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.


From Whims to Rules to Principles, Glimpses of the Evolution of a Big Question, “Who Decides?”

Who decides and enforces the decision?” is a big question that has defined political economic inquiry and practice for all humanity for a long time.

Nomos or whims of the divine ruler. For many years, it was the domain of the gods.  Eventually, divine representatives in human form, such as those calling themselves kings, began to lay down the nomos, Greek for law, which they proclaimed they were uniquely qualified, by the gods, to enforce.[1] Over time some people started to question the irregular nature of these nomos, as they seemed to shift with the whims of the king. For example, with the Magna Carta, English feudal barons attempted to limit the king’s powers and protect their rights in 1215.

Economos or the rules of interaction. Whether the “free men” of ancient Greece, the power elite of England in the middle ages, or the revolutionaries of the last two centuries, some peoples have proclaimed that they would devise a system where they the people decided on eco-nomos, Greek for the rules of interaction.[2] Instead of a list of capricious laws, they proposed systems of rules about how people interacted.  While many different systems of political economos have evolved, within diverse cultural settings, they seem to start from two common assumptions: (1) the perceived scarcity of material resources; and (2) that one of the primary relationships (self, other, group, nature, spirit) predominates over the other four in the political economic system of who decides and who enforces. This repurposes the term economos to mean “the rules of interaction to benefit this primary relationship.”  Such as the rules of relationship, economics, to benefit the relationship to self, as seen in liberal economics.  In the past few decades, millions of people have begun to question the efficiency and effectiveness of economos, suggesting that coming from scarcity greatly limits the development and manifestation of human potential.

Ecosynomos or the principles of collaboration. In previous blogs and in my recent book, we have documented tens of thousands of groups experiencing with eco-synomos, Greek for the principles of collaboration.[3] In a gesture opposite to that of economics, these groups have chosen to start from two different common assumptions: (1) the perceived abundance of resources; and (2) that all five primary relationships interact harmonically as experienced through the coherent vibrancy of all five simultaneously. We find that these ecosynomic groups deliver far superior outcomes on a more sustainable basis, simply because they nurture human potential versus limiting it.

Through these glimpses of the evolution of a big question, “Who decides?,” I see that people have continuously taken on more responsibility for providing for themselves out of the best they bring to their lives, and that they have continuously learned how to express this responsibility in the systems of agreements about who decides.


References. For a peek at these glimpses, here are some references.

Lerner, R. (1987). Moses Maimonides. In L. Strauss & J. Cropsey (Eds.), History of Political Philosophy (pp. 228-247). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Mankiw, N. G. (2008). Principles of Economics (Fourth ed.). Mason, OH: Thomson.

Ritchie-Dunham, J. L. (2014). Ecosynomics: The Science of Abundance. Amherst, MA: Vibrancy Publishing.

Roncaglia, A. (2006). The Wealth of Ideas: A History of Economic Thought. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Samuelson, P. A., & Nordhaus, W. D. (1995). Economics (Fifteenth ed.). Boston: Irwin McGraw-Hill.


[1] From Ralph Lerner’s description of Mose Maimonides (1135-1204) and his principal work Guide of the Perplexed. See (Lerner, 1987, p. 238).

[2] Nobel laureate in economics Paul Samuelson in his popular economics textbook (Samuelson & Nordhaus, 1995, p. 4) defines economics as “the study of how societies use scarce resources to produce valuable commodities and distribute them among different people.” In Harvard economics professor N. Gregory Mankiw’s top-selling economics textbook, he defines economics as “the study of how society manages its scarce resources” (Mankiw, 2008, p. 4). How long has economics been around? While political economic thought dates back to at least Babylon in the 1700s BC, it was only recognized as a discipline independent of other social sciences in the early 1600s AD, and as a profession in the 1800s AD (Roncaglia, 2006, pp. 18, 23).

[3] See references to classic works, recent works of many other authors, experiences within the emerging Vibrancy global network, and my own writings on my blogsite http://jlrd.me and (Ritchie-Dunham, 2014).