When I was in L.A, I bought a Kindle, a device that allows me to read e-books. I left home with only 2 books for reasons of light traveling. From the perspective of inspiration I would have liked to bring 15 but that would have been ridiculous. But since I have my Kindle I have read quite a bit, although not as much as I want. I love the device though, I am now literally always carrying 25 books in my pocket.
The outcome of my journey should be a book. But pages can be filled in innumerable ways and I am not exactly the first or the only one with the idea to write. So I read a lot to get a taste for words, information and stories and to learn from successful examples in different genres. What speaks to people? Why? And what is my message? What exactly would I like to achieve? I am still not clear.
Recently I read ‘Outliers’ and ‘The Tipping Point’ by Malcolm Gladwell. The first book is about seemingly exceptional people and geniuses; the second one is about how a movement or a phenomenon can suddenly gain momentum of an epidemic nature. In both cases he argues that these phenomena are less of a coincidence than it seems. There are certain factors that are hugely beneficial to the creation of a genius or a commercial success of epidemic proportions, perhaps even essential.
In ‘Outliers’ Gladwell describes ‘The 10.000 Hours Rule’. Research continuously shows that to master something you need to put in at least 10.000 hours of practice. It doesn’t matter if you are a soccer player, a chess player, a violinist or a computer programmer. It turns out that all the ‘great talents’ have put in that amount of work, or a lot more. And more importantly, the lesser Gods did not make the 10.000 hour threshold, only a select group did.
In ‘The Tipping Point’ he describes how some people happen to have exceptional social skills and how these skills together with timing are critical factors in creating a flood of attention. One of the archetypes he describes is what he calls ‘Senders’. Senders have a specific and unique emotional make-up. One of their characteristics is that they are exceptionally good at expressing their feelings and emotions and that what they say is aligned with their body language. If put in a room with non-senders, the non-senders will report a similar mood as the Sender after spending 2 minutes together, even if not a word is spoken. Vice versa this is not the case, Senders are not influenced by the happiness or sadness of other people in the room.
I don’t know to what extent I influence the mood of others but I have explained myself for many years as somebody who has a stronger sender than receiver. It would be my way to apologize for my lack of sensitivity. I would literally use the made up example of me cheerfully walking into a room full of people that just heard a family member died asking if anybody was up for a party. In reality it was never that bad but until today I have my moments of inappropriate behavior and obliviousness of sensitivities. To me it has always been a handicap. I never knew that being a Sender was either a rare or a good thing. It is more than a relief. It is an eye opener.
As I was typing the previous paragraphs I just realized that the 10.000 hour rule applies to me as well. Today I am a Sender who has spent more then 10.000 hours working on himself. Although I am not yet a master to my own standards (or – more importantly – the standards of my spiritual teachers) I can honestly say I spend a lot of time studying the self (myself), human consciousness and the way we function. Perhaps this explains the reports of people ‘feeling different and better’ after working with me. But I did not see that link immediately, I only saw that just now. What I did realize immediately is that a Sender has a responsibility. If it is true that we can make people feel better then we should perhaps do that. Until now I never wrote with the idea to make you feel better, I just practiced my honesty and shared my endeavors.
Currently I have started reading ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill again, the mother of all self-help books, the creator of the genre and therefore a must read for me. I started a while ago but could not get over the resistance I felt against creating an ‘obsession for money’. I associated that with greed, something I feel is a huge cause of suffering and destruction. This time I don’t feel so rubbed the wrong way (which is interesting: the same book read by the same guy, completely different experience). He speaks about shaping your desire into an all-encompassing obsession. Now I am asking myself: what is my deepest desire? And although I would like to be a bit more comfortable financially I can’t get excited about riches. But I do desire to make a difference, to contribute to the increase of awareness of all human beings. And with my latest discoveries I do have realized now that I have some unique tools that have been sharpened over the last 9 years.
Reading and writing helps me getting clearer. Reflecting on self and life in combination with the context of research and observations of others is enlightening. I feel like such a slow learner but I do feel I am getting closer to something. I feel like a soup wherein I am adding ingredients until I realize the soup tastes rights and is ready to be served. And I feel like walking in a fog that is getting ready to clear up.
“…to learn from successful examples in different genres. What speaks to people? Why? And what is my message? What exactly would I like to achieve?” There is so many people asking themselves this question, including myself! However, only recently I’ve realised that success and satisfaction never comes from the outside. I can spend ages trying to figure out what to do to get my needs met. As said in Tao Te Ching: “ There is no greater misfortune than obtaining one’s own triumph”. Why? Because all our needs, desires, visions of our triumph stem from the feeling of lacking in something and the feeling of not being good enough. Instead, I want to be myself in every way possible, I want to live in truth. You said you never realised your writing was helping people. Well, It helped me too. Maybe it is enough to be oneself… fully believing that what you have is enough to lead fulfilled life. I haven’t read the book you are reading but it seems to me that those ‘fulfilled’ people are the Senders. They are not affected by others because they don’t rely on the outside circumstances to feel good, instead, they draw on the inner trust in themselves. The biggest power comes from innocence. What think you? 🙂