🌱 Here’s How To Grow In Life

🌱 Here’s How To Grow In Life

July 7, 2021

In the picture below… you’ll notice 2 powerful universal patterns:

1. Network Effect (the dotted spiderweb-looking thing)

2. Exponential Growth (the slow general trend upwards toward an explosive breakthrough)

I haven’t seen these two patterns put together like this… but I think they belong together…

And it has everything to do with creating the results you want to experience in life.

Let’s start with the Network Effect.

Networks are EVERYWHERE…

A network is a bunch of nodes (the dots) connected to each other (the lines)… either directly, or by association…

  • Your body is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that all communicate to nourish & protect each other
  • Get a bird’s eye view of a big city… and you see a network of buildings, roads, and highways… where cars — like blood cells traveling through arteries — make their way around
  • Your friends & family are a network. Some people are “super connectors” that seem to know everyone… some operate on the outside with little contact or connections (By the way, that’s why they call it “making a connection with someone”)
  • Computers make up a network. Each computer is a node and is usually connected by the internet
  • And take a look at the deep pictures of outer space… you’ll see the same thing… different solar systems connected by highways of galaxies

So you get the point: You can see this same pattern emerge in complex systems.

As as you’ll notice, the nodes can be different each time…

Sometimes they’re computers… sometimes people… entire planets.

WEAK nodes without connections are at risk of dying off…

Which is why in hunter/gatherer times — when falling behind or faced with abandonment — people would do ANYTHING they could to stay with the tribe…

…or else risk death.

And a STRONG network (with many thriving, well-connected nodes) is hard to kill off…

That’s why it’s hard to regulate the internet (and blockchain)…

It’s why social media companies wield so much influence with their massive user bases…

And it’s why it’s hard to “cancel” or ruin someone who has a powerful network of friends/supporters.

Even the brain itself — which you are using right now to read & interpret these very words — is physically structured like a network.

That’s why memorizing a list of random trivia for school tests is usually NOT a great way to learn…

If you were only designed to remember facts or lists of rules (like a computer does)…

Then maybe your brain would look more like a grocery list… or some biblical stone tablets…

But it doesn’t.

The brain is a creative machine that unleashes its full potential when it’s making new connections between ideas (nodes)… ideas that might seem totally unrelated.

And the driving force behind making those connections is curiosity.

You can’t control what you are curious about…

So in a way, curiosity is your subconscious sending you secret messages about how to create a thriving network between your ears.

But networks are something that grow outwardly in all directions…

So it’s also important to add a little focus & direction into the mix.

That’s where exponential growth comes in.

If you look up the stock chart of any WILDLY successful company…

You’ll always see a pattern of exponential growth.

For a while, it seems like nothing is happening…

Then… almost out of nowhere… BOOM.

Growth shoots upward exponentially (forming a pattern that looks like a “hockey stick”).

Amazon’s stock price didn’t break over $99 for 12 years… today it’s worth nearly $4,000.

But this is NOT just about the growth of companies…

It’s about ALL growth.

As I realized from the book “The Slight Edge” (recommended by an entrepreneur friend of mine) and from Sam Ovens’ YouTube Channel…

It’s like an invisible law of the universe.

It applies to personal growth… professional growth… physical growth… etc

And nearly everything that grows takes time… care… and — because the growth is nearly invisible for most of the time — faith.

  • Before a seed can sprout into a huge tree… it spends its time growing roots, feeding off water, sunlight, & soil in the environment…
  • A child won’t realize his/her full adult potential for decades… and until they do, they need love, care, and support from people around them…
  • And it’s estimated that the worldwide human population was only 2.4 million people in 10,000 BC… Today there’s nearly 8 BILLION people… with most of that growth coming from the last 200 years… All as a result of humans creating a strong worldwide network of cooperation & technology

So, if you draw these examples of growth on a chart… you’ll just see one simple line.

But that’s where exponential growth & network effect can tell the entire story together…

Because if you “look under the hood” of growth (or success)…

You’ll see that it was the result of ever-strengthening networks.

If you’ve ever had a breakthrough moment where “everything finally made sense.”

Then you know what I’m talking about.

That moment of growth is a moment when all of your experiences… bits of knowledge… relationships… COMBINE to give you a fuller picture of reality (and your place in it).

In other words, all your “nodes” connected in a new way that allowed for insight and breakthrough.

This could definitely happen as a result of wandering curiosity… where you’re trusting your subconscious to guide you…

But that’s probably more useful in the realm of personal growth… rather than trying to grow something more rooted in the physical world… like a business.

Everyone says you should “grow your network.”

But if you don’t have an idea of what you want to accomplish… or what business you want to be in…

Then you won’t be able to focus on making intentional connections with a specific group of people who can help you create results faster.

And if/when you leverage your own professional success into a business that grows into its own entity/ecosystem…

The resulting network growth comes from a base of happy customers/clients who REFER others to you… and the increase of resources that allows the business to go out and CREATE new customers, too.

So, creating a path for yourself… and making connections between your nodes… will allow these 2 secret universal patterns to map themselves onto your life.

Then, you just have to hang on for the wild ride.

© 2020 – Michael J. McGovern

Total Freedom & Zero Taxes? [#1 – Michael Exploring]

Total Freedom & Zero Taxes? [#1 – Michael Exploring]

April 29, 2021

 

If you want to (1) have more freedom, (2) keep more of your own money, and/or (3) travel the world as an “international man/woman of mystery…”

Then you need to check out my conversation with expert on globalization for entrepreneurs, Bobby Casey. Since 2008, Bobby has helped location-independent businesspeople diversify themselves around the world so that they can minimize taxes, protect their assets, and enjoy life more.

 

Blog Photo by Ishan @seefromthesky on Unsplash

© 2020 – Michael J. McGovern

The Most Terrifying Night of My Life

On the most terrifying night of my life… I woke up with one thought that punched me in the gut:
 
“Oh my god… I’m a psychopath.”
 
This is a story I thought I would NEVER share…
 
Because at the time… I was afraid that if people knew what I was thinking…
 
I would be cast out… shamed… avoided…
 
And I still have traces of that feeling…
 
But I think this is important — because I would have liked to read more stuff like this while going through dark times.
 
In the middle of my self-implosion in Los Angeles…
 
I had such a strong ego investment in the idea of becoming a Hollywood filmmaker…
 
That when that dream started to slip…
 
So did my feeling of self-worth.
 
I started to question all my past decisions… and who I was as a person.
 
I had relied on the support of others to help make this dream come true…
 
And now I had NOTHING to show for it.
 
This sent me on a downward spiral of negativity…
 
And even though I NEVER had a real serious thought about taking my life…
 
I came across Tim Ferriss’s famous blog post about his struggle with depression & suicidal thoughts…
 
And for the first time, I could at least get an idea of that type of mental pain.
 
When the mind turns against itself…
 
Thoughts of worthlessness rush in…
 
You might feel you are a burden to those around you…
 
Or that you cannot pull yourself out of the pool of shame & guilt of past mistakes or traumas…
 
You might feel like everything is empty…
 
Some people do not survive this process.
 
For others, this pain can be an entry point into a rabbit hole of truth-seeking…
 
And things can get even darker before they get better.
 
You’ll eventually bump up against ideas like determinism (that there is no free will)…
 
Or the dread of nihilism (that nothing matters and there is no meaning in life, including morality)…
 
And finally… you’ll likely endure the confusion & resentment of realizing that nearly everyone around you has (knowingly or unknowingly) kept deep truths about life hidden from you…
 
But for me, there was there was a light at the end of the tunnel…
 
While I had given myself a hypochondriac-like mental diagnosis from a few Google searches of psychopathic traits…
 
What I didn’t know at the time… was that it was the beginning of a normal process that psychologist Carl Jung called:
 
Integrating the shadow.
 
It’s when you begin to consider the idea that maybe… just maybe… you are not the good little boy or girl that you think you are…
 
When you watch movies… you stop automatically identifying with the hero… and can finally empathize with the villain’s point of view…
 
And you realize that you have the potential to be the hero OR the villain of your life’s story— that you are capable of doing good AND bad things.
 
At the time, I confessed to someone close to me:
 
“What if I am a narcissist? Maybe I am a psychopath?”
 
The idea left me paralyzed with fear and shame.
 
But they told me:
 
“The fact that you are so worried about it shows that you are not… “
 
And to help me get out of my own head, they added:
 
“Think about this: You are the universe experiencing itself.”
 
I don’t know where things would have gone had it not been for this simple conversation…
 
And it was a relief to the loneliness that I had been feeling.
 
Which – looking back – made sense in the context of the famous Jung quote:
 
“Loneliness does not come from having no people [around], but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.”
 
When you finally make this darkness conscious…
 
You’ll also realize that the world’s most popular stories deal with this idea…
  • The dark side in Star Wars…
  • The “dark arts” in Harry Potter
  • The ring of power in Lord of the Rings…

And you know what’s interesting about these stories?

The main character is always the one who knows both the light & the dark, intimately.
 
They understand that the dark has its place… and so does the light… in the balance of the universe…
 
As Russian author, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, once said:
 
“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
 
This process is a good & necessary step towards self-actualization for everyone…
 
And it holds a special place for me when I think of all the young men today who have been taught to be “nice.”
 
The idea of embracing anger can be scary… because it is not easily controlled in the beginning… and it’s not a socially acceptable emotion…
 
But I believe that building a thoughtful relationship with ALL of your emotions is crucial to a fulfilled life.
 
As people develop a healthy sense of individuality and personal boundaries…
 
They also inevitably run the risk of getting called “selfish” or “narcissistic” by people who were previously benefiting from their old people-pleasing ways…
 
This is often simply a psychological projection that’s designed to protect their egos when someone else’s growth challenges their own lack of progress.
 
The trippy part? You might even put those labels on yourself as the “old you” struggles to hang on in the face of growth.
 
It’s in moments like these that you’ll have an opportunity to accept yourself — and acknowledge that you need to “fill your own cup” BEFORE you can spill into others’.
 
You can be at peace with your past and embrace the self-love & joy of becoming a more real human being.
 
When the time comes, you’ll know exactly what you need to do…
 
You’ll know what you need to say, and who you need to say it to.
 
Is this process neat, tidy, and easy?
 
I’ll let you decide that…
 
But I hope you know that you can step out of the mud… and rebirth into something new.

Don’t Worry About Forgetting What You Read

Don’t Worry About Forgetting What You Read

December 21, 2020
Are you worried about forgetting the things you read?
 
Don’t be.
 
As a human being, your power doesn’t come from your ability to memorize things & then spit them back out, word-for-word…
 
Your power comes from your creativity.
 
And part of unleashing your creative power is by “connecting” different ideas in your head.
 
In the same way that a bodybuilder combines different workouts over time to create a strong body…
 
Every book you read… YouTube video you watch… deep conversation you have…
 
This all leads to a strong mind that is able to connect different ideas in new ways.
 
It’s not about remembering all of the little details… it’s about understanding how everything in the universe relates to each other.
 
You get to compare your reality with the reality of others.
 
Find out what is the same… what is different… what two ideas can be combined to create something new and fresh.
 
That’s why our physical brain looks like a giant network… where the “nodes” of the network make unique connections with each other.
 
If life was about memorizing things… our brain would look more like one big, long grocery list…
 
But it doesn’t.
 
So, there’s not a big need to memorize things.
 
Follow your curiosity…
 
Allow your mind the freedom & fun of doing what it does best…
 
And unleash your creative power as a human.
 
 
Photo from Vanity Fair

© 2020 – Michael J. McGovern

Are you Grabbing At Smoke?

Are you Grabbing At Smoke?

October 26, 2020
đź’¨ Are you grabbing at smoke?
 
Things like schools, churches, and political organizations try to grab at “smoke” every day…
 
  • Schools try to grab at the act of learning…
  • Churches try to grab at spiritual experiences…
  • Political organizations try to grab at the feelings of belonging…
The sad irony is that these institutions can end up damaging the very thing they claim to deliver…
 
The reality is that deep and incredible human experiences are simply that… experiences…
 
They are fleeting… emotional… indescribable…
 
They come and go like smoke…
 
People grow up hating school, so miss out on the joy of truly learning…
 
They become bitter about a church… and shut themselves off to spiritual experiences…
 
They throw themselves into political movements… and are distracted from building real human connections…
 
These moments do not belong to anyone else…
 
They are yours — and yours alone — to seek out and experience…
 
You don’t need anyone else’s permission to do so.
 
And instead of trying to hold on tight to them…
 
You might find that just experiencing them for a brief moment is enough.
 
———-
 
Blog Post Photo by Gabriel Ramos on Unsplash

© 2020 – Michael J. McGovern