NEW Rules of Interdependence: Lessons for Living in a Connected World
To celebrate Independence Day #236, I wrote 21 lessons I’ve learned about living in a connected world. In the spirit of freedom and playing The NEW Game, I share these NEW Rules of Interdependence:
1. “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.” The Beatles were prophets. This line from “I Am the Walrus” sums up living in a connected world. Global is the game. Interdependence is its name. Nationality gives way to commonality. What I do to you, I do to me. What I do to me, I do to you. We are in different bodies, but there is no separation between us. Separation is an illusion. We need each other to survive and thrive. Nobody is redundant. Each of us is necessary and as valuable as the next. There is no “us vs. them” in an interdependent game. We are in this together. You are as worthy, entitled and deserving of love, life and a lifestyle you desire as I am. To actualize your best life, embrace and practice interdependence. Start NOW!
2. Interdependence looks a lot like dependence. Thomas Jefferson said, “Dependence begets subservience and venality.” If you’re not sure if a relationship is dependent or interdependent, here’s a simple equation I use to tell the difference:
Interdependence… 1 + 1 = ∞
Dependence… 1 – 1 = 0
Interdependence leads upward to multiplication and infinite possibility.
Dependence spirals downward to division and diminished capability.
Use the 1 + 1 = ∞ equation to transform your relationships and your life from dependence to interdependence.
3. Consciousness, compassion and collaboration are transforming capitalism. Competition is a dinosaur game. The NEW Game of Business™ is conscious, compassionate and collaborative. It’s a rise of enlightened free enterprise. The new bottom line is not one but three: people, planet and profit. Real game changers know that the highest profit comes from serving people and loving the planet. That’s why “highest and best” is NEW spiritual economics. Conscious, compassionate, collaborative capitalism is the business game of choice. Jump on the field and into the NEW game with both feet.
4. Expand your mind from paradigm to paradox. Stephen Covey made “paradigm” a household word. It’s easy to get stuck inside my way of seeing, hold on to my point of view or put a lock box around my frame of reference. When paradigms collide, destruction usually follows. The world has shifted from the fixed view of a paradigm to living with the opposites of paradox. Go beyond either/or thinking and embrace “both/and” thinking. Instead of one or the other, opposites can both be “right” depending on the context. Hot and cold are both “right” depending on what you need at the time. The world is full
of paradox. Beware the paradox of perfection. My friend Harvey Schoof 20 years ago revealed a paradox that rocked my world:
“They told us we’re supposed to be perfect, but it’s not OK to think we’re good.”
Does that hit home with you? Examine your paradigms and challenge your beliefs. Accept that opposites can both be right. Expand your mind from paradigm to paradox.
5. Put humanity above vanity and insanity. Since 600 B.C, only two times has there been as long as a 72-year period of peace. Emperor Asoka did it with friendship and constructive reforms. He didn’t destroy. He built… highways, schools, temples, bridges, museums, trees and everything people needed to live peacefully. Imagine how rich and debt free we would be if we invested to build and heal instead of kill and destroy? Asoka showed us the way.
Somebody somewhere is always fighting with someone for power and control. Is this the human condition? It’s our biggest test. We have elevated the insanity of war and the vanity of power above the humanity of life. We cannot deny we are
the world’s worst destructive force and killing machine. We’re also the world’s most generous philanthropists. Talk about paradox? If there is ever a day to look in the national mirror, it’s today. Politicians spend our blood and treasure like a gang of crack addicts with a trillion dollar cash stash. We are not free if insanity and vanity rule humanity. We must elevate love and serve above obey. If you’re going to obey, obey your conscience. Hold your autonomy above their authority. Humanity is the essence of who we are. It’s the source of freedom and the foundation of interdependence. Put humanity above vanity and insanity.
6. So let’s make peace not war. Thomas Jefferson again, “Conquest is not in our principles. It is inconsistent with our government.“ On this Independence Day we are fighting in at least two foreign countries and at war with a dozen or more “enemies” at home like terror, cancer, drugs, crime, poverty, and so on. The media wants us to actually believe there’s a war on Christmas. We’re at war with ourselves, inside and out. Our wars on everything are bankrupting us economically, emotionally and spiritually. We cannot afford war any more. We are war weary. It’s time to declare peace. People in other countries are not my enemies. They are my family, friends, customers and trading partners. We want to serve each other, not harm each other.
Why do we allow a small band of bandits who thrive and profit from never ending war to dictate the terms of the game? Might doesn’t make right. Right makes might. There is nothing righteous about training our kids to be killers. What is moral about exporting soldiers instead of scholars? It’s time we come to grips with our “ethos of war” or we will never be who we can really be. When we become that which we seek to destroy, we will destroy everything. It’s time we find the way to peace so we don’t sentence our children to a financial, environmental and spiritual wasteland. Start with you. Move out from there. Make peace, not war.
7. True wealth is not measured in net worth. Real wealth is measured by how often you say and hear, “I love you.” No words are sweeter to hear or to say than “I love you.” Be a love machine and the world is your playground. My last words will be, “I love you!”
8. Get clear on these three things and tell everyone:
1. What do I want?
2. Why do I want it?
3. Who has it or can help me get it?
9. Go DOINK™. What are you aiming at? Where is the target? Stop wasting shots aiming at a moving target from a mile away with a blindfold on. Walk up and “Go DOINK” into the center of the bulls-eye.
Listen to our “Go DOINK” podcast at http://mitchaxelrod.com/new-business/godoink
10. Throw the box away. In the NEW World there are no boxes, no borders, and no boundaries. Artificial, arbitrary or imaginary lines do not hem you in. What you seek is not inside or outside the box. Throw the box away. Clean your slate every day. With seven billion people to choose from, there is somebody out there who can help you get what you want and find whom you’re looking for. Go back to #8 and tell everyone what you want, why you want it and who you’re looking for. Throw the box away. Set up the game for you to win.
11. Think in 3D and harness the “Power of 3’s.” I’m such a big fan of 3D thinking that I framed out 33 triads for a book on, “The Power of 3’s.” Think 3D. Think triangulation. In every area of life where two people face a problem or opportunity, a third party or third person can often find or be the solution. Which third party or what third person can help you close your loop and bring you what you want?
12. Freedom IS free. Here’s a paradox for you: “Freedom isn’t free!” How can freedom not be free? It’s in the word. We are born free. Why would we have to fight for freedom? Freedom is a human right, unalienable according to the Declaration of Independence. Yet from birth to death, our freedom is taken away. Something is controlling you and someone is limiting your freedom. True freedom is choosing your life and not having anyone or anything shackle you.
Freedom is free, but people who gain from controlling and suppressing freedom condition us to believe we must fight for it. We bought the lie that “Freedom isn’t free” from the propagandists who profit greatly from the fight. It’s a costly mistake to believe we must continue to fight for freedom. Gandhi proved otherwise. Asoka created 72 years of peace. Reject the lie and accept the truth: Freedom IS free. There’s no paradox here. Obedience is the greatest sin. Stand up for your freedom.
13. Let go of attachment to everything and everyone. We are all Velcro babies. We’re attached to someone or something. Do we ever completely cut the umbilical cord? Attachment creates suffering. Impermanence is a core Buddhist principle. Everything and everyone is impermanent. One of my biggest fears was losing someone I love. Then I lost a dozen friends and family from 2001 through 2006. I still wrestle with attachment. Detachment is one of the hardest states to achieve. Hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible. I’m getting better. Who and what are you attached to, the release of which will set you free? Let go.
14. Win the battle between fear and love. DaVinci said, “Simplicity is the greatest sophistication.” But simple is not often easy. Nothing is simpler than choosing love over fear. Yet how much do we suffer when we choose fear over love? Everything ego, including the seven deadly sins is lizard brain food. At the root of pride, envy, wrath, gluttony, lust, sloth and greed is the fear of not enough. I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, I’m not strong enough, I don’t do enough, I don’t have enough, I’m not worth enough, I’m not worthy enough. It’s hard to come from love all the time. What matters is to return to love all the time. There is a loving solution to every problem. Find it.
15. Highest and best is the highest and best. You can get what you want more easily by knowing what is highest and best for you. Highest and best is not MOST. Most is a game of how much. Highest and best is a game of how good. In compromise everyone settles for less. In highest and best everyone gets the best. Ask, “What’s the highest and best game we can play?”
16. Say, “I’m sorry” quickly. Making a mistake, saying something hurtful, being out of line, doing something you regret are all part of the human experience. We are imperfect beings. These hurts can all be healed with two words (if you mean them): “I’m sorry.” Pride hurts everyone it touches and causes more suffering with each day that passes. Time to stop and start again. Say I’m sorry.
17. Be the best giver you can be. I always know when I’m giving in the spirit of love: I expect nothing in return. Giving to get is not the same as giving to give. Reciprocity is a smart marketing strategy, and a strong influence principle. It’s not a way of being. Expecting anything from anyone usually leads to upset, frustration and heartbreak when the love is not returned. When you give from the joy of giving, you’re expressing love. The gift is in the giving. Be the best giver you can be.
18. Be the best getter you can be. Being the best giver you can be is only “1” half of the 1 + 1 = ∞ formula. The other “1” is you. It’s just as important to be the best getter you can be. To achieve highest and best for ALL means YOU must also be a good receiver. If don’t receive well you will feel life is slighting you. You will reinforce “lack” thinking that you do not deserve to be, do and have the best. Conditioning and beliefs make it hard to receive and accept. Extreme takers give getting a bad name. In a “highest and best” game both parties win by giving the most and getting the most. Giving the best and getting the best is playing the NEW game of spiritual economics. Be the best getter you can be.
19. Your team is as important as your talent. Assembling your team is basic training for interdependence. Your talent can take you far. A spirited, supportive and complementary team can carry you anywhere you want to go. It’s also good to have a strong “bench” of role players and part timers. Teams are constantly changing. Which players will you recruit? Who will you trade or let go? Assemble your team. Surround yourself with the best players you can find.
20. PRESS your capital and maximize your “soft” assets. Craps is a dice game. The croupier is the person who handles your bet. When you win the croupier asks if you want to “press” and bet your winnings or take your money off the table. So I use “PRESS” your capital as an acronym to identify your non-financial assets. You have deep, untapped wealth in your “soft” capital:
Psychic Capital – think
Relationship Capital – people
Emotional Capital – care
Social Capital – serve
Spiritual Capital – love
Here’s an easy way to remember how to PRESS your capital:
Think people who care, serve and love you.
Think people who YOU care about, serve and love.
Capitalizing your soft assets will boost your self worth and increase your net worth.
Take stock. Cash in. PRESS your capital.
21. Play your best game. If you’re not winning, maybe you’re not playing your game. Maybe you’re playing someone else’s game. Maybe you’re not playing your best position or playing to your strengths. Or, maybe it’s time to change your game. To win your interdependence, honestly assess if you’re playing a good game for you. Time passes too quickly to stay in a game you don’t enjoy. Life is not a sentence to be endured. It’s a journey to be explored. You deserve to win the game of your life. Jump on the field. I’ll meet you there.
These lessons get you thinking.
Maybe they’ll get you talking.
They just might change your life like they have mine.
Let me know. Please share your thoughts and feelings here.
Happy Interdependence Day!
You’re a player.
You CAN change the game.
I’ll meet you on the interdependence field.
Mitch, CEO – Chief Encouragement Officer
July 4, 2012