We all know that the internet is a two-sided beast: it’s just fabulous to be able to connect with people all around the world, to uncover news and information that might otherwise be difficult or even impossible to access, to make unexpected friends and find new clients…
AND it’s an overwhelming pressure to stay up with all the e-information, to not be constantly comparing our lives with the golden lives of others (or at least, the golden bits they share), to resist nasty comments if we’re the subject of cyber-bullying, to not get sucked into buying everything we don’t need because of the exciting offers that land in our inbox, etc. etc. And I’m just scratching the surface of the pros and cons!
The darker side of Facebook loomed closer as we began to recognise those pressures and learnt about privacy and security leaks and other significant issues. The Boomers among us, for example, are concerned that our young people are growing up in an exceedingly public era where everything they think and feel and do is announced to the world, whether their big successes and failures, or what they ate for breakfast.
So what could be the silver lining on that constant public exposure?
Here’s one possibility: What if it’s to prepare them (us) for leadership?
I remember doing a personal development course many years ago in which most of the participants were aspiring leaders of one sort or another. We were presented with the question: Are you prepared, in becoming a leader, to have all your thoughts and behaviours scrutinised by the world 24/7?
They say that the true sign of character is who you are when no one is watching; living by that principle will call out the best in us for sure, but being watched is just as compelling a factor, and as a leader someone is always watching, so the pressure to ‘live your best character’ at all times becomes acute when we step into a leadership role.
The more famous we are, the more immortal our words because everyone is watching, listening, recording. We’re not anonymous anymore. And while most of us will never achieve true fame, at another level we are all famous these days. We all have ‘followers’. We all have at least some people we don’t know very well who are observing us. A very real practical application of this dynamic is that potential employers check our social media pages.
So maybe the hidden purpose of Facebook (et al) is to give each of us the opportunity to be a leader. Maybe the ‘fame’ (i.e. public exposure) that we achieve on these pages provides the experience leaders have when everything they say and do is in the spotlight.
Some leaders clearly don’t care what others think of them, or they have such different values and standards that we are gob-smacked by their behaviour. (You know who I mean.) But what if we used the ‘fact of our fame’ to pause for a moment, to create a gap (as mentioned in Quest For Riches regarding expenditure), to reflect on who we’re being and to consciously choose who we want to be and how we want to be.
In that case, our ‘Facebook fame’ might serve us.
Let me know your thoughts – comment below!
Meanwhile, The Hidden Order is still on special at half-price – this juicy book looks beneath the covers. Rather than reacting to how life appears on the surface, it explores the deeper universal laws and principles affecting all of us. Just use code HIDDENORDER when you place your order.
Social media image by Tracy Le Blanc, Obama pic by Daniel McDonald, both via Pexels.
These ‘soft lens photos’ are of me presenting at Rosemary McCallum’s ‘Christmas Spectacular’ a few weeks ago.
BIG THANK YOU to Rosemary for inviting me back to share my story and books. I felt very at home among her clients and friends and followers, who all share my values on growth and fun – and we broke a record in sales!
This lady has such a big, faithful, devoted following that she must be doing something right. As my NLP teacher used to say, ‘Success leaves clues’…
If you’d like to experience her wisdom, playfulness and grounded guidance, consider attending the Introductory evening to her Course In Life Mastery in January.
Years ago I read Getting the Love You Want by therapist and educator Harville Hendrix, and was really impressed. His book guides couples through a ten-week course designed to resolve their relationship problems. As the blurb on his book explains, Hendrix ‘shows how your frustrations originated in unmet childhood needs, and how you are unwittingly trying to resolve them with childhood tactics.’
Have you heard about Leigh Sales’s new book? Any Ordinary Day is about the ABC TV host’s experiences in going from what she describes as a ‘charmed life’ to a string of crises that have left her feeling fearful about the future.
Most of us have a personal story that we re-energise regularly by telling others. Sometimes it’s an empowering story but often we repeat tales of our bad luck or flaws or how things aren’t working out for us. Since ‘what we feed, grows’, it makes sense to be telling stories about our character strengths.
During my novel-writing course one student explained her absence the previous week with the excuse that she had ‘the plague’. Quite acceptable in the middle of winter.
Another student justified her lack of writing progress with a blush and the comment that a past lover had come back into her life – they’d been burning the candle at both ends. The whole class thoroughly enjoyed this excuse – there was lots of laughter and envy.
I had an unexpected realisation today. A friend has been taken ill and it struck me that a pretty good detox would probably handle much of the issue. This person is a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy who has only lately begun to eat a few vegies. He’s dealing with a case of severe inflammation.
A mutual friend asked me what I’d recommend for him, and while I’m no health practitioner, I know from experience the cleansing effects of a plant-based diet - and getting those old offenders out, at least for a period. (I.e. meat, dairy, sugar and soft drinks, alcohol, coffee, refined carbohydrates…)
I thought I’d weigh in with some thoughts about the cricket ball tampering issue. Given my value on 'The Whole News’, I’ve been pleased to see that the latest conversation about this issue has questioned the punishments imposed on the ‘guilty trio’.
I don’t follow cricket at all, and I’m no sports pro but I do have an appreciation of universal/natural laws and I don’t believe that any event is one-sided - either good or bad. It seems to me that there’s quite a bit of scapegoating happening here because we humans, we Australians, are loath to be completely honest or completely responsible.
On Boxing Day we had lunch with friends and one woman, who had just read WANTED: GREENER GRASS, commented that my new novel would be a raging bestseller if it weren’t for the ‘personal growth bits' in the book.
‘People don’t want that sort of thing,’ she said.
If you’ve ever received a Christmas or birthday gift that was wrapped so beautifully that you didn’t want to disturb the packaging you’ll know that, much as you admired the presentation, you wouldn’t dream of keeping the thing sealed and intact – you just naturally rip into the sticky tape and open it up.
It struck me, as I was wandering around Woolworths this morning and listening to Christmas carols, that intuition is like a surprise gift.
We’ve been keeping an eye on terrorist activity in the northern hemisphere because our three children are travelling through Europe at the moment. It’s quite unsettling as news of these crises emerges, sometimes only a day after our kids have been in one of those locations; I have to remind myself to trust that they have much too much living to do for their numbers to be up yet…
That might sound irrelevant considering that plenty of children die in these attacks, but I remember my editor Tim Marlowe saying that if you really looked into it, you’d find that those who passed had chosen that at some level.
If you read my blog of a few weeks ago (‘Watch a human being emerge from a cocoon’) you’ll know that I was in the process of rethinking my life! Well, I’ve scratched a hole in the chrysalis and I’m peering out. Here’s what I discovered in the process of being ‘liquified’…
I've emerged from my cocoon with the realisation that my core area of mastery is writing and teaching writing. Duh, right?
The phenomenon of the caterpillar constructing a chrysalis and secretly transforming itself into a butterfly is a powerful and wonderful metaphor that inspires most of us.
- What a beautiful illustration of the idea that nothing is destroyed or created but simply changes form!
- What a beautiful symbol of transformation.
- What a stunningly elegant demonstration of the fact that some degree of struggle (the squeezing out of the cocoon) is necessary to develop strength (without being squeezed, the butterfly would be too moist and heavy to fly).
But have you ever wondered about that process inside the cocoon? What is actually going on in there? And what parallels can we draw from that process to our own lives?