Welcome to all those who’ve decided to participate in our little adventure. I am so happy–and nervous–you decided to join me!
Last week we learned about the 5 basic needs hardwired into our DNA as human beings: Belonging, Power, Freedom, Fun and Survival. (If you need a refresher, please click HERE.)
When we make choices to enhance (or at least not harm) these needs, we have the power to change our “quality world” or our “success identity,” increasing our feelings of satisfaction, fulfillment and success.
We should view this change like the biblical adage of a small helm steering a big ship. Each day we’ll be setting and evaluating goals to make minute adjustments that, overtime, will shift the larger paradigm or lens through which we see the world.
So have patience. Keep at it. And don’t let the simplicity of the exercise fool you into disregarding it. Small changes can have huge impacts.
I can’t speak for you, but when I hear the word “belonging” it creates a visceral reaction somewhere inside me just above my sternum. A longing, I suppose, to be a necessary part of something greater rather than another useless cog in the machine, spinning endlessly without ever connecting with another human being.
Recently I received a text from my husband lamenting work. He felt alone. Useless. To paraphrase his words, like “an island in a sea of people.” Though a member of a group, he didn’t feel like he belonged.
His text broke my heart.
I think most of us can relate to his situation. Whether at work, home, church, or among friends, we can be part of a group and still feel completely isolated. Somehow different. Perhaps even a little bit broken.
Social media can even exacerbate the problem, especially when our work is so centered on numbers. We get so caught up in building followers that we overlook the need to build relationships. We fall victim to confusing quantity relationships with quality and instant responses with a caring ones.
Is that to say we can’t form awesome relationships over social media? Not at all. I’ve been very blessed to make a few very incredible friends via Twitter. (Some of whom I get to meet at the DFW Writer’s Conference!!! Woot!!!). I’m only saying that, when it comes to our need to belong, we need to make sure we are forming quality relationships over quantity.
Which brings us back to the beginning–having people invested in you and you invested in them.
But what does that mean?
Financially we understand that to invest is to put our money into something that offers a profitable return or appreciation in value. We invest in homes, stocks, mutual funds, retirement accounts. We put money into these things hoping and believing we’ll get some type of value in return. And because we invest, we care. I think of the last home we owned. We invested a great deal of money into it and so, when something needed doing, we did it. It didn’t matter whether it meant fixing a leaky faucet or landscaping and maintaining a yard. Whether big or small, we tended to the problem.
People are similar, but instead of money we invest our time, talents and emotions. We give to others in hope that they will give back, that they will reciprocate with their time, talents and emotions. When we give without any return (I think we’ve all had those experiences… mine were usually boyfriends), we’re not belonging, we’re following.
As a writer I’ve found I do that a lot. I follow best selling authors, comment on their blogs, and lol their tweets in hopes that they might reciprocate. Some have. Some have not. But what about those who do give back? What about those who are invested in me? What attention am I giving to them?
I’m not going to tell you who to follow, who to friend, or who to give your time to. That’s your decision. I’m only trying to get you to think about your relationships in all of the different areas of your life. Who are you invested in? Why? Who do you know that is invested in you? How do you know? Are you building reciprocal relationships? Or are yours usually one-sided?
This week as we look to enhance Belonging, we want to focus on the two-way relationships, whether on or off-line. You’ll be setting a goal each day. Think about those people who are invested in you and you in them. How can you deepen that relationship? Goals should be simple, like “send Tina a note letting her know I appreciate her” or “call Mom for a quick I love you.” Pick one person each day and do just one thing to let them know you care.
As you develop the habit of doing this, you’ll shift your focus from quantity to quality. Numbers will become less influential on your psyche as comments and interactions become more meaningful. You’re programming yourself to see the world in a new and more satisfying way!
Plan & Evaluate
Spend 5 minutes (or less) each day to plan and evaluate your Success Identity choices.
- Mornings: “What WILL I do? What is ONE SIMPLE thing I can do within the next 24 hours that will bring me closer to belonging?”
- Evenings: “What DID I do? What did my choices do to the success identity?” Enhance? Harm? Not affect?
Keep it simple. We don’t need to leap buildings in a single bound. Small changes, when added together, will lead to big impact.
I’ll be posting daily challenges via Twitter (#SuccessID) and Facebook (D.B. Smyth author page). You don’t have to do these, but you can if you want to. They’re only meant to help get your brain pumping and to see different ways in which you can enhance the belonging spoke on your success identity wheel.
Also, you are welcome to post your daily goals too! I love the sharing of ideas! Feel free to ask questions, post goals, share stories… whatever will help you complete this journey. I’m not here to re-create MyWANA, but I am here to help support you. 🙂
Good luck this week! I’ll see you next Friday and I look forward to hearing about all the experiences you’re going to have!
Questions? Concerns? How can you show others that you are invested in them? How do you allow others to be invested in you?
Success Identity Series
– I Can’t Get No Satisfaction: The Success Identity Challenge
– By the power of Grayskull… I have the POWER
– Wide Open Spaces: Our Need for FREEDOM
– Fun. Fun. How can we have FUN?