Everything and Everyone is Connected
When I was in college, I had screenwriting teacher that taught us more than just the fundamentals of good storytelling. She shared life wisdom with us. And one thing she often said was, “Everything changes. Everything is connected. Pay attention.”
As a student of spirituality and philosophy as well, I often learn from various mystics and spiritual teachers who also teach that “everyone and everything is interconnected; we’re all One.”
From my own personal spiritual experiences, I’ve come to the same conclusion. I believe we live in an interactive, deeply interconnected universe. Everyone and everything is constantly affecting and being affected by each other. To put it in more scientific terms, there’s an effect from every cause, but every effect is also a new cause. You can’t do, say, think, or feel anything without, at least slightly, influencing and affecting your environment and those around and connected to you. And they, in turn, influence and affect everyone and everything around them. And on and on it goes, rippling out across the world and universe. Until it inevitably ripples its way right back to you!
Therefore, what’s in my best interest is also in everyone else’s best interest. And what’s in their best interest is also in my own best interest.
Which leads me to my next belief.
When One Person Wins, We All Benefit
I happily celebrate another’s success. Not just because they’re a friend and I care about them. But I really truly believe and know that an improvement in their life will inevitably and invariably has a positive impact on others — even if that doesn’t directly include me. But because we’re all connected, and every effect ripples out and around the world, sooner or later, to some degree, the quality of my life gets better too.
Maybe people around me are just less stressed and in a better mood. Maybe that person’s success included starting a new business, which in turn created more jobs, which stimulated the economy, which allowed other people to start their own businesses, offering more and higher quality goods and services for me to choose from and enjoy.
But the specifics of how and why are secondary. Even if I can’t see or figure out “how” their success may benefit me or anyone I know, it doesn’t matter. Because I know, both physically and spiritually, on a certain level we really are all One.
To use a metaphor, think of your body. If you stub your toe, it hurts. And not just your toe hurts. Your whole body feels it and focuses on it. And when that toe stops hurting, your whole body relaxes and begins to feel better again. Or if you’re getting a wonderful back massage — those particular massaged muscles feel amazing, but your whole mind and body benefits and feels pleasure too.
We humans, although we appear separate, are still part of one “body,” one community, one human race. So when one person (or toe) is hurting, our connection to one another makes us, at least partially, feel that pain too. And when one person (or muscle) receives pleasure, we all feel a little better too.
It’s Never Lonely at the Top if You Help Others Get There Too
When I was younger, I occasionally heard someone mention how it’s “lonely at the top.” I disagree. It doesn’t have to be. Bring company. Help others get to the top with you. It’s a win-win situation. First, you’re winning, obviously, so that directly benefits you. But as I explained above, I also indirectly benefit when someone else does well too. And if we both get to the “top” together — double bonus! Now we’ve got company — not just a friend, but someone who was with you through the journey, someone who understands, someone who grew with you…
Growth is What Matters
Individual successes or failures don’t matter. Everybody fails. Well, anybody who tries anything new, at least. And actually, an individual success might not be that significant either; maybe you just got lucky. What I value is a growth mindset and attitude. Because no matter where you are or what you’ve accomplished (or not), the fact that you’re trying, learning, and growing is really what matters in the end.
People who grow tend to keep growing. So no matter what level of “good” or “happiness” or “success” you have in life, if you’re growth-oriented, over time those will increase and enhance and improve even more. But if you have an “I’m done” attitude, and stop learning and growing, your current quality of life is as good as it’s likely to ever get.
It’s okay to pause, rest, take a break, etc. And on the path of growth, there’s often setbacks, losses, failures, and disappointments. But where are you pointed? What’s going on inside your mind and heart? Are you trying to learn, trying to grow, trying to get better and improve your life? If so, I know it’s only a matter of time before you get everything you want and more.