Introduction About four years ago, after a long, satisfying career as a psychologist and psychotherapist and a few years of equally satisfying retirement, I started a new, exciting vocation in network marketing. Although I never imagined that I would have any interest in this field, I've taken to it like the proverbial duck to water and have found it to be a very rewarding, albeit quite challenging, new venue for satifying my strong need to help others.
My first few years of retirement in the wilderness of northern Minnesota (where I also grew up) were as wonderful as I had dreamed they would be. Living on the shores of a beautiful, quiet lake, much like the one that I remembered with delight from early childhood, and being surrounded by the wonders of nature provided a source of much peace and joy for me.
After savoring this wonderfully healing and restful lifestyle for about four years, however, I realized progressively that-as enjoyable as it was-it provided me with very little opportunity to be of direct service to others. I became increasingly aware that this important unmet need was much like a nutritional deficiency and I started seeking some way to satisfy it. I had no desire to resume my previous profession, however, even though I had developed many skills in helping people to live their lives more successfully.
My initiation into network marketing resulted from a dear friend introducing my wife, Mildred, and me to glyconutritional supplements. Mildred was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1983 and had struggled with chronic residual symptoms of this dreadful disease for about eighteen years. As a result of using the glyconutritional supplements over a period of about six months, however, these symptoms graduallydisappeared completely and have never come back. Needless to say, we both became passionate about these particular supplements and wanted to tell the whole world about them. So this was the strong motivating factor that launched my network marketing career.
A Surprising Discovery One of the most surprising discoveries I made as I got involved in this new venue was that this industry provides one of the most powerful forms of “psychotherapy" that I've ever come upon. It became quickly clear to me that most people will achieve a high degree of success in network marketing only if they make some very major mental and behavioral changes in themselves. More specifically, I recognized that such success demands an unusually high degree of self-esteem, optimism, commitment, fruistration tolerance, and highly dedicated perseverance, along with the deelopment of a wide range of relationship and leadership skills.
As I increasingly rubbed shoulders with some of the most successful people in this industry, I recognized that many of them had undergone some amazing personal positive transformations that went far beyond anything that I had ever witnessed during my many years as a psychotherapist. I also observed that most of the leading network marketing companies encourage and/or provide various forms of high-powered personal growth training for their distributors.
An Important Missing Ingredient Interestingly, however, this training rarely or never includes the particular mental skill called “mindfulness" that I've personally found to be invaluable in coping with the many adversities that I've encountered in this intrinsically challenging vocation. Until quite recently, it's key importance has likewise not been recognized in our society at large. This has been changing rapidly, however, since the publication of Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1990 and Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman in 1997.
Mindfulness can be defined very simply as “being aware, moment to moment , of whatever you're experiencing, without judging it. " This simple defnition, however, belies its incredible power in coping with adversity on the one hand and in savoring fully all of the joys of living on the other. It also does not adequately convey the degree of special effort and commitment that's required to develop this particular mental skill.
In order to understand what mindfulness is, it's helpful to recognize that we are all endowed with two very different mental capacities. The first of these, an intrinsic inborn capacity, is simply awareness, or what I like to call “Big Mind. " The second one, the capacity to think in words and images, develops gradually during our formative years. I like to refer to it as “Little Mind. "
As we mature, nearly all of us increasingly operate habitually out of Little Mind and actually tend to become controlled by it. That is, anyone who introspects carefully will quickly discover that s/he is engaged nearly constantly in some form of thinking during every waking momment. The vast majority of this thinking is highly automatic and tends to center around past or future events. For most people, much of it is also negative , i. e. , focused on content that is unpleasant or downright emotionally painful to some degree. By being caught up in non-stop thinking, most of us miss out on being fully present in the present moment.
Although our capacity to think sets us apart from all other species and is absolutely essential in many parts of our lives, it also has a very major downside. Litttle Mind, basically, is a wonderful servant; but, to whatever degree it takes over our lives, it becomes a very tyrannical master.
An Experiential Introduction To Mindfulness Mindfulness, then, is simply a way to shift, consciously and intentionally from Little Mind into Big Mind-i. e. , into the mind of awareness or what is sometimes called “bare attention. " In order to get a quick experiential understanding of what I mean, I invite you to stop reading at this point, close your eyes, and for the next minute focus exclusively and consistently, moment to moment, on the sounds you're hearing, without naming or judging them.
To whatever degree you were able to carry out this simple direction, you were practicing mindfulness. It's likely, however, that you found it to be quite challenging. Hopefully, this will help you to understand why some form of systematic training is essential, therefore, to reclaim your birthright to be able to shift into, and to remain in, Big Mind-the mind of awareness-at will.
In a follow-up to this article, I intend to provide some further specific guidance in how you can start developing this very simple, but wonderfully liberating skill. I guarantee that, to whatever degree you master it, you'll be much more able to cope with ALL adversities in your life-including, very importantly, those that are definitely paft of the deal in network marketing.
In the meantime, I encourage you to start reading Full Catastrophe Living, by Jon Kabat-Zinn and/or Mindfulness in Plain English, by Bhante Gunaratana.
Also, if you're interested in a great new way to build your network marketing business that entails MUCH LESS adversity than the traditional approach, I encourage you to visit my website below.
George Shears is a retired psychologist/psychotherapist and Wellness Consultant living in northern Minnesota. Due to his remote location, he has been restricted to building his network marketing business online and by phone. He is currently enjoying great success with this particular approach thanks to discovering a remarkably effective Funded Sponsoring Franchise system that allows him to promote his primary business while simultaneously generating multiple streams of additional income. His contact information is provided below.
Retired Psychologist & Wellness Consultant
Working for a World of Wellness
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