Networking: Section 7 - Self Improvement
If it is to be, it’s up to me!
Jack, of Bakersfield, California, endorses the motto: “If it is to be, it’s up to me!”
If you fail to act, things will gradually come apart. Your plow will rust, termites will devour your walls and your distributors will lose interest. It is a universal law that things will become increasingly disorganized if left alone. Thus, we all have a responsibility to continuously invest our intelligence and creative energy into making things more organized. So, if you want something to happen, get out there, plan, invest your time and energy and take responsibility to make it happen.
“But then if I do not strive, who will?”
— Chuang Tzu
“Anyone who proposes to do good must not expect people to roll stones out of his way, but must accept his lot calmly, even if they roll a few more upon it.”
— Albert Schweitzer
How to test your motives
The ideal motive for running your network business is to provide service to others. You may draw your faith in this principle from the teachings of Jesus or the concept of Karma, but the principle is sound. The trick is to not presume to anticipate repayment at the time you are performing an act of service.
Sometimes, however, your life situation puts a lot of pressure on you. Many of the people who are moved to begin a network business do so because they already have financial problems and need money now. This makes it very hard to avoid visualizing their neighbor’s product purchase as their children’s school shoes.
If this is your situation, do what you must from the need to do it. Relief from poverty by earnest endeavor is an honorable motive and most people will respond kindly to your hard work and good faith. (And you may just introduce them to the business opportunity that they need to solve their own problems.)
The real problems of motivation are with those people who see network marketing as their ticket to riches through the work of others. They are shameless, pushy and shallow. There’s nothing wrong with looking forward to earning a car allowance or an Achievement Trip. But, if you spend all your time dreaming about retiring early and how important you’ll look in your fancy yacht, then that’s just shallow.
“It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly.”
— Bertrand Russell
Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.
— Franklin D. Roosevelt
I’ve known some people who are an emotional mess. They don’t understand themselves and they don’t understand anyone else either. They don’t know what they want out of life; they cast around randomly and unsuccessfully for affection, approval and control. They change jobs and spouses; nothing seems to make them happy. They may live dangerously to feel “alive” or they may resort to chemicals to hide from their desperate emptiness.
Knowing yourself not only means understanding your values and needs, but also having mastery of your goals, emotions and relationships. When you know what good things bring you a sense of satisfaction and purpose, you can invest your life cultivating, harvesting and distributing that goodness.
“Thoroughly to know oneself, is above all art, for it is the highest art.”
“To know oneself, one should assert oneself.”
— Albert Camus
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
— George Eliot
“Being in business is not about money. It is a way to become who you are.”
— Paul Hawken
The pleasures of dedicated work
There is nothing like dedicated, focused attention to make things flow. Somehow, when you get completely involved, time seems to stand still and everything gets easier. It’s like all the circuits in your brain line up to keep you on track. In fact, being fully absorbed in work is a distinctly pleasurable state of mind.
“When you are in the state of flow, you know that what you need is possible to do, even though difficult, and the sense of time disappears. You become completely focused in your activity. You forget yourself. You feel part of something larger.”
— Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Psychologist
“Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.”
— Franklin D. Roosevelt
According to a manager in Texas: “It’s easy if you are willing to work hard and if you have the desire to achieve. It’s difficult if you aren’t dedicated to the work and the company. When I decided to dedicate myself full-time to [my network] business, it became much easier for me to achieve my business goals. The very reason I’ve worked all these years with the same endeavor is because I enjoy helping people find natural answers to their dietary concerns and talking about health and nutrition with them in words they are comfortable with and can understand.”
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”
Approval and control
What are the things that you really, down deep, want in life? Almost anything you can think of boils down to some form of approval or control. That makes the desire to feel approved and in control the most powerful influence for good (or bad) in our lives.
My sponsor urged me to learn to “release” on my desires for approval and control. She explained that they bound me to the responses of people who weren’t even aware of their influence. In addition, these emotions especially bound me to manipulative people who had no personal interest in my welfare.
While discussing competition, my wife told me that while women compete for approval, men compete for control. Have you noticed that tendency? You can use that information to communicate better with the people you talk to.
“The hook is your desire to be approved by others. The bait is any kind of reward. The minute you go for the bait, the game is playing you. You are no longer playing the game. You get serious.”
— Laurence G. Boldt
Waiting ’till later — the classic negator
“I’ll do it tomorrow.” — “Tomorrow never comes.”
Be careful to not say “tomorrow” when you really mean “not today.” Procrastination is the perfect way to put something off forever. It negates your good intentions. The best way to fight procrastination is do things right away. There’s no time like the present. The second best thing is to keep a well-managed task plan.
Setting deadlines helps you to avoid being forced to rush at the last minute. Try to finish your monthly goals during the first 2 weeks. Place your orders early.
“We take no note of time, but from its loss.”
“Procrastination is the thief of time.”
— Edward Young
“To be contented is noble, but to be lethargic does not enable one to benefit men or to utilize things.”
— Hung Tzu Ch’eng
“Tomorrow is another day.”
— Scarlet O’Hara, Gone With the Wind
Buy some flowers
Show your appreciation. Buy some flowers for someone who needs an emotional lift or needs to be reminded that you care. Flowers are truly special. They convey a sense of special tenderness and friendship. Buy some flowers for yourself too. You deserve it. You’ve been working hard and doing well. Take charge of brightening your own day and giving yourself a lift.
“Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food and medicine for the soul.”
— Luther Burbank
You don’t have to limit yourself to flowers, of course. There are so many ways to show your appreciation! Search constantly to find ways to brighten someone’s day. At Hewlett-Packard Company an engineer burst into his supervisor’s office to announce that he’d solved an important problem. The manager groped in his desk for some way to give an immediate reward and came up with the banana from his lunch. The “Golden Banana Award” is now one of the highest honors an HP employee can receive.
“The best portion of a good man’s life – his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.”
— William Wordsworth
“The only way to have a friend is to be one.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson
The most important part of looking good is a smile born of genuine happiness. Inner beauty always brings out the best in people. It is not necessary to have the finest clothes or perfect hair and makeup, but your attitudes will affect your appearance.
Respect for yourself and others demands keeping clean and being “presentable.” I don’t know which comes first, self-esteem or dressing well, but they do seem to reinforce each other. My great grandparents used to put on their better clothes when they left the house. It was a matter of respect for themselves and others.
People today seem to want to be more “casual” but that is no excuse for being unkempt. Mary Kay Ash (chairman of Mary Kay Cosmetics) says: “While clothes may not make the woman, they certainly have a strong effect on her self-confidence – which, I believe, does make the woman.”
“Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success.”
— Christopher Lasch
“What you see is what you get.”
— Flip Wilson
Love: The best motivation
The real sustaining power to keep you going is love. When you love people, you just have to show them how they can feel better and be healthier. Can you imagine a finer motivation?
Bonnie feels this way: “Love the people and be very concerned with other people’s feelings. If we love people, we have the right attitude to be in the people business. As you help them get what they want, they will help you get what you want. Treat each other like family and like you want to be treated. It works – it’s tried and tested.”
“It’s motive alone that gives character to the actions of men.”
— Jean de la Bruyere
“When we talk to our fellow men and they tell us about their troubles, we will listen to them carefully if we have love for them. We will have compassion for their suffering and pain, for we are God's creatures; we are a manifestation of the love of God.”
― Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
Zest for life
They know you’re dead when you quit moving. Zest for life is the joyous energy that keeps us moving, playing and working. If that were to go away, we would start losing mental and muscle tone rapidly.
Zest for life is infectious. It is a gift that you automatically share with everyone you meet. People like to be near you when you have infectious enthusiasm.
The sense of optimism that you bring to your life and work increases your chances of success in any endeavor. Your optimistic zest for life contributes to your health and ability to deal with stressful situations.
“I am only one, but still I am one; I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”
— Helen Keller
“A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love.”
— Mother Teresa