10 Principles for a High-impact Life

You want to have an impact.  Your efforts are your investment.  The return on your investment is the impact.  The impact is the energy transferred, the energy that you generated transferred to someone else.

There are 10 principles for a high-impact life.  These 10 principles derive from the specific way agreements fields work.

  1. Identify your higher purpose.  Why you do what you do.  Choose to continuously ask yourself what your higher purpose is, and how it is showing up in your life.  As you get older and as your life circumstances change, your understanding of and your ability to work with your higher purpose changes.  This is the life energy that is yours to work with.
  2. Connect to your higher purpose.  Everything you do can be connected to and aligned with your higher purpose.  This is a deliberate and daily practice.  Most of us forget most of the time to connect to our higher purpose.  You can teach yourself to connect more and more continuously.  You can learn to connect more and more of what you do, all day long, to your higher purpose.  This is the purposeful energy that is yours to guide.
  3. Connect the best in others with your higher purpose.  In everything you do, you need others to bring their unique contributions, combining them with your unique contributions to achieve your higher purpose.  This is the power of the mirror that invites the best in each person to contribute to the harmonic of the energy that is yours to invite.
  4. Choose the vibrancy you experience.  Every experience you have consists in a set of relationships, with yourself, with another, with a group, with nature’s creative process, and with spirit’s source of creative energy.  Sometimes you experience low vibrancy.  Sometimes you experience high vibrancy.  When you experience higher vibrancy, you experience greater trust, greater energy, and more of your own creativity comes through, with others.
  5. Consciously choose the agreements about your interactions.  The outcomes and experiences we have are driven by our interactions.  Our interactions are determined by a set of agreements.  We unconsciously accept most of these agreements.  We consciously choose some of them.  We can choose to see and make conscious the agreements we want.  Agreements that engage healthier interactions, leading to better experiences and outcomes.  This is the power of the chooser, the alignment of intention, attention, emotion, and volition.
  6. Strategically leverage your actions.  You can simply do something.  Or you can do things in a way that is much more efficient, getting far more output for the same input.  You can also work with the underlying dynamics of a system to get far greater outcomes from your actions.  And, you can coordinate the work of others with you, in the influencing of multiple underlying dynamics, to shift the behavior of a whole system.  This is the dynamic energy of systems. The power of choosing the form your energies will take as they are transformed for others to receive.
  7. Connect and communicate virally. You can connect with others in ways that they can work with the purpose and level of your agreements, using the power of networks to greatly scale the number of people connecting to your higher purpose.  To connect with others, you need to understand what agreements they are able to see and work with, what they are able to grow into, the higher purpose they serve.  Knowing this, you can use this power of connection, of extension in space to others, of inviting others into contributing to a shared higher purpose.
  8. Increase the resilience of your contributions.  Your ability to continually impact the world, towards your higher purpose depends on a balance in the resources you need and the resource you have.  That determines your resilience.  You can be ever-more efficient in the resources you need to have the impact.  You can also increase your access to the resources you have through alignment of principles 1-7.  You can increase your impact resilience, the power of extending your impact over time.
  9. Define the reach of your efforts.  Your impact is the energy transferred from your efforts to others.  How you define the energy received by others defines the impact you can have.  Your impact is a function of (1) how many people you transfer to the energy too, (2) the geographies you can reach, and (3) the continuity of that reach.  Everyone everywhere everyday.  That is the greatest impact.  Is the impact continuous?  Does it reach people in all of the different cultural, social, economic, political geographies you want?  Does it reach all of the people in each of those geographies?  This is the power of system definition, the clarity of who is to be impacted and how they are impacted, the power of access to impact for those often marginalized.
  10. Align principles 1-9.  Most people tend to pay little to know attention to these 10 principles for a high-impact life.  Very few pay attention and align them.  It requires paying attention.  Attention to their deeper purpose, to their inner experience, to the outer structures they engage in, and to the impact their life has.  That is a lot of paying attention.  Is it hard?  In that it takes more attention.  Maybe.  Is it harder to have a low-impact life?  In the fatigue, boredom, and lack of purpose.  Maybe.  It is a choice.  A choice to work with each of these principles, and a choice to align them, towards a much higher impact.  To work towards strengthening the field of agreements.  This is the power of alignment, of choice.

To increase the return on your investment of effort, the impact of your life, you can choose to work with and align these 10 principles of agreements fields.  Towards a high-impact life.  A choice that starts with your own purpose.

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The Ooos of Impact

Impact is the energy transferred, from one thing to another.  You can look at impact in three ways.  The 3 “O’s” of impact.  Outputs, outcomes, and opportunities.

Outputs. If you focus only on the noun level of agreements, in ecosynomic terms, you can only see your outputs.  You are only focused on the specific outputs, the observable nouns, of the resources in your immediate environment.  You might be able to make assumptions about the impact of your outputs, but you cannot see the impacts, because that would require seeing over space in your relationships with others and over choices made in time.  These over-space-time capacities are not allowed in noun-only thinking.  The math of noun-only thinking integrated out movement over space and time to see how much noun is available.  You can see your outputs, as you react to what is happening.  You have some impact (X).

Outcomes.  If you focus on the verb and noun levels of agreements, in ecosynomic terms, you can see the outcomes of your activities, as they impact others over time.  At this level, you can see the  outputs, the activities, and the outcomes–a much richer picture than just the outputs.  You can learn from your outcomes, improving your activities to get better outcomes.  You can multiply your impact (nX).

Opportunities.  If you focus on the light, verb, and noun levels of agreements, in ecosynomic terms, you can see the opportunities, in what is being learned from previous activities and from the new possibilities emerging.  The intersection of what was learned from the outcomes of past activities and the emerging possibilities is where you find opportunities, potentials that you can experiment with, finding pathways of relationships with which to manifest the potentials.  At this level, you can see the outputs, the activities, the outcomes, the lessons learned, the emerging potentials, and the opportunities to manifest them.  You can evolve your learning and your activities, asking new questions, scaling the impact you can have (X^n).

When you look at impact, you can choose to look at outputs, outcomes, or opportunities.  You can have an impact, multiply your impact, or scale your impact.  What is the return on your impact investment?  Is the investment for opportunities much greater than for outcomes or outputs?  Which is more efficient, more effective?  It is a choice, a choice that depends on your agreements.

A hat tip to HA for the distinction of outcomes and outputs.

Who Controls Your Impact?

The impact of your efforts is the amount of energy transferred, from the force generated by your efforts, to something or someone else.  There are five elements in your impact.  They each influence your efforts and subsequent impact.  The question is, who is controlling these elements?  You?  Consciously? Unconsciously? Someone else?  Consciously?  Unconsciously?

The five elements are:

  1. the purpose that determines the direction and magnitude of your efforts
    • why you are doing it and the intensity with which you do it
    • Is it your purpose, that you arrived at consciously, or a purpose that you accepted unconsciously?
  2. the framing of the efforts
    • your understanding of what to do, towards that purpose
    • Is it an understanding that you have developed and tested for yourself, or a “should” that someone else placed on you?
  3. what moves you
    • your feelings about your purpose and efforts
    • Do your feelings reflect your experience of the alignment of your purpose and your efforts, or are your feelings fed by someone else’s fuel, something they persuaded you to do?
  4. outputs of your efforts
    • choices made about what specific efforts to take
    • Are you choosing your efforts consciously, or are your actions guided by someone else?
  5. outcomes
    • the results, in the past, of your efforts
    • Are you choosing how you assess the outcomes of your efforts, or are you accepting someone else’s definition of successful outcomes?

I observe three ways that people engage these five elements of impact.

  1. Most of the Time” Impact
    • Most of the time, most of us human beings seem to be accepting someone else’s definitions of all five elements–someone else is completely in control of our impact.
  2. “Some of the Time” Impact
    • Some of the time, some of us seem to be in control of some of these elements–the rest of the elements are either under the control of our own subconscious or someone else.
  3. Choice” Impact
    • Every now and then, someone shows us how to integrate all five elements, at the same time, into one choice, a choice to completely control their impact.  They choose their purpose, their understanding of how to frame their efforts towards their purpose.  They experience whether there is alignment between their purpose, their experience, and the outcomes they achieve.  They adjust the choices they make about their efforts, along the way, learning from what increases impact in any given context. And, they choose how to define success, determining how they assess what actually happened from their efforts.

It seems that we Homo lumens are designed to be able to choose the outcomes, experience, interactions, and agreements we want.  Most of us do not, most of the time, letting someone else choose for us.  And, we are completely capable of making that choice, to control our impact–the energy we transfer to another through our efforts–for ourselves and by ourselves.  It is a choice.

 

 

3 Ways to More Yes!

Yes!  A powerful word.  It invites, it engages, it moves.  And, with relatively the same amount of effort, there are 3 completely different outcomes available to us, based on the agreements we choose.  We can add another Yes!, we can multiple by Yeses!, or we can scale to Yeses!  The co-investment and risk are about the same, and the reward or return can be much greater.

If we see the world as nouns, as already finished, we see outcomes.  We use resource power.  We add Yeses. With a strong Yes, an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, we add another Yes!, and we have the resource strength of 16 (8 + 8).  That is twice as much as we started with, a good return.

If we see the world as verbs and nouns, we see development and outcomes.  We use network power.  We multiply Yeses.  With the same strong Yes (8), we multiply times 8, getting 7 other 8s to join us, achieving a network strength of 64 (8 * 8).  That is 8 times as much as we started with, an even better return.

If we see the world as light and verbs and nouns, we see potential, development, and outcomes.  We use tangibilization power. We raise Yes to the power of Yes.  With the same strong Yes (8), we raise it to the power of 8, multiplying 8 by a factor of 8, scaling to 16,777,216 (8^8).  That is much, much more than we started with, taking advantage of reinforcing dynamics.

Another way to look at this in how many people we can serve with our efforts.  If you serve eight with your capacities, and I serve eight with my capacities, together we can serve 16 [8+8].  We add our efforts, transaction completed.  If we combine your capacities and networks with my capacities and networks, we can serve 64 [8*8].  We multiply our efforts and develop relationships and capacities.  If we unite our unique contributions, in service of a deeper shared purpose, we can invite, engage, and cohost service to 16,777,216 (8^8).  We engage a purpose and evolve how we manifest it.

We can either add, multiply, or scale our Yes.  It is a choice.

Do you have examples from your life?

Honing Our Axiology of Homo lumens — Recommended Readings

Locke, John. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. New York: Penguin Books, 2004. 1689.

Kant, Immanuel. The Metaphysics of Morals. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007. 1797.

Lewin, Kurt. Principles of Topological Psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1936.

Bauman, Zygmunt. Liquid Modernity. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers, 2000.

Bartow, Jef. Resolving the Mysteries of Human Consciousness: Volume II God, Man and the Dancing Universe. Sarasota, FL: New Paradigm Publishing, 2016.

What is a human being?  What does it mean to be a human being?  How do we know?  How do we know when human actions are good, beautiful, or true?  Big questions.  Questions the answers to which guide what human beings do–everyone, everywhere, everyday–whether they are aware of this guidance or not.  If these questions so deeply and continuously impact everything, maybe it would be good to be aware of what they are, who is asking then, what answers people are coming up with, and how those answers impact each of us.  Maybe.

The above books, in chronological order, provided a highly recommended excursion through the development of a way of looking at these big questions.  In his political philosophy, Locke provides an early view, in the 1600s, of human beings capable of making healthy decisions on their own, without divine guidance from the king or church.  Locke’s Essay provides the moral-philosophical foundations of this view of the human being–what a human is, how humans understand the world, and how this knowledge influences what humans are capable of deciding.

Kant provides a very logical structure, in the 1700s, for understanding what a human being should do, based on reason, an expression at the end of the age of enlightenment, furthering the idea that human beings are completely capable of developing their own moral philosophy.  Kant explores, through reason, the emerging terms of freedom, the rights and duties of people and of the state, and their relationship to the law.

Lewin applies the emerging concepts of energy fields and topology in the early 1900s to the behavior of human beings, finding that there is both the inner experience and an outer structure or environment, which mutually influence each other, and, to a great part, influence the behavior of the human being.  The human being has its own internal processes and is influenced by and influences its external environment, a region around it, and this interplay influences the human’s behavior.  This takes the purely rational human or the purely influenced human and blends them.

Bauman in the new millennium brings the fluid nature of reality into the question of what humans are and what they are capable of, finding that both the descriptions of humans and the structures that support them are based on static, stable frameworks, whereas reality is fluid, and so should be the understanding of humanity and structures of the individual, work and the community.

Bartow brings back the questions of long ago to today, developing a picture of the human as the natural manifestation of spirit, conscious and unconscious of the reality the human being interacts with and as part of.   This framework blends what is known from modern science and the wisdom traditions about what makes up reality and the role of human beings in it.

Building on the foundations placed by the lines of this evolution of thought about human beings, we are developing today a picture of the human being, of Homo lumensas a being full of potential, a potential that the human being can choose to manifest.  Homo lumens experiences value in life through the vibrancy of five primary relationships (self, other, group, nature, spirit).  We know this from our own experience.  We can also see, from our own experience, which we can validate with external evidence, how well our agreements support the experience and outcomes we want from our efforts together.   We see that most of these choices are unconsciously accepted, and they can be more consciously chosen.  The start of a moral philosophy based on the abundance of potential in humans and nature, towards a more vibrant experience in more harmonic interactions that lead to far more interesting experiences and far more impactful and resilient social forms.  

While these are challenging reads, they are well worth the effort, to see where we have come from in our understanding of being human, where we are now, and where we might be heading.  Honing our axiology of what we are, and how we can live the life available to us.

The 3 Co-s of a System as Parts-Related-in-Whole

When we look at our agreements through the social lens of how we Homo lumens interact, we find three very different, often-confused Co-s: coordination; cooperation; and collaboration.

Coordination comes from the Latin coordinare “to set in order, arrange,” from co– “with, together”  + ordinatio “arrangement,” from ordo “row, rank, series, arrangement.”  Cooperation comes from the Latin cooperationem (nominative cooperatio) “a working together,” from assimilated form of com “with, together” (see com-) + operari “to work”.  Collaboration comes from the Latin collaborare “work with,” from assimilated form of com “with” (see com-) + laborare “to work”.

Coordination is about segregating, arranging separate pieces–it is only just about the parts.  Cooperation is about flocking, working on one’s own together towards a similar goal.  It is about the parts and their relatedness.  Collaboration is about uniting, bringing together unique contributions towards a deeper shared purpose.  It is about the parts and their relatedness and the whole.  Parts coordination, parts-related cooperation, parts-related-in-whole collaboration–the 3 Co-s of parts-related-in-whole, the definition of a system.

Increasing Your Leverage into Networks

The power of a network is found in its core and periphery.  As we explored in a previous blogpost, the power networks have over resource hierarchies is that they are strengthened by the same push and pull, from the core to the periphery, that tears apart resource hierarchies.  Network power increases with the strengthening of the core and the periphery, while resource power comes from the strengthening of the core or the periphery.

In most networks, the relationships to the core and the periphery are usually assumed to be static, fixed.  There is either a relationship between two nodes, or there is not.  A recent paper in Science magazine, titled “The Fundamental Advantages of Temporal Networks” suggests that most relationships between nodes in networks are not static, rather that they vary of time.  For temporal networks, where the relationships between are sometimes active and sometimes not, paying attention to the links that are active greatly increases the effectiveness of a network intervention.  From an ecosynomic perspective, this suggests that it is valuable to pay attention to the experience of vibrancy people are having, which is connecting them or not, and the continuity power of being connected to the deeper shared purpose.  Co-hosting this experience brings out the most relevant, activated links in the network, leveraging the capacity of the network to scale impact faster, at a much lower cost, the definition of high leverage.

The strength of a network is in its scalability, the number of nodes the core can support, and in its speed of transmission.  These factors enable networks to have far greater impact.  However, as the core and periphery of the network strengthen, the purpose of the network often begins to crystallize. In many networks, the focus becomes the health of the network itself.  It becomes about the network.  However, if a network is temporal and not static, the focus shifts, from pushing strongly on relationships that are assumed to be static (a high-energy push), to a continuous inquiry through relationships that are assumed to be temporal (continuity-powered relevant pathways of contribution). The focus is about the pathways of relationships that manifest an impact, not the network in its own right.  This shift in focus leads to faster transmission through the network of relationships with far less energy.  The Science article finds anecdotal data, explained through a mathematical model, that supports this idea.

People Aren’t Dumb. The World Is Hard.

People aren’t dumb. The world is hard.”  So says Professor Thaler, the 2017 Nobel laureate in economics.

From an ecosynomic perspective, the world is hard, for two reasons: the environment and the individual.  The environment is the exterior experience of the embedded agreements we live in.  The individual is the interior experience of our perception of our existence in the world.

Professor Thaler uses this quote to point at what we can do to improve our outcomes and experiences.  It you think people are dumb, then you can either make them smarter or deal with the fact that they are dumb.  If you think people are not dumb, and the world is hard, then you can try to make interacting in the world less hard.  Thaler suggests it is more the environment than the people.  We agree.  

We can understand the embedded agreements, in a way that works with our ability to perceive.  We can develop lenses on our agreements and processes for shifting them, which we can test, to see if they lead to the behaviors (outcomes and experiences) we want to have.

[To hear Professor Thaler describe what he means with this quote, listen to the July 11, 2018 Freakonomics podcast.]

2 Gifts We Gave Ourselves: Triggers and Signals

As Homo lumens you experience separation when your attention is focused on perceiving things as nouns.  You are separate from it.  The same happens when your attention focuses on perceiving change as verbs.  This separation from, being apart from it, allows you to experience it.  This separation, of being apart from the 10D reality, in a specific, lower-dimensional way, enables you as Homo lumens to be able (a) to notice triggers and signals, and (b) to give intentional attention to triggers and signals.  Two gifts.

Triggers, from any of your energy fields–your thinking, your feeling, your willing, your sensory perception–bring your attention to the choices, within the context of sensing and of your higher purpose, as reflected to your awareness.  The human system is designed to pay attention to the trigger, meaning to give it attention, then widen attention to your other energy fields to see what perspectives or textures they add.  You can start with any trigger (such as your feeling), noticing the trigger within any energy field, expanding to include the other energy fields (such as your thinking, willing, and sensing).

Signals are a process for working with the information within each energy field, across them, and as an integrated whole.  As Homo lumens you are designed to pay attention to context.  Since, out of context, the literally-infinite amount of information present at any instant forms nothing useful within (it does not in-form), as Homo lumens you start with the deeper shared purpose, which provides coherence to your awareness, then you look to the witness (to see experience and outcomes), to see, of what I know, what is available in this context?

Triggers and signals.  Something is off (triggers).  An integrated awareness (signals).  Two gifts.  Gifts you gave yourself.

Positive Deviants Are No Longer Deviants

Fifteen years ago, when I began talking about groups that were achieving high-impact-resilience and having high-vibrancy experiences, it was clear that these groups were positive deviants, doing something very different than the norm, and getting much better-than-normal results.  I have written a lot about the positive deviants we are working with over the past fifteen years.  In 2014, I estimated that there might be upwards of tens of thousands of groups living this way around the world.  When I would say this, people wanted to know what made the higher-performing groups work that way, and I would give examples like firms of endearment and asset-based community development.  Most people seemed to be hopeful that these cases were true, and a bit skeptical.

Now I am having a very different experience when I talk about what differentiates groups with abundance-based agreements, people are now understanding what I am pointing at, trying it out for themselves, and connecting us with groups that they know that are also learning how to act this way.  I wonder if the time when the positive deviants who were working with abundance-based agreements were considered weird and lucky is passing, and now it is becoming more part of the new normal to choose to interact with greater abundance.  I see evidence of this all over the place now.  Not just a few rarified examples, rather millions of them everywhere.

What do these numbers mean?  If there are just 100,000 groups of 100 people like this around the world, then those 10,000,000 people would be 0.13% of the global population or 13 in every 10,000 people, or only 51,000 in each of the 195 countries of the world, or the population of the 89th most populated country in the world, between Portugal and Sweden.  Another way of thinking about this is that 1 in 763 people alive today would be experiencing one of these higher-vibrancy groups.  I think that number is now low.  And, if there are many more than this, everywhere, then we are looking at a phenomenon that is approaching a new normal.  Just a 10-fold increase of this estimate would make it the 14th most populated country, between the Philippines and Egypt.

If this is true, that the experience of how to work with abundance-based agreements is showing up everywhere, it is time for us to being to map this topography of social agreements, mapping ecosynomic deviance and impact resilience, in all of its forms, across the globe.  I bet, if we do, we will find some amazing treasures, right in our own backyards, showing us how to do what we want to do with far greater impact resilience and in a much more engaging way.  That would be good to know.  Maybe then we could figure out how to achieve systemic solutions that work for everyone everywhere everyday.  I wonder.