling your present surroundings you will rise above them,...". Since nowadays we all complain on a lack of time, might more actual example is the next one from the Allen's book: "Perhaps you desire more time for thought and effort, and feel that your hours of labor are too hard and long. Then see to it that you are utilising to the fullest possible extent what little spare time you have."
If someone think that the rule described above is just theory, let he or she try to practise it in order to see whether it function or not.
One lighted candle can light a hundred others, and extinguished any.
One person is enough to inspire and move the whole nation. The man has boundless talents and abilities!
The power is within us
More or less, all these principles are quite natural and many will intuitively act that way. Books about this subject can be additional help and source of inspiration, especially when some concrete problem occur or one fall into crisis. Our discussion has shown that the same principle will resolve undesirable conditions as lead us to some great success.
Of course it is much more interesting to deal with realization of 'achievement from your dreams' than resolve some misery. In any case let be aware of our ability to do 'big deals'. We are much more powerful than we can imagine. Actually, the author of this article think that we are 'limited' only with our fate and our imagination. Even our word has huge, really huge power. Even in very difficult circumstances the true is far away from "But, what I can do?".
It can be said that history has shown that one person is enough to move the whole nation. M. Gandhi an M.L. King come first in our mind. But, let be careful with "changing the world". We are all prone to complain on others instead to enhance ourselves. The only person we can change are we ourselves. While we all claim that we respect the others, it seems that too often we break the 'frontier' of our neighbors.
It is known that people learn by a model, which means that they don't do what authority said should be done but they imitate what authority do. Children don't do what parents say is right, but simply copy parents's behavior. Figure 3 presents that the best we can do is to be as better 'model' as possible.
It is said that once a women came to Gandhi asking for advice. "My son don't want to stop eating a cookies, in spate of my persuasion", she complained. "Ok, lady, please visit me with your son in three days", Gandhi replayed. Women and her son come after three days. "Why you call us just after three days?", said women. "Lady, because three days ago, I was also eat cookies".
We talked here about three powerful principles, which many of us intuitively apply and live.
- Act from love, not from fear. It is quite clear and anyone can agree with. An important issue is that if you fell fear, don't negate it but admit it – as a first step of disappearing of fear. The theory said that every time we act from fear, at least we will fail (which corresponds to the author's experience). In current situations is not easy to establish which reaction would be motivated by fear and which one by love. After certain time a motive of our reaction is much more obvious, enabling us a progress.
- Concentrate on things that are already under your influence, rather than complain on things apart of your control. Doing so, your "circle of influence" will increase gradually. Of course, your motives have to be ethical.
- The best way we can influence others is to be as better ideal as possible. Do your best to enhance yourself, not the others. :-)
Have you ever fallen to a personal crisis?
Extraordinary books on personal development
A masterpiece by James Allen.