I was reading the Jonathan Livingston the Seagull this other night (3-4 days ago). A trully magnificent book. And many thoughts started to pop up. I was blown away by what the seagull was telling me…
I think I had him in me all along. We all do. But how many of us can we hear him? That little bird, who craves for travels, for ;earning new things, for mastery, but also for connection and acceptance.. A little seagul who craves to explore more of the world, because he can see that the world is a part, a reflection, of his own self..
It shows, in the end, very powerfully, how the student becomes the master, and he understands that deep truth: what we think as a genius, a master “out there”, is in fact our own self, just on a whole another level. The fact that we didn’t see him across his evolutionary path, doesn’t mean he hasn’t gone through it too.
He is NOT more special than YOU are. He didn’t do something you can’t. It’s just a plain ol’seagull who loved what he learned and learned what he loved, and kept doing that persistently, and in time, he reached that level.
That’s just it. Do you want to become the best in your career? The best teacher, doctor, lawyer, programmer or anything else? Go improve yourself on it and keep practicing what you love the most… 🙂 And then go teach it to someone who loves it too. Keep that energy flowing.
1) Want to go fast? Go alone.
It showed very clearly that although the seagull’s earliest choice was to take the path less travelled. And it may sometimes feel lonely, but that’s an important part of the equation. It lets you learn non-stop and improve massively. “Want to go fast? Go alone”, as the quote goes. Especially if you are in a group that you feel it pulls you downwards instead of upwards, going alone will make you feel like closing in more to your own real self.
Well, it’s ok for a little while, but: Don’t settle! -Seek and you shall find-
2) Wanna go far? Go together.
Because, eventually you will need to find a peer group in order to keep going. And it will be seagulls who love flying as much as You do. And trust me, you WANT, you CRAVE to create a Positive Network around you. And this will be the hard part that will show you truly if you learned something from your lonely journey or not.
It was recently that I realized deeply the true importance of Positive Networks. The first part of the african proverb is “If you want to go fast, go alone”, but my eyes went wide open when I realized the second part:
“If you want to go fast, go alone.
But, if you want to go far, go together.”
3) Relationships are the Magnifier
Human Relationships are a Magnifier of the Human Experience. People need to SHARE things, experiences etc, not just for the “approval”, but also to Magnify (gianormously) the emotional depth of the experience!
But who is in your corner?
Because “You are the average of the 5 people you spend most time with” as Jim Rohn said. And this quote doesn’t refer just to friends, but to every person with whom you spend most of your time with.
The realization was that WE ARE IN CONTROL of who consists the “Together” part. We get to choose our networks, and we do it either consciously or unconsciously.
4) You need Willpower only when you don’t want to conform.
The truth is, you don’t need will power as long as you are around people who have higher standards than you do. You will have to “push yourself” and be outside your comfort zone just to keep up with them.
But as long as you stay around the same people ALL the time, the image you have for yourself won’t be able to alter, because these people will verify it all the time, unconsciously!
That’s where you will need all your willpower: to try to resist the grain, to hold onto the new image you have(/want) for your self. You know you have changed, but how can the others be convinced if they don’t want to see it?
Only through consistent, persistent actions. And actions need willpower if they are not already a habit (deeply embedded in your own self-image and unconscious mind) and you are in the process of “trying” at the moment…
5) Positive VS Negative “Spiral” Networks
Either we want it or not, we just have to accept that most people not only don’t want to evolve, but they have so much fear towards change and the new, that they will try to stop you too. They will try to hold onto the old image of you, just because they think it’s more safe for you that way. They don’t want to see you get hurt or fail miserably.
I love all the people that have passed from my life, even the single last of them. There are no hard feelings for anyone. But I firmly believe that non-attachment is what true love is all about. Non-attachment is what Evolution is about. You let the others do what they want (or they think they want), and you do what YOU want.
I agree with the Alchemist of Paolo Coelho who says that the only true love is the one that helps you, not holding you back, from fighting your Good Fight and living your personal Myth.
Only people who constantly change and evolve can keep up with you and your ever-changing image. Because they can accept you as a being, because they don’t fear change. Actually they know that change happens anyway and is mandatory. What’s optional, is progress.
That’s what happened with Jonathan Livingston, too: because he was “different” he was sent to the exile. No matter what he was dreaming for the group, to return and give them purpose for their existence, to show them how they can truly fly and break through any limits they thought they had, no matter what their capabilities were.
But most of the other seagulls DON’T want to evolve. It’s not “safe” for them in their mind. That’s what happens all the time in this world.
If you try to teach algebra to a pig, you lose your precious time AND you bother the pig. (bro speaking)
Once he was alone in the exile, he could train as much and as best as he could.
But only when he will find himself among other passionate driven, fly-loving seagulls, more like himself, he will improve MASSIVELY.
Willpower is needed as long as you are around people you don’t want to conform to. When you are in “Negative” Networks.
And here’s what I believe:
You don’t want to be well-adjusted in a profoundly sick society.
You should SEEK the people you want to be more like of.
Don’t Settle – Seek what you love, and don’t settle.
- Imagine being around people who run 10km every morning just for the sake of it, and have healthy lifestyle habits. Can you think yourself otherwise around them? It will need willpower – not – to “conform”. You just increased massively the chances to become a runner and acquire some healthy habits for yourself – if that’s what you want.
- Imagine being around philanthropists, millionaires, entrepreneurs and adventurers all the time. No matter what you do, their ideas, their mindsets, their stories and actions will sink in your own image and your brain.
- Imagine being around scientists, or writers, or travelers, or whatever, all the time. No matter what you do, some part of them and their unique view of the world will imprint upon your non-conscious mind.
- Imagine being around X people all the time. No matter what, unconsciously, your brain will try to conform to it, because it just thinks that that’s the new Norm!
And let’s get it straight:
“Normal” is what surrounds us, not what the majority of the people in the world does.
“Normal” is not even a bit objective. It’s subjective down to its root.
6) Adaptability: The key to human evolution!
Just think for a moment. What did humans have in greater quantity than all the other animals and so they conquered the majority of the earth’s (land)surface?
You will tell me we had a human brain. But brain itself is a malleable thing! The Brain changes itself all the time, second to second! It’s not the brain per se, but the FLEXIBILITY of the human brain, and the ADAPTABILITY we had as a species that led us where we are. For the good and the bad.
And it’s this flexibility that will make a human flourish at all times, no matter what the circumstances.
I trully believe that there is only one solution to ALL problems. You want a magic-pill? Here it is, as S.Covey said to his kids all the time:
“Use your Resourcefulness and Initiative (Use your R&I)”
That’s the key to human evolution, not only as a species, but also as an individual! There is no Survival of the Fittest when we talk about humans, but rather, Survival of the most Adaptable (Creative).
And it’s true! People who reached Greatness didn’t have more time, more money, more brain, more whatever.
The ONLY thing you will EVER need to evolve, is your human Resourcefulness!!!
To find ways around problems. Creativity some may call it. But it’s what lifts human above all other creatures.
“Human is not only a creature, but also a creator, for is the only creature which has Creative Imagination”.
~Maxwell Maltz – Psycho-Cybernetics
And there comes the second factor which is INITIATIVE!!!
You must ACT on these creative impulses, or they’re gone, and it’s like they never came.
Without DOING, never anyone got anywhere. Thoughts and intentions all count for ZERO if they don’t lead to an action or action change. Even “Doing” something wrong is better than not doing anything at all. Because the wrong will teach you something at the very least. Standing still will not teach you anything.
7) You get to Decide Who you will put in your corner
Sooo, who’s in YOUR corner, and what people are you willing to fire from your life? 🙂
Remember, we all have this fatal disease from birth, which is called Death. Our time is limited either we like it or not, and we should just accept that. We may not be able to influence how we will die, but we are able to influence how we will live. Moment by moment by moment.
The past may have led us to be with some people. We may took some wrong turns in our life, or some of our past choices may still haunt us and imprison us. But our past does not have to equal our future.
We get to CHOOSE every moment, whether we like it or not, if we will take the same road, the same chain of choices.
And whenever we CHOOSE, we get to break the chains we put on ourselves, unknowingly, in the past.
After all the ultimate Currency of our lives is neither energy nor time (these are our most precious resources). The human ultimate currency is Happiness. We do whatever we do because we believe (or at least we did at some point) we will get more happiness out of it. So remember this quote:
“Happiness not spent today, DOES NOT EQUAL more happiness tomorrow!“
I would like to hear your opinion on the matter, how you plan to ACT on all the above, so please take a minute to write a comment below 🙂 This small investment of time will really help me and the community of NeuroSelfMastery a ton. Even a few words or one sentence goes a long way.
If you liked this article, Tweet about it or tell your friends on Facebook using the links below. And It’d be awesome if you’d share it or forward it to anyone you know who could benefit. Thanks!