没有常规工作的25年

从我结束为他人做的最后一份常规工作到现在,已经过去25年。对于没有常规工作的生活道路是什么样子,我想自己可以分享些反思见解。

选择上的自由

没有常规工作的最基本好处,正是你所期望的。那就是有了选择如何花费个人时间,以及想要创造何种生活的更多自由。这的确是种强大有力的好处,但我们需要花上多年,才能完全实现享受它。

当你没被栓系在一份常规工作上时,显然就要为自己的事情负完全责任,而且需要自行做出各种重大决定。这种水平的自由度能让人不时感到难以招架,觉得自己在头六个月便会创造出一种精彩老练的生活,完全不切实际。你仍将受限于个人能力,无法从思维和实体层面创造出自己渴望的现实世界。

在这条生活道路上,你的短处缺点会导致个人生活方式上的局限,所以它几乎注定是条非常值得追求的成长之路。

这也是条自我信任之路。我唯一有过常规工作的那次经历,就是由于没能真正信任自己,才成为了一名雇员。我那时感觉在一段时间内,需要遵从他人命令带来的稳定生活效果。几个月过后,我意识到自己可以,而且应当信任自己能引领个人生活,而非聘用一位老板来管理自己的部分生活。我肯定会犯些错误,但将从那些错误中学习和成长。之后发生的事情也确实如此。

实现个人目标

我喜欢自己能实现丰富多样的个人目标,假如自己始终有份常规工作,便很难做成此事。我创作并发行过多款电脑游戏。我写过一本书并看到它以很多语言出版。我作为一家非营利协会的主席提供过服务。我建立过两份成功生意。我旅行游览过自己一直想去的许多地方,比如巴黎、伦敦、柏林、罗马、阿姆斯特丹,等等更多城市。我建立过两个成功的论坛社群。我受过武术训练,跑完过一次马拉松。我自行设计并讲授过16个三日工作坊。我结交过一些不同寻常和非常有趣的朋友。

我本来也可以在过去25年都干着常规工作,但那样很可能就无法实现如此丰富多样的个人目标。我将打造一份职业,而非收获一种生活。与收藏了如此多美妙记忆不同,在回顾个人过往时,我将看到平凡得多的时间历程。我肯定自己仍能取得许多成就,但那些成就会显得缺少多样性,而且更有被迫感。

与必须致力于实现某个雇佣目标不同,我热爱将全部时间投入到自己的目标上。我不必把个人目标挤进工作后的时间里去完成。我甚至不必把它们挤进我的工作时间。如果一个目标对我来说足够重要,我可以将手头工作放在一边,全力以赴地去追求那个目标。

我今年的大目标就是创建并发布“清醒成长俱乐部”,我现在一直忙于这个长期项目已有数月。它肯定是个挑战,但我很喜爱和其他对成长充满热情的人们共同创造这个项目。倘若还有份常规工作在吸取个人时间和精力,我将无法看出自己如何能应对像这样的重大项目。

个人工作会与自身技能保持步伐一致也很美妙,因为我可以自行决定要设置哪些目标。我不必因为工作太容易而感到无聊乏味,或因为工作太难而感到压力重重。我可以通过明智选择目标,让自己处于个人动力的甜美地带。这让我能获得爆发式的高昂动力,使自己一天兴奋工作12小时以上都充满乐趣,之后我还可以延长自己休息,玩耍和社交的时间。

世上没有任何东西,能替代你握紧方向舵,成为自己人生之船船长的那种感觉。

表达自我

这条生活道路的关键好处之一,就是与始终有份常规工作相比,我能更和谐一致地表达个人价值观。我越深入地追求这条道路,越能理解我的生活完全属于我的责任,自己不必像其他人那样活着。我能按照自己的方式做事,因为没有某家公司要来命令我如何管理个人时间,或处理个人事务。我并非他人机器里的一个零件。

此种生活当然要负起更多责任。我无法在犯错时,转身责怪自己的老板或公司。我有了更多自由去尝试,去冒险,以及去失败,所以自己对生活结果要负的责任更加明显。我不能直接抱怨过分的官僚行为或公司政治,以使自己摆脱责任。我永远都要对自己生活的最终结果负责。

许多干着常规工作的人们,都不得不处理他们和雇主的价值观冲突。例如,你可能在乎帮助顾客解决他们的问题,但你的雇主也许只想让你完成更多销售。或者你可能珍视良好健康习惯的价值,而你的公司却推销着垃圾食品和碳酸饮料的饮食文化。而且雇主们常有模糊不清,不断变化的混乱价值观,所以你永远不知道自己是否在和那些价值观保持一致。

价值观冲突属于生活的一部分,但没有常规工作时,我便从日常生活中清除了许多这样的问题,因此能更和谐一致地表达自身价值观。我可以在不对个人想法进行审查的情况下,写作自己渴望探讨的任何话题。当我在工作过程中吃午餐时,吃得都是纯素食物。因为不想让读者被杂乱元素分心打扰,我没有在自己网站上放置第三方广告。我可以想休假多长时间就休多长时间,没有老板会对我发出抱怨。

若你拥有很好的自我激励能力,这种生活方式便挺有效。若你需要某人拍着自己后背赞赏你取得的每个成就,比如从老板那里获得一次积极评价,你也许就会想念人们正式认可自己成功的感觉。在没有常规工作的情况下,为保持生活正轨,你的工作动力必须更加发自内在。你需要满足于实现个人目标并表达个人价值观所获得的自然奖赏,因为有时候,你便是在乎或注意到这种奖赏的唯一之人。

财务自由

我用了数年时间,和一次破产经历,才实现了自己想要的富有生活水平。许多创业者在事业初期都深陷挣扎,因为他们要学的东西不少,可能犯下的错误又如此之多。但若你聪明,灵活,又愿意从那些经验更丰富的人身上学习,最终就能在无需一份常规工作的情况下,享受财务上的富有状态。这种状态意味着在创造你所渴望的生活方式上,金钱已不再是个严重的限制因素。

当金钱无比丰富时,显然时间就成了最稀缺的资源。因此,拥有更多财务自由,其实能激励你提升时间管理并克服拖延问题。你将很快意识到金钱本身并无力量。大叠钞票只是堆放在那里,默认状态下不会做成任何事情。若你想要明智花钱,还得用些时间才能学会。

正如许多创建出被动收入流的朋友们已经发现的,实现财务富足并不会自动创造出精彩生活。事实远非如此!你仍然必须投入时间、精力和智性,才能想清要用自己的时间做些什么。即使你只想四处旅行,也得付出努力,想清接下来要前往哪里。弄清每天应该干些什么需要花费努力。而且若不谨慎,放任自己在个人成长上偷懒懈怠,你还可能跌落到抑郁沮丧的境地。

拥有更多金钱并不会消除你的各种问题。它只会给你一个不同级别的问题去应对。富有之后面对的挑战,并不比富有之前面对的挑战更轻松容易。但在某种程度上,人们更容易在富有后落入萎靡境地,因为此时你没有太多财务压力,去迫使自己采取行动。即使在缺少财务压力的情况下,你也必须学会如何激励自己积极行动。对某些人而言,这的确是很难做到的事情。

我知道 — 拥有这种问题令人嫉妒,不过在实际生活中,当金钱不再是限制因素后,想清如何使用自己的时间,就是个真正的挑战。

我从生活中学到,金钱对自己而言是个无比糟糕的激励因素。即使在破产时,我对那些为赚更多钱而采取的行动步骤,也没法感到兴奋不已。无论何时尝试去赚更多钱,我都会遭遇失败、抵制,和挫折。我实现富有的道路,就是不管自己能有多少钱,都专注于创造一种充满人生目的和令人身心满足的生活。那种思维心态就是我的富有之路。

回顾过去,这种思维心态确实合乎情理,因为金钱属于一种社交工具 — 它其实是社交债务的一种形式 — 试图让人们变得在你那里负债并不怎么激励人心。专注于社交层面而非工具层面会带来很大不同,因为那时你将思考去做些对自己人类同伴富于意义的事情。社交层面的追求会让你采取行动,而那些行动又会导向社交交换,金钱因此也能最终流向你。金钱是通过其他人流向你。若你过多专注于金钱层面,人际层面的因素也许就会阻碍你收获金钱。

我认为很多人在永久化自己的财务问题,这样我们就能避免应对处理那些更加宏大和神圣的挑战,比如在自己死亡之钟不断倒数的同时,如何投资我们的宝贵日子。和面对“我该在人生下个十年做些什么?”这样的问题相比,应对处理财务贫穷之类的挑战可能会痛苦更少。有时与操心你的感情关系,人生目的,或自己的整个存在相比,去操心要付的各种账单会更轻松容易。

找到最佳生活节奏

为能感到脚踏实地,并有合理的高效表现,我需要某种生活架构。在某些方面,没有常规工作的生活会更容易,但在另一些方面,它会显得更难。我并未承袭常规工作的固有结构,但能定义出属于自己的工作节奏,使其有可能更好匹配我的个性和目标。我还可以将工作和私人生活更好地融合在一起。我的私人世界和生意世界可以变成同一个世界。

我今天就是从平时的早晨常规开始启动。自己清晨5点起床,出门跑步时听些音频;做些拉伸运动;坐在公园里反省沉思生活,整个宇宙,以及一切事物;早餐吃的是燕麦粥和新鲜蓝莓;接着开始当天的工作。我喜爱从有氧运动开启一天生活,因为它能立刻提振情绪,强化我的自律意识,并平衡体内激素和神经递质,这样面对即将到来的一天,我便能感到思维敏锐。

当有份常规工作时,我对优化自己每天的早晨常规并不怎么在意。我的高效表现与工作结果之间存在断连问题。作为一名雇员,我有时还为自己每天完成了很少实际工作感到骄傲。我不喜欢自己的老板,尤其是因为他的坏脾气和使用恐惧策略管理雇员。所以没有高效表现,或许就是我惩罚他这种糟糕为人的方式。

当自己没有常规工作时,缺乏高效表现就不合理,因为那样我明显在浪费自己的宝贵生命。因此我对保持思维敏锐,并从每日生活中榨出大量有益收获充满动力。若我不能保持个人高标准,就会遭受苦果,而且除了自己,我还没人可以责备。

如果我偷懒懈怠,无论何时想要振作,我都可以重新振作起来。我不必等到下班后,或周末过后再采取行动。无论何时体验到珍贵的意识觉悟提升状态,我都可以去设定新目标,或转换到不同的生活节奏。假如想尝试一种新习惯,一旦做好准备,我就能开始行动。我不必围绕自己雇主的日程安排展开工作。

若我感到毫无动力或精疲力尽,也能从第二天就开始休假(或在某些情形下,当天便开始休假)。只要我想,自己能一直休假。我已不止一次地连续休息超过30天。完整休息一个月能让人获得彻底恢复,自己回归工作后通常会充满干劲地开始行动。

我是在受到激励启发时去写作,而非按照某个雇主命令的日程安排去写作。我不会模糊不清地对自己说:“我今天必须在博客里写些东西。”吸引我开始敲击键盘的,就是自己被某个想法点子所打动。我曾经最长一连七周没有写博客,那种状态也毫无问题。为遵守日程安排而在写作上粗制滥造并不适合我(也不适合我的读者)。我更愿只在受到激励启发,有要沟通的实质内容时才去写作。

如今已不再是工业时代。对创意工作者而言,朝九晚五的日程安排并不适合他们把握最好的创作机会。我感到很幸运,没有任何人强加给自己这样的日程安排。探索找到自己最好的生活节奏,让我在过去多年间,能为一亿读者创作出两百万字的内容。

我的最佳工作节奏很可能会受到一位雇主的惩罚。我喜欢在深受激励时一连工作12个多小时,有时还能一连这样工作数周。之后我需要时间消失几周,去旅行,探索,切换到不同的生活模式 — 有时提前通知这种变化的时间还不到24小时。在那段休整时间里,我的潜意识继续在幕后工作,琢磨着各种问题,频繁为我提供新鲜想法点子,帮我想出新的个人目标。最终我无法再按捺自身的创意能量,渴望回顾工作模式,再来一轮这样的生活循环。自己在最佳状态下,属于爆发工作者,而非按部就班者。但雇主们会尊重这样的工作模式吗?若你发现一位这样的雇主,也许那就是份你确实应当考虑的常规工作。

社交自由

假如有份常规工作,我很可能每天要和同样的人们社交,从而导向停滞的社交生活。我喜欢拥有能选择自己每天交往对象的自由,而非遵从由雇主安排的社交命令。若有人与我不和,我就不必去应对处理他们。我可以让生活中充满自己真正喜欢的朋友,大家是通过自主选择相互交往,而非受迫于外界环境。

在你每天交往的人群里,有多少是自己真正喜欢的?我拥有的大多数社交关系,都是与自己真诚喜欢的人们所建立。如果不喜欢他们,我就不会和对方交往。

自我雇佣可能导向大量独处时间,尤其当你拥有一份互联网生意时。若你参加一个互联网营销会议,很可能会发现整个房间80-90%的人都是内向者。演讲者们也同样如此。基于对方兴奋沸腾的网络视频,你以为那些创作者肯定是外向者,其实在和他们亲自见面后,你将发现对方十分安静和害羞。他们可以在制作视频时看起来非常外向,但面对面的交往属于非常不同的情形。

许多内向者对这种生活毫不介意,他们更喜欢活在茧壳里,从数字设备背后进行自己的大部分社交互动。倘若这是你的社交风格,也许会非常喜欢没有常规工作的生活。如今你几乎能用这种方式过完自己的整个人生。或者你也许更喜欢有份最小化人际交往的常规工作。

但我不想走上那条生活路线,因为自己觉得这种生活没那么追求成长。所以在开始写博客的同一年,我还加入了Toastmasters国际演讲俱乐部,以拓展个人公开演讲技能。我这样做部分是为了在个人生活和生意事业间,创造出更好的社交平衡状态。我很高兴自己那样做了,因为它给了我既能作为内向者,也能作为外向者去生活的自由,而不必被迫只选择一种生活。有时我喜欢离开电脑,通过演讲、工作坊、见面会和旅行的方式与人们面对面互动。另一些时候我则对社交感到有点难以招架,渴望几周独自工作的时间,或想单独与女友享受生活。

可以公平地说,管理自己的社交生活,就是我从开始写博客以来最大的挑战。达成合理的平衡状态,确实需要自己做些清醒主动的思考,而正确决定并非总能清晰明了。我经历了多轮社交扩张和收缩的过程,才嗅出一条生活道路,使自己在感到社交富足的同时,不会觉得不堪重负。创建“清醒成长俱乐部”就是这些扩张阶段之一。

我挺容易结交新朋友,所以很高兴不必将就去过在社交上受阻的生活。我喜欢拥有众多令人兴奋,追求成长的朋友。我也喜欢能有自由,去创造一种适合自己的社交生活。假如有份常规工作,会阻碍自己周全管理这部分生活的能力,难以想象我将在社交上感到多压抑。

我认为自己最享受这条社交道路的地方,就是能遇见其他追求成长的人们,他们喜欢在整个世界过度偏离的时候反其道而行。这些人为我的生活增添了巨大的丰富性。他们给我了希望,让我觉得若大家一起努力,也许某天能让其余的世界不再偏离得如此严重。我们难道偏离得还不够吗?

探索

探索个人成长是我的激情所在,假如自己被一份常规工作束缚,限制了能去做的事情,我便很难全然探索这种激情。

如果有份朝九晚五的工作,我还能完成多相睡眠饮水断食,或一连游玩迪士尼30天的生活试验吗?答案让人存疑。也许我可以在休假期间完成短期试验,但没法让这类探索成为自己平常生活方式的一部分。我并不想在休假时间里,让自己应对不睡觉,不吃食物,以及无休止循环的迪士尼音乐等问题。

(顺便提一下,我终于把大多数迪士尼音乐清出脑子,但目前又困在《爱乐之城》的上瘾式歌曲里。无论那些歌曲何时从脑中消退,女友Rachelle都会重新开始哼唱起来。)

我会因为写作关于开放感情关系主仆游戏之类的文章,而在干着常规工作时被炒鱿鱼吗?有可能。结果取决于我的雇主,但谁又想要戴着社交面具去取悦自己的老板呢?直接做我自己会更轻松容易。我不想每次上班时,都要假装成为其他某个人。

我认为很多人都躲藏在常规工作背后,将它作为不去探索自身真实欲望的方便借口。探索行为涉及冒险和直面恐惧。我们很容易便可安于一份常规工作,并对自己说因为没有时间、自由或金钱,我们才无法识别,辨清和追求那些更为有趣的目标。只是弄清一个人的自身欲望都能耗费大量努力,更别提腾出时间去实际探索它们。

当没有常规工作时,我也能一直忙于生意事业,但要假装自己无法掌控个人探索追求,会变得更难。如果我不去探索自己确实想要探索的事情,就必须面对并处理内在的抵制心理。我没法直接找个外部借口,便期望自己能轻易相信它。

因此与有份常规工作的生活相比,我完成的探索要多上许多。我不必在工作日程的间隙,去安排自己的探索活动。我还能将它们融入个人工作之中,工作、生活和玩耍之间无需存在明显分隔。

地点自由

一份常规工作能把你束缚在单一地点,但没有这种工作时,你可以在自己想要的任何时间,前往自己想去的任何地方。如果喜欢,你甚至可以生活在旅途中。

我曾幻想过完全做名流浪者,但我喜欢有个能回归其中的稳定家园,自己有时还会在一连旅行太长时间后感到精疲力尽。我在家中办公室会更加高效,有时生活试验在家里去做时也轻松容易得多。对我来说最管用的做法,就是让自己在家中和在路上的时间摆动切换。我已经挺擅长在感觉是时候离开办公桌时,出门开始自发旅行。

我挺喜欢的是,旅行并非只是个梦想,而是我在想要的任何时候都能去做的某件事情。前往其他城市和国家极大丰富了我的生活,我也看得出旅行会在未来几十年成为自己生活方式的一部分。

个人技能的宽度和深度

作为一名雇员,我也许用有限技能便可应付工作,但在没有常规工作的情况下,要想生存和实现繁荣,我就必须拓展出丰富多样的个人技能。

正如我在《里宽,里深》那篇文章里所分享的,拥有宽广的技能储备,并不意味着技能上的浅薄状态。你其实能从彼此强化的互补技能中,收获更好的技能深度。

在没有常规工作的生活道路上,我已拓展出编程、写作、经商、公开演讲、谈判、培训、活动管理、销售、市场营销、创建收入流、打造社群、网站开发、产品开发、人际交往,等等更多技能。与自己本科毕业后学到的所有东西相比,我的计算机科学和数学学位看起来就像婴儿学步阶段。只是为跟上世界变化的快速节奏,我经常感觉自己每过一两年就得继续学到相当于一个新本科学位的知识内容,尤其是在经营网上生意时。我总觉得自己似乎在某个重要领域已经落后,而这种感觉迫使我要迅速吸收和应用各种新的想法点子。

拥有决定自己教育路径的自由对我而言非常重要。每周我都在吞吃大量信息,自己学得越多,也就越多暴露在个人理解力的裸露边缘。

最近我一直很享受参加他人提供的培训项目。自己目前加入了两个付费社群,很可能还会加入更多。这种学习方式的财务花销更贵,但从时间角度考虑反而更便宜,因为与只是阅读书籍相比,我能从专家和教练那里更快学习。我热爱阅读,一般每周能看完两本书,但大多数时候,那并非我能取得实质进展的做法。

我想假如自己是名雇员,将很容易落入感到太过舒适的生活陷阱,安于现有技能,不会每月都推动自己拓展并深化个人技能。我觉得自己会花过多时间,用相同方式反复做着现有工作,而非质疑自己的工作方式,并为迎接将来的世界,继续寻求打造相关技能。

拥有如此多经济实用的技能,让我很难失败,因为自己总能根据需要,转换使用不同技能。我可以写文章或出书。我可以去做公开演讲。我可以进行互联网营销。我知道如何创建网站,提升流量,打造网上社群。我能编写软件,插件,或视频游戏。我能完成基本的音频和视频编辑。我能提供咨询或培训服务。等等等等。我不必担心事业领域发生转变后个人技能会过时淘汰。事实上,我热爱变化的发生,因为自己甚至能在大多数人明白发生了什么之前,便捕捉到全新机会… 比如我在WordPress博客软件诞生的同一年,就在2004年进入了博客写作领域。

拓展出丰富多样的技能也让我变成了一个更快的学习者,所以我能迅速在新技能上获得竞争力,并开始高效使用它们。我学习的技能越多,似乎就能越快学会各种新技能。

这种要不断学习的持续压力会让某些人感到精疲力尽。我见过一些朋友因为担心落于人后,而在生活中反复经历不堪重负的时期。我有时也会屈服于那种感受,但总体而言,我热爱推动自己不断学习、学习和学习的刺激感。我喜欢回顾过去的一个月或一个季度,盘点自己学到的东西。本月我便学到关于创建会员网站的大量知识,因为自己一直在高强度地学习这方面的内容,尤其是在Chris Lema与The Membership Guys等网上资源的帮助下。

感恩

当回顾25年没有常规工作的岁月时,我体会到的主要情感就是感恩、感激和解脱。这并非一条平顺道路,自己在路上也遇过一些坎坷,但我真的很高兴自己决定了追求没有常规工作的生活方式。那个决定迫使我用如此多的方式实现成长,假如选择了雇员路线,我怀疑自己是否还能有这些精彩体验。

当思考我在这条道路上未来25年的旅程时,自己感到快乐、兴奋和乐观。就算只是保持当前的生活方式,我想自己也会在这条道路上感到十分满足。但我肯定未来还将有许多变化,即便它们会不时把我抛离平衡状态,我也对最终驾驭它们充满期待。

查看原文:

https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2017/03/25-years-without-job/

How to Attract Growth-Oriented Friends

A survey I did a while back revealed that about 40% of my readers have zero friends they’d consider growth-oriented, and another 20% only have one such friend. Many people who are attracted to my blog don’t have much social support for their personal growth pursuits. They often feel isolated as they explore different ways to wake up, grow faster, and live more fulfilling lives. They’re the aliens and oddballs in their social circles.

Over the years I’ve received many emails about the problems and challenges such growth-oriented people encounter. Working on their personal goals while dealing with social drag is a major issue for many people. Perhaps the biggest obstacle is dealing with your own self doubt when friends, family, and co-workers don’t understand or respect what you’re trying to accomplish.

Sometimes your decision to actively work on improving your life will stir up resistance in those around you. Sometimes people will get triggered by your actions or feel threatened or clingy. Sometimes they’ll even try to slow you down, although such reactions are usually subconscious.

You can try to persuade such people about the merits of your path. You can try not to let their unsupportive attitudes affect you. But in the long run, your best bet is to build a circle of growth-oriented friends who will understand, nurture, and support your desires. Such friends can also help you stretch beyond your initial intentions and avoid selling yourself short.

A Growth-Oriented Social Circle

What does a growth-oriented social circle look like? How will it affect you?

The main benefit is that you’ll have real friends who understand you and like you as you are. They know the benefits of pursuing personal growth, and it’s a no-brainer for them to enjoy connecting with you. Conversations flow easily and naturally. There’s no need to explain or justify why you’re exploring some personal growth pursuit. They’re a lot like you. They get it.

When you hit a snag on your path, you’ll always have people you can email, call, or meet to discuss your situation. People will happily give you advice. They’ll share resources with you. They’ll proactively tell you about new opportunities that might interest you. Instead of people sharing random Internet memes and cat photos with you, you’ll have people sharing useful leads that align with your goals. Your friends will know your goals, so when they spot something that could help you, they’ll tell you about it.

Did you know that every income stream I created for my business came to me through other people? Not a single stream was my original idea. I put my own spin on each idea’s implementation, but the basic ideas all came from other people. Other people told me where the diamonds were, so I didn’t have to go prospecting myself. I didn’t even have to search for publishers for my book because a publisher offered me a book deal before I wrote a single page of the book. I can’t imagine how many years it saved me to have a network of growth-oriented friends and contacts. These benefits are still ongoing. Whatever I want to accomplish of a growth-oriented nature, I have people to turn to for help. That makes a huge difference.

Imagine having a social network that keeps sharing practical ways for you to generate income… or improve your health… or enjoy fulfilling relationships. Growth-oriented people naturally do this for each other. However, they need to know you’re one of them before they’ll take the risk of sharing such info with you. People in this circle don’t want to waste their time investing in someone who won’t take action and who won’t keep the flow going.

When you have lots of growth-oriented friends, you won’t have so much doubt about your own personal growth pursuits. You’ll have plenty of other people validating the benefits of this path for you. You’ll receive positive encouragement and support. You’ll have people checking in with you to see if you’re still on track. People will care about what you’re working on and will want to learn from you too.

Life becomes less of a struggle. When you feel beaten down, people will lift you back up again. When you set a new goal, they’ll share leads and resources to point you in the right direction. You won’t have to solve every problem on your own. Sometimes people will even help you avoid problems before you get snared by them.

When you have a growth-oriented social circle, it also leads to invitations to connect with more like-minded people, even while you’re traveling. As your social circle expands, it becomes a resource for connecting with intelligent, growth-minded people wherever you go. I’m currently in Calgary, and it’s only my second time here ever. I enjoyed a stimulating discussion with several people about subjective reality during one hours-long breakfast. Tonight I’m going out to dinner with other friends, and we’re doing a video interview as well. These sort of connections happen effortlessly, even when I go to a new city I haven’t been to before. Once you have a big enough network of growth-minded people, you can leverage it for introductions and stimulating connections wherever you go. I think partly this isn’t because of the network itself but rather the expectation that comes from having growth-oriented friends. You expect to have that experience automatically, and so you do.

Of course there are the basic benefits of having good friends too – friends who like you as you are. You’ll have people to spend time with, share laughs with, cuddle with, and more. But instead of having to put on a social mask or hide part of your personality when you hang out with such people, you can talk about all the things that really matter to you too. You can talk about your life purpose, the nature of reality, productivity hacks, and all of your juicy and delicious growth pursuits with the same people.

These are delightful benefits to be sure. So how do you get there?

Be a Giver

One of the best ways to attract a growth-oriented social circle is to prove to the world that you’re a growth-oriented person. And a good way to do that is to help other people grow. Don’t just focus on your own growth. Invest some time and energy in helping others too. This can quickly transform your social circle.

For the first several years that I was into personal growth, it was mostly a private pursuit. During those years I read hundreds of books, attended seminars, practiced skills, wrote mission statements, analyzed my past, and so on. I did a lot of inner work. I occasionally helped people, but only on a small scale like in a discussion forum or via email. I didn’t make any substantial efforts to help other people grow as a regular part of my lifestyle.

For the most part, I was still the oddball in my social circle. I often felt more ambitious than the people around me. I lacked mentors to show me the ropes. I worked hard and tried to make the best decisions I could, but I struggled a lot, especially in business. In 1999 I went bankrupt due to racking up way too much debt trying to make my business work.

I came out of that experience with a very open mind. Going bankrupt was actually a relief, and it gave me a fresh start. I still loved being an entrepreneur, but I knew I couldn’t live the next five years like the previous five. I challenged my old assumptions and began exploring and experimenting with different ideas. I figured I had little to lose since my old approach clearly wasn’t working.

One of those experiments lead to volunteering in a trade association, writing articles, and reaching out to help others. Later I started a free discussion forum for indie game developers. I also began speaking at conferences to share ideas. I shifted my approach from working on personal growth in private to trying to be more helpful in public. My life transformed tremendously when I did this. My business finally started doing well too.

Within a year or so, my life was rich in growth-oriented friends. It all started with making the effort to help other people grow.

From 1999 to 2004, I did a lot of service-oriented work. This eventually led to starting my blog in 2004. My blog did well right out of the gate, but what many people don’t realize is that I’d been building up to this for five years prior. Before I published my first blog post, my articles published on other sites had already attracted thousands of readers. So I had lots of positive social support for moving in this direction when I finally made the shift. That social support made the transition much easier.

There was still some social drag. Many game developers and software developers think personal growth is cheesy, so when I decided to start a personal development blog, some thought it was a questionable shift. Yet those same critics love working on their personal growth. They just don’t label it as such. They prefer labels like education, skill building, social dynamics, and quantified self. The more android-sounding a label is, the more they seem to like it. But it’s still personal growth with a different tag.

The social drag didn’t matter though because I had plenty of positive social support. The positive social support is where you want your focus to be. If you try to convince the negative people in your life to get on board, you’ll waste a lot of energy and probably have little to show for it. If someone is getting in your face every week, stirring up your self doubt, or incessantly whining at you, then by all means let go of connections that are clearly not aligned. But otherwise it’s usually more productive to focus on adding positive social support instead of fussing over those who can’t give you what you need.

Graduate from Loyalty

What about loyalty? Shouldn’t we be loyal to the friends we already have, even if they can’t support our growth-oriented directions?

Questions about loyalty only seem to be asked by those who are being held back by negative social circles. People who are immersed in positive social support never seem to ask about loyalty. Why do you think that is?

Loyalty is forced obligation. The word itself is a trap used by clingy people to enforce relationships based through fear. Genuine relationships are chosen for mutual benefit, not enforced through obligation.

Do you want your friends and relationship partners to cling to you from a sense of obligation? Is that the kind of loyalty you desire? If not, then don’t be such a friend or partner to anyone else. Be loyal and true to your best self, and seek relationships that are aligned with your best self. Be loyal to your values, and let other people be loyal to theirs. Seek connections with people who are more loyal to their values than they’d ever be to you. Someone who’d put their relationship with you ahead of their highest and best values isn’t someone you can trust anyway.

An important corollary here is to get clear about the values that matter most to you, and do your best to live in alignment with them. If you value growth, then be shamelessly growth-oriented. Don’t hide your most sacred values. Let the world see you as you are. How else will other growth oriented people be able to recognize you?

Growth-Oriented People Are Looking for You

There’s a world of growth-oriented people that can be hard to see if you don’t publicly put yourself out there as one of them. If you’re always working on your personal growth in the shadows, such people will have a hard time spotting you. You’ll just look like another zombie going through the motions. You need to give such people a way to recognize you. If even one such person spots you, a single invitation can open up an entire network of new growth-oriented friends.

I was pretty shocked by how quickly other growth-oriented people flowed into my life when I started putting myself out there as one of them. It began happening from the time my first article was published in a software industry newsletter. My email address was included in the byline, and a few people wrote back to share feedback and thanks. As I continued down this path, there was a steamrolling effect. The more I expressed my values through published writing, the more like-minded people recognized me and offered some kind of connection.

If you were a growth-oriented person with a rich and vibrant network of growth-oriented friends, and you spotted a like-minded person who seemed to be all alone, largely unaware of what life could be like with a network like yours, what would you do? Would you keep quiet and let that person keep struggling, or would you reach out and offer some kind of invitation?

The counter-intuitive idea here is that if you want to receive such invitations yourself, then seek to become the kind of person who will reach out to help others. You can do that starting today. This is perhaps the most effective change you can make to demonstrate that you’re a good match for a growth-oriented friendship circle.

Otherwise if you believe you can’t help anyone right now, then next year you’ll probably believe the same, and the year after that, and so on. And growth-oriented people will continue to ignore you because you’ll seem to be too self-absorbed to be a good match for them. This is because personal growth is easier and faster with a network of givers. The more givers and contributors you see in a network, the faster everyone grows. So it’s just common sense for such networks to repel non-givers who only seem to care about themselves since that would only weaken the flow.

Start Giving Now

It’s important to give in such a way that feels good to you. This won’t work well if you’re too self-sacrificing or if you feel that your efforts aren’t appreciated much. It may take some experimenting to find the right calibration for you.

I love writing. For me writing is like a meditation. Combining writing with an Internet business is a great outlet for me. But for someone else, this may not be a good fit. If writing is painful for you, you might prefer other ways to contribute, such as by helping people one-on-one, volunteering, recording audio or video, starting a forum, or hosting a meetup group. Don’t feel you have to copy someone else’s approach.

Realize that you don’t have to be an expert to do this. I wrote articles about business success even before my business was doing well. I talked to people who were doing well and contrasted their habits and strategies with those who weren’t doing well. Writing those pieces was a great way to compile this knowledge for myself too. By sharing such ideas publicly, I received feedback to help refine the ideas. I also received lots of encouragement from people who applied those ideas to their businesses with good results. I didn’t have to pretend to be more successful than I was. I could compile and share other people’s lessons just as well. Many successful bloggers and podcasters started out this way.

You can sometimes make a profound difference in someone else’s life just by sharing a simple tip or observation. For example, I observed that the independent software developers who were doing well financially often spend about 50% of their time on marketing activities. The developers who weren’t doing very well usually spent less than 20% of their time on marketing (often less than 5%). Many of the developers who weren’t doing as well in business were highly skilled on the technical side, but they hadn’t invested much effort in learning marketing and sales. Just by sharing this simple observation, some developers shifted the way they allocated their time, and they saw rapid increase in their sales. I also applied this lesson to my own computer games business and saw great results.

You can become an authority by being a good listener and by paying attention. You can do research and share what you learn. You can do your own experiments and share the results. And if you keep doing this sort of thing, you’ll eventually become a legitimate expert in your field, and you’ll attract lots of smart, growth-oriented friends by raising your social profile.

Don’t assume you have to complete a big project in private first to earn the right to help people. You can find a way to be helpful starting today. Just go to a forum or a meetup group, and start helping out where you can.

Give sustainably in ways that feel good to you, but don’t become a people pleaser who says yes to every little request. People pleasers waste energy on low-value giving that isn’t appreciated instead of seeking meaningful contributions that fulfill and uplift them. They distract themselves with scraps instead of planting orchards.

The challenge of deciding where and how to give gets harder over time. The more you give, the more you’ll attract opportunities to give more. Eventually you’ll need to say no to some otherwise amazing invitations. This year in particular, I’ve had to say no to some invitations that I’d have jumped at in the past, so I can focus on the contributions that feel most aligned. It’s never easy to say no to the good in order to pursue something better.

There’s a social reason for focusing your contributions as well. After you attract a lot of growth-oriented friends, the next challenge is to attract friends who are strongly aligned with your biggest goals. Otherwise you may find yourself being pulled in too many different directions. Having growth-oriented friends with lots of different interests can be stimulating for a while, but eventually you may want some friendships that can help you stay focused on your biggest and most important goals.

Give More and Grow Faster

Be sure to align your giving and contribution with your personal growth as well.

Make sure that your giving continues to give you a sense of growth and improvement. Don’t let your contribution outlets become stagnant. Keep raising the challenge level. For instance, I went from writing about 5 articles per year before I started blogging to averaging about 100 articles per year since then. I went from doing 7-minute speeches in 2004 to doing 3-day workshops in 2009. If you keep raising the challenge level to keep pace with your growth, it’s less likely that you’ll feel bored or checked out.

Keep raising the bar for your contributions. Seek to become increasingly helpful by helping people in deeper ways, by helping more people, or both. Look for opportunities to increase the depth and breadth of your contribution. Don’t rest on your laurels.

The more ambitious you become about contribution, the more like-minded people you’ll attract who can encourage and support you in taking the next steps.

This will help you advance further beyond the limitations of social drag. You’ll meet people who strongly resonate with what you’re doing and want to see you succeed.

When you see your social support drying up – which may happen from time to time – that’s a good indication that it’s time to raise the bar on your service. Maybe you need to raise your standards for contribution by tackling something more ambitious and exciting, or maybe you need to shift the type of service you provide altogether to find that sweet spot of meaning and purpose again.

Make Invitations

My last tip for building a thriving social circle is to be proactive about making invitations. Don’t wait for people to come to you unless you want your social life to be a desert. When you find someone growth-oriented that you’d like to be friends with, make an invitation.

Additionally, make it easy for people to connect with you, especially face to face. One way that I do this is with a Meeting in Person page on my website. I also added a Meeting in Person FAQ to make it easier for people who might feel a little socially uncomfortable, doing my best to reassure them that they can expect a warm and friendly reception. On average I do a few of these meetups each month. I include a map and the address of the Starbucks where I often meet people, and occasionally I switch it to different locations if I ever get bored from going to the same place too much. The point is to reduce friction to make it easier for like-minded people to connect. These meetups also help me connect the online work I do with real human beings that are affected by it.

When was the last time you invited a growth-oriented friend to share a meal together? It only takes a minute to send an email. But if you get in the habit of doing this, it means more face time with like-minded people. And it means more invitations for you as well.

* * *

To build a strong friendship network, seek to become the type of person who’d be an obviously good fit for such a network. Be a giver. Contribute positively to people’s lives. Share what you’re learning along the way. Look for ways to sustainably deepen and expand your contribution. Express your values openly. Don’t hide. You can potentially inherit an entire network of great friends with a single invitation from the right person, so do what you can to make it easy for such a person to recognize you. And be the kind of person who seeks to elevate other growth-oriented people as well.

如何吸引追求成长的朋友

我不久前做的一项调查显示,自己大概40%的读者,根本没有能被他们认为是追求成长的朋友,另有20%的读者只有一位这样的朋友。许多被我博客吸引来的人士,在个人成长追求上并没有什么社交支持。当他们用不同方式去探索意识觉醒,更快成长,以及过上更令人满足的生活时,常会感到孤立无助。在他们的社交圈里,自己就属于外星人和怪胎。

多年来,我收到的许多电子邮件,都是关于这类追求成长的人士遭遇的问题和挑战。对很多人而言,致力于实现个人目标的同时还要应对各种社交方面的拖累,就是生活里的一个重大问题。或许人们遇到的最大障碍,便是当朋友、家人和同事都不理解或尊重你试图获取的成就时,要解决你对自我的怀疑。

有时你做出的积极提升生活的决定,会搅起周围人士的抵制心理。有时人们会被你的行动激怒,或感觉受到威胁,或是因为过于依赖,而对你紧抓不放。有时他们甚至会试图拖慢你的前进脚步,尽管这些反应通常都属于潜意识行为。

你可以尝试说服这些人相信自己前进道路的美好之处,也可以试着不让他们缺乏支持的态度影响自己。但长远而言,你的最好赌注就是打造一个追求成长的朋友圈,那些朋友会理解,鼓励和支持你的成长渴望。他们还能帮你拓展自我,超越你的最初成长意愿,避免低估自己。

追求成长的社交圈

一个追求成长的社交圈会是什么样子?它将对你产生何种影响?

这种朋友圈的主要好处,就是你将有理解自己并喜欢你本来样子的真正朋友。他们懂得追求个人成长的好处,对这些朋友而言,会享受和你的交往是明摆着的事情。大家彼此间的交谈轻松顺畅又自然而然。对于为何要探索某种个人成长方面的追求,你根本无需解释或为其进行合理化辩护。那些朋友非常像你。他们也懂你。

当你在成长道路上遇到障碍,自己总会有人可以发送电邮,打电话,或见面讨论自身处境。这些朋友将很高兴为你提供建议。他们会和你分享资源。他们将主动告知你可能感兴趣的各种新机会。与那些跟你分享网上爆红内容和猫咪照片的人们不同,这些朋友跟你分享的是与你人生目标和谐一致的有用线索。你的朋友们了解你的目标,所以当他们发现能帮到你的某种事物,就会告诉你此事。

你是否知道,我在自己生意事业上创建的每个收入流,都是通过其他人而得来?没有一个收入流是我的原创想法。自己花功夫落实了每个想法点子,但基本想法都是来自其他人士。别人告诉了我哪里有钻石,这样我才不必自己去勘探。我甚至不必为自己的新书寻找出版商,因为在写出新书的第一页前,已有出版商为我提供了一份出书交易。我无法想象拥有一个追求成长的朋友与联系人的社交网络,帮我节省了多少奋斗岁月。这些好处仍在继续。无论我想实现什么属于成长本质的成就,都有人可以去寻求帮助。这为我的生活带来了巨大不同。

请想象有个不断和你分享各种实用方法,以便帮你产生收入,提升健康,或享受令人满足的感情关系的社交网络,会是什么样子。追求成长的人们彼此间会自然而然地这样做。不过,在冒险和你分享有用信息前,这些人需要知道你是他们之中的一员。身处这种社交圈的人们,并不想浪费自己时间,在那些无法付诸行动,也不懂得让这种积极能量保持流动的人身上进行投入。

当有许多追求成长的朋友时,你便不会对自己的成长追求有太多疑虑。其他很多人都在帮你验证这条成长之路的好处。你将收获众多积极鼓励和支持。这些朋友会经常与你交流,以便看你是否仍走在正确轨道上。他们将关心你所致力于的事业,而且也想从你那里学习。

生活也变得挣扎更少。当你感到受挫失落,人们会重新扶你起身。当你看到新的目标,他们就将分享各种线索和资源,为你指引正确方向。你不必全靠自己解决每个问题。有时甚至在碰上问题陷阱前,那些朋友便会帮你避开它们。

当你有了追求成长的社交圈,它还会导向与更多志同道合者的交往联系,甚至在你旅行时也是如此。随着这个社交圈不断拓展,无论你走到哪里,它都会变成你和聪明智慧,追求成长的人们交往联系的资源。我目前在卡尔加里(加拿大西南部城市),自己只是第二次来到此地。在一次长达数小时的早餐期间,我便和几位人士享受了一次关于主观现实的兴奋讨论。今晚我会和其他一些朋友外出用餐,大家还将进行一次视频采访。这类交往联系全都发生得毫不费力,即使当自己前往一个从未去过的新城市时,也是如此。一旦你和追求成长的人们有了足够大的社交网络,无论前往哪里,都能用它结识新朋友,建立新交往关系。我认为有此结果的部分原因,并非源于社交网络本身,而是我们对拥有追求成长朋友的个人期待。你自动期望拥有那种社交体验,于是你便这样做了。

当然,拥有好朋友时,我们还能获得随之而来的基本好处 — 这些朋友将喜欢你本来的样子。你会有一起共度时光,分享欢笑,拥抱依偎,以及做更多美好事情的人士。但与必须戴上社交面具,或隐藏自己的部分个性不同,你在和这些朋友交往时,还能探讨对自己真正重要的所有事情。你可以和他们谈论人生目的,现实本质,高效技巧,以及自己所有的美妙成长追求。

这些肯定是让人无比欣喜的好处。那么你如何才能获得追求成长的朋友?

做名给予者

吸引追求成长社交圈的最佳方式之一,就是向世界证明你是追求成长之人。而做到此事的一个好方法,便是帮助他人成长。不要只是专注于自己的成长。也请在帮助他人上投入些时间和精力。这种做法能迅速转变你的社交圈。

自己迷上个人成长的头几年里,它在很大程度上都是种私下追求。那几年期间,我读过数百本书籍,参加过培训班,练习过各种技能,写过使命宣言,分析了自己的过去,等等等等。我进行了大量内部提升工作。自己偶尔帮过别人,但只是在很小规模上,比如通过网上论坛或回复电邮的方式。我并未付出任何明显努力,去把帮助他人成长作为自己生活方式的常规部分。

大多数时候,我在自己的社交圈里仍是个怪胎。我经常感到比周围的人们更雄心勃勃。我缺少能为自己指引前路的导师。我辛苦工作,试图做出个人能做出的最好决定,但自己还是陷入大量挣扎,尤其是在生意事业上。由于积累了太多债务,我在1999年不得不申请破产。

那段经历为我带来了一种非常开放的思维心态。变得破产其实是种解脱,它给了我一个全新开始。我依然热爱做名创业者,但自己知道,不能再像此前五年那样过完接下来的五年。我对个人旧观念发起挑战,开始探索并试验各种不同想法。我认为自己已经没有什么好损失的,因为我的旧做法明显不管用。

其中一个试验便让我导向在本地贸易协会里提供志愿服务,写作分享文章,并主动帮助他人。后来我为独立游戏开发者们创建了一个免费论坛。自己也开始在各种大会上进行演讲,分享有用的想法点子。我从私下致力于个人成长,转变到尝试公开提供更多帮助。当这样做时,我的生活发生了巨大变化。自己的生意也终于开始好转起来。

不到一两年,我的生活中便充满追求成长的朋友。这一切都是从努力帮助他人成长开始。

从1999到2004年,我做了大量服务他人的工作。这最终引导我在2004年创建了自己的博客网站。我的博客从一开始就大受欢迎,但许多人并未意识到,我五年前已经开始为此刻努力付出。在第一篇博客文章发出前,我已在其他网站上发表过文章,吸引了成千上万读者。所以当自己终于做出转变时,便在新事业方向上收获了大量积极正面的社交支持。那些社交支持也让我的转变轻松容易了许多。

不过我仍有些社交上的拖累。许多游戏开发者和软件开发者认为个人成长领域很低劣,所以当我决定创建个人发展博客时,一些人觉得这是有疑问的转变。然而同样是那些批评者,也热爱致力于自己的个人成长。他们只是没给那些努力付出贴上这种标签。他们更喜欢像接受教育,技能建设,活力社交,以及量化自我之类的标签。某个标签听起来越适合机器人,这些人似乎就越喜欢。但那些标签不过是个人成长的不同叫法而已。

但这种社交拖累无关紧要,因为我还有许多积极正面的社交支持。获取那些积极的社交支持,应当是你想要自己专注的地方。若你试图说服消极负面的人们赞同自己,便会浪费大量个人精力,很可能还收效甚微。若有人每周都在你面前晃悠,不断搅起你的自我怀疑,或持续不停地对你发出抱怨牢骚,那么不管采用什么方式,请对那些明显和自己目标不一致的交往关系放手。和纠结于那些无法给予你所需支持的社交关系相比,专注于增添积极正面的社交支持,通常是更有成效的做法。

解决忠诚问题

忠诚问题又该怎么办?我们难道不应忠诚于已经拥有的朋友,即使对方无法支持我们追求成长的发展方向吗?

似乎只有那些正被消极负面的社交圈拖累的人们,喜欢提出忠诚问题。已经沉浸在积极正面社交支持里的人们,似乎从来不会操心忠诚问题。你认为这是什么原因?

忠诚是种强迫性的义务。这个名词本身就那些依附性极强的人们基于恐惧,用来强化现有交往关系的陷阱。真诚的交往关系是基于共同利益做出的自主选择,而非通过义务思维强化得来。

你想让自己的朋友和感情伴侣,从义务感出发而依附于你吗?那是你所渴望的忠诚类型吗?若非如此,那就别在其他任何人面前成为这样一位朋友或伴侣。请对你的最佳自我保持忠诚和真实,寻找那些与你最佳自我和谐一致的感情关系。对你自己的价值观保持忠诚,也让其他人对他们的价值观保持忠诚。请寻找那些对自身价值观,会比对你更加忠诚的人们,和他们建立交往关系。那些把与你之间的交往关系,放在自身最高和最优价值观之前的人们,反正也不是你能信任的对象。

我们在此得出的一个重要推论,就是你要弄清对自己最为重要的价值观,尽个人最大努力在生活中与它们保持和谐一致。若你珍视成长的价值,就请毫无羞耻地追求成长。不要隐藏自己最神圣的价值观。让这个世界看到你本来的样子。不然还有什么办法,能让追求成长的人们辨认出你?

追求成长的人们也在寻找你

世上有很多追求成长的人士,但若你不公开表明自己是其中一员,便很难看出他们的存在。若你总在隐蔽处致力于个人成长,这些人也将很难发现你。你看起来只会像另一具行尸走肉。你需要为这些人提供辨认出你的方式。即使只有一位这样的人发现了你,他们的一次邀请就能帮你打开追求成长朋友们的整个社交网络。

当开始公开表明自己是其中一员后,我对其他追求成长的人们能如此快速地流入自己生活,便感到震惊不已。那个发生过程,是从我在软件行业的新闻邮件中发布了自己第一篇文章开始。我的电邮地址附注在署名信息里,有几人回信分享了读后反馈和感谢。随着自己在这条道路上继续前进,出现了一种滚雪球的效应。我通过公开写作越多表达个人价值观,就有越多志同道合的人们辨认出我,并主动提出建立某种交往联系。

若你是与追求成长的朋友们有着丰富和活力社交网络的追求成长之人,无意发现了一个志同道合之士,对方看起来孤独一人,在很大程度上并未意识到拥有像你这样的社交网络时,生活可以变成什么样子,此时你会做什么?你将保持沉默,让对方继续陷于挣扎,还是会主动接触,向对方提出某种社交邀请?

这里有点反直觉的观点是,若你想让自己收获这种邀请,就得寻求变成那种会主动帮助他人的人士。你今天便能开始这样做。这也许是你可以做出的最有效改变,从而展示自己会是追求成长朋友圈的良好匹配对象。

否则,若你相信自己现在无法帮助任何人,那么明年你很可能会相信同样的事情,而且年复一年,都是如此。追求成长的人们将继续忽视你,因为你看起来显得太专注于自我,无法成为他们的良好匹配对象。这是由于在一个充满给予者的社交网络中,个人成长会更容易和更快地获得实现。你在某个社交网络中见到的给予者和贡献者越多,所有人成长得就越快。所以对这些社交网络而言,排斥那些看起来只关心自己的非给予者,就是常识做法,因为接纳他们只会弱化积极能量的流动。

现在开始给予

以自己感觉美好的方式去给予十分重要。若你做得过于自我牺牲,或感觉自己付出的努力并未得到欣赏感激,给予做法就不会管用。你可能需要通过一些试验,才能找到正确的给予方式。

我喜爱写作。对自己来说,写作就像一种冥想。把写作与互联网生意结合在一起,就是我向外给予的绝佳出口。但对其他人而言,这种做法可能就不太适合。如果写作让你感到痛苦,你也许更喜欢其他贡献方式,比如一对一帮助他人,提供志愿服务,录制音频或视频,创建论坛,或举办见面会团体等。请不用觉得自己必须要复制其他某个人的做法。

请意识到你不必成为专家才能去给予。我写作关于商业成功的文章时,自己的生意甚至还经营不佳。我会和生意经营良好的人们交谈,并把他们的习惯和策略与经营不佳的人们进行对比。写作那些文章,也是为自己编纂整理这些知识的绝佳方式。通过公开分享那些想法点子,我能收到各种反馈意见,从而帮助完善它们。我还收到来自人们的许多鼓励,他们在生意上应用这些点子后,获得了良好结果。我不必去假装比真实的自己更为成功。我也能编辑整理其他人的经验教训并公开分享。许多成功的博客和播客作者都是从这种做法起步。

有时只是分享某个简单的建议或观察结果,你就能给其他人的生活带来显著变化。例如,我观察到那些财务状况良好的独立软件开发者们,经常会在市场营销上花费大概50%的个人时间。而财务表现不佳的开发者们,在市场营销上所花的时间通常不到20%(一般少于5%)。许多在生意上表现不佳的开发者,在技术方面能力高超,但他们并未投入太多努力去学习市场营销和销售。只是通过分享这种简单的观察结果,一些开发者便转变了他们分配个人时间的做法,而且在销售结果上看到迅速增长。我也在自己的电脑游戏生意上应用了这个经验,并看到明显成果。

你可以通过做名好的倾听者,并付出认真关注,来成为一名权威人士。你可以进行调查研究并分享自己学习了解的内容。你可以自行完成各种试验并分享试验结果。若你不断去做这种事情,终将成为自己领域里的专家,而且会吸引许多聪明智慧,追求成长的朋友。

请别以为你必须首先私下做成一个大项目,才有权利去帮助人们。你可以从今天开始,就找到一个帮助他人的方式。请直接前往某个论坛或见面会团体,从你能给予的地方开始提供帮助。

请用自己感觉美好的方式持续性地给予,但不要变成一个取悦他人者,对别人的所有小要求都想满足。取悦他人者会在不被欣赏感激的低价值给予行为上浪费精力,而非寻找那些富于意义,能成就和提振他人的贡献行为。他们会在各种琐碎事物上分心费神,而非专心种植丰硕果实。

随着时间过去,在决定自己给予对象和给予方式上的挑战会变得越来越难。你给予得越多,就将吸引到更多给予机会。最终你需要回绝某些美妙的社交邀请。尤其是今年,我就不得不拒绝一些自己以往会欣然接受的社交邀请,这样我才能专注于那些让自己感觉最和谐一致的贡献做法。为追求某种更好的事物,而拒绝那些挺好的事物从来都不轻松容易。

在所做贡献上保持专注也有社交方面的原因。当你吸引了许多追求成长的朋友后,接下来的挑战就是去吸引那些和你最大目标保持强烈一致的朋友。否则你可能发现自己正被各种社交力量拉扯到太多不同方向。拥有追求成长且兴趣广泛的众多朋友,在一段时间内可能令人兴奋,但最终你会想要某些能帮自己专注于最大和最重要目标的友谊关系。

更多给予和更快成长

请一定让你的给予行为也和自己的个人成长保持和谐一致。

请确保你的给予行为能持续给自己带来成长和进步感。别让你的贡献出口变得停滞不前。不断提升自己面对的挑战水平。例如,我以前每年会写作大概5篇文章,开始写博客后,每年平均会写大概100篇文章。自己在2004年能做7分钟的演讲,到了2009年,则能完成为期3天的工作坊。若你不断提升挑战水平,以跟上自己的成长步伐,就较少可能在生活中感到厌烦或退缩。

请不断提升你的贡献标准。通过更深入的帮助形式,为更多人提供帮助的做法,寻求让自己变得对人们越来越有助益。主动寻找能提升个人贡献深度与广度的机会。不要安于已有成就。

你在做出贡献上变得越雄心勃勃,就会吸引越多志同道合的人们,他们能在你以后付诸的行动步骤上提供鼓励和支持。

这种做法将帮你超越各种社交拖累因素给自己造成的限制,实现更深远的进步。你将遇见和你在做的事情有着强烈共鸣,想要看到你成功的人们。

当你看到自己获得的社交支持正在干涸 — 这种事情不时会发生 — 那就表明是时候提升你的服务标准。也许你需要通过做些更雄心勃勃和令人兴奋的事情,来提升贡献标准。或者你可能需要整体上转变提供的服务类型,从而再次找到富有意义和满足人生目的的甜美地带。

发出邀请

对于建立一个兴盛的社交圈,我最后的建议就是在发出邀请上要积极主动。请别等着别人来到你的面前,除非你想让自己的社交生活变成荒漠。当你发现某位追求成长的人士,自己也想和对方成为朋友,就请发出邀请。

此外,请让人们能轻松容易地和你交往联系,尤其是进行面对面的交往。我做到此事的一种方法,就是在个人网站上添加了“亲自见面”网页。我还添加了“亲自见面常见问题”网页,以便让那些可能感觉有点社交不适的人们能更轻松容易地和我交往。我会尽最大努力,让他们感到放心,预想能得到温暖友好的招待。我平均每月会有几次这样的见面活动。我还在网页中附上地图,注明自己经常和人见面的星巴克咖啡店地址。若对去往相同地点太多次感到厌烦,我偶尔还会转换到不同地点。关键就是减少不必要的阻力,让志趣相投的人们更容易进行交往。这些见面活动也帮我把自己在网上从事的工作,与受其影响的真实人们连接起来。

你上次邀请一位追求成长的朋友共享美餐是什么时候?发封电邮只需花上一分钟。但若你养成这样做的习惯,它就意味着有了与志趣相投的人们面对面交往的更多时间。它还意味着你将收获更多社交邀请。

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要想建立一个强大的友谊网络,请寻求让自己变成明显匹配这种社交网络的那类人士。做名给予者。为他人生活做出积极正面的贡献。分享自己一路所学。寻找不同方式,持续性地深化和拓展自己所做的贡献。公开表达你的价值观。不要隐藏自己。通过正确人士的一次社交邀请,你便有收获他们整个好友网络的潜在可能,所以请尽自己所能,让这样的人士轻松辨认出你。也请成为致力于帮助其他追求成长的人们,实现提升的那种人士。

查看原文:

https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2017/03/attract-growth-oriented-friends/