I've got another e-mail that I took the time to reply to in a video blog from the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. The other day I responded to Denise on overcoming a negative environment, where I talked about how you have to raise your standards and sometimes are required to change your peer group if you want lasting success. Today's e-mail is somewhat relevant, as I respond to Sean who recently went through my popular My Life Plan video blog, but has found himself challenged with his girlfriend rejecting his vision and plan for his life.
Watch the video below for Sean's question and my response:
Human Beings Are Afraid Of Change
We are all afraid of change. We want to stay in our comfort zone and be safe and comfortable. Our brain is programmed this way, for survival and protection. We resist change more often than not. It's completely healthy and normal. Yet, sometimes change is required if we want to live a better life and grow beyond our limits.
What Sean describes with his girlfriend is a VERY common experience, not just with a life partner, but in any relationship with a friend or family member. Most people do NOT want you to change. They like you the way you are and want to keep the current connection they have with you. When you change, it can easily make others feel inferior and insignificant. Your changes make others reflect on their own lives and can make them want to reject your change or vision, as they're afraid they might lose that connection and love they have with you.
How Do You Overcome This?
In a relationship, I believe you have to reassure the person you're with and include them in your vision. Paint that vision together and make it compelling, make it something that you BOTH want for your lives. This can often be a conflict if the person you're with doesn't want to grow or have a similar life that you desire. It's like if you're in a relationship and one person wants kids, while the other doesn't. It's going to create a conflict.
Sometimes relationships require a change because of this, if there's no alignment in values or goals. It isn't easy, but it won't be very fulfilling long-term by you having to mitigate your life goals and dreams and be forced to settle for a mediocre existence. I know that could never be me, as it's my purpose to grow and to give to others. I couldn't compromise my purpose or life that I desire for anyone. It's what I was made for.
Your Empowering Ecosystem
It's vital for your long-term success and fulfillment to be constantly surrounding yourself with those who support you and challenge you to become better. I call this your Empowering Ecosystem, which I referenced to in another video blog awhile ago. I personally don't associate with anyone that is negative or a cancer to my life. I'm only interested in surrounding myself with people that are a positive influence to my life. That doesn't mean I won't reach out to people in need or help others that are negative, I do that all the time through this blog, but I'm very cautious about associating myself closely with peers that are that way.
You need to ask yourself a few questions, especially if you're in a relationship:
- Am I aligned with the person I'm with, or people in my life?
- Are they a positive influence in my life or a negative one?
- What are the goals and vision of the people in my life? Are they aligned with yours?
Ultimately, you ideally want to surround yourself with people that are aligned, especially if it's someone you plan on spending the rest of your life with. Can you influence the person you're with to buy into your vision and dreams? I absolutely think so. And I think Sean could be successful at that with his girlfriend, as it sounds more like some fear and self-doubt on her part requiring some reassurance that they will continue to have a future together. Sometimes people are skeptical as well, which is also fear-based. Once people overcome that, as I did, they can open up many new possibilites to an incredible quality of life.
Your Purpose Must Come Before Your Relationship
In the video, I also referenced a powerful book called The Way Of The Superior Man by David Deida which all men need to read. David Deida states that men need to have a purpose in their life; a direction. Below is an excerpt from one of the chapters on how your purpose must come before your relationship.
Admit to yourself that if you had to choose one or the other, the perfect intimate relationship or achieving your highest purpose in life, you would choose to succeed at your purpose. Just this self-knowledge often relieves much pressure a man feels to prioritize his relationship when, in fact, it is not his highest priority.
Your mission is your priority. Unless you know your mission and have aligned your life to it, your core will feel empty. Your presence in the world will be weakened, as will your presence with your intimate partner. The next time you notice yourself “giving in” to your woman, postponing your mission and denying your true purpose in order to spend time with her, stop. Tell your woman that you love her, but you cannot deny your heart's purpose. Tell her that you will spend 30 minutes (or some specific time) with her in absolute attention and total presence, but then you must return to carry on your mission.
Your woman will be more fulfilled with 30 minutes a day of undivided attention and ravishing love than she will with a few hours of your weak and divided presence when your heart really isn't into it. Time you spend with your woman should be time you really want to be with her more than anything else. If you'd rather be doing something else, she'll feel it. Both of you will be dissatisfied.
I couldn't imagine living life as a man without this book, it's pure gold and really explains a lot deeper into your purpose and your relationship. I definitely recommend David Deida's work, which is also for women as well as men. Check out The Way Of The Superior Man by David Deida on Amazon by clicking here.