Four little words. What parent hasn’t heard those four little words from their child at some point? For a long time they’re content to let you do everything for them and then all of a sudden those four little words come up…
“I’ll do it myself!”
Typically of course, the words are often accompanied by a flood of upset and determination. Well… There goes the neighborhood.
Not that it’s a bad thing… Isn’t that the point after all? To help them to grow up to be capable? To be confident? To be independent? Aren’t these all great goals and crucial lessons to learn? I would say “yes” but there is a little caveat that comes with the attribute of independence.
You see, independence is a double edged sword. On the one hand it has us striving to be self-sufficient. It has us doing what needs to be done without relying on handouts from others. Independence is actually a GREAT quality… until it’s not.
You see, independence can bring some baggage along with it. It can bring a mindset that we are all separate. That we have to fend for ourselves because we can’t count on others. That we are alone but that’s ok because we can do it all for ourselves. That we are isolated.
While independence can cause us to dig deeply within ourselves and accomplish great things it can also cause us to miss out. We can miss out on the abundant help that surrounds us and we can also miss out on the power of working in harmony with others.
How do I know this? Well, it’s not from academic study of psychology or human nature. I know this from a lifetime of fierce independence myself. I am so independent that if I could have formed a strategy and the words I would have told the obstetrician to take a hike during my delivery! And this isn’t bad… It’s actually formed a very strong sense of determination within me which is great. But there are other times when it has had me laboring in unnecessary isolation. Times when it had me missing out on not only the skills that others might have brought to a project but also the camaraderie that comes from working in harmony with another person.
Let me give you a practical example. I train with kettlebells for exercise. It is a form of weight lifting from Russia. I decided that I wanted to do a challenging program for a month so I decided to do a swing program. Now the swing is a kettlebell exercise that swings the bell back between the legs as you hinge at the hip and then has you stand up forcefully so that the weight is propelled forward at which point you throw it back again, and again, and again…
I decided on a program that would have me doing 10,000 swings in 28 days with a 24KG (53 pound) kettlebell. Why would I do such a thing you ask? Because that’s just how I roll… Remember when I said that I had a strong sense of determination 😉
Anyway, I did a few training days to make sure that I could handle the daily volume and then I was ready, in my usual way, to go it alone. Then I remembered how Napoleon Hill taught that nobody makes it without a mastermind. There is a lot of power when people work together for a common purpose… a mastermind. I decided to find a training partner.
Could I have done the program by myself? Certainly. Am I getting more out of it by knowing that I’m not alone. Absolutely! Encouragement… Sharing training tips… Even just knowing that there is somebody else out there who is mumbling under there breath about the burning in their forearms after doing a set of 50 swings. Honestly, it helps both of us to be at our best. The same goes for masterminding the Master Key process in both forums and with partners. It helps us all to be at our best.
So what if you don’t want to do a 10,000 swing challenge? That’s fine… What challenge do you want to tackle? Do you want to pursue personal development? Do you want to learn skills for digital marketing? Do you want to launch a new business or build an existing one? We all have challenges that we are engaging.
Could you do them alone… Maybe. That would certainly be a very independent thing to do. But what if, instead, you reached out to others to create a partnership? What if you reached out to others who could be a source of support, expertise and inspiration? What if you tempered independence with cooperation… Do you think that could offer exciting new possibilities?
Search your feelings… You know it to be true.
Take it from somebody who knows. Independence is AWESOME… until it’s not. It can bring a price. It’s impossible, after all, to create harmony if you’re playing one note all alone.
Here’s to your mastermind and to your success!
PS: This post is dedicated to my wife Tara, Rex, Jim and Susan… My current mastermind partners.
PPS: Please be sure to comment if you caught the Star Wars reference.