How To Prosper In A Digital Society Where The World Is Not Enough

Digital Leadership Principles

Originally published at Bizcatalyst360.com

_5087356-1

 

“Success and happiness should be categorized as ‘overused’ terminology. I would trade anything to spend my life in peace with sufficient prosperity.”

~Maria Lehtman

Do you feel overwhelmed by the success recipes flooding the social media? Is the advice what you wish for? Is what you desire what you need? How do we recognize the secret of our unique tools of prosperity to guide ourselves and others through the currents of the digital ocean?

Your identity

“Across the social sciences and humanities, identity is a conceptual tool to think about sameness and difference, both in terms of individual continuity and change over time and social categorization or group affiliation.”

~Phillip L. Hammack Jr. ǀ Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

In the process of identifying prosperity vs. success, we first need to consider that we build our identities in multiple dimensions: e.g., family, career, hobbies, dreams, desires, values, social life, passion, vision, confidence, etc. Both the exterior and interior worlds create our sense of identity, and the changes in all of them affect how our character reforms.

Multiple studies have shown that traditional elements (geography, social status, religion to name a few) impact our identity creation less than our online engagement level, e.g., social media and gaming (example source: Prof. Beddington, BBC News, 2013 ‘Web redefining human identity.’)

“The internet can allow many people to realise their identities more fully. Some people who have been shy or lonely or feel less attractive discover they can socialise more successfully and express themselves more freely online.”

~ Professor Beddington

We are an outcome of our past and circumstances, but the past does not define us. We have to define and redefine who we are over time. We discard our old characters numerous times in our lives. One world breaks and gives room for a new one to be born. Social media expresses some dimensions of our identities, but there are many more known only by ourselves.

There is not a single tool, self-help book, therapist, mentor or guru out there who can work your identity creation out for you, but there are many smart people who have walked the path and can give you advice.

There is not a single tool, self-help book, therapist, mentor or guru out there who can work your identity creation out for you, but there are many smart people who have walked the path and can give you advice.

Your intuition or a gut feeling will often let you know what path feels right for you. If not, usually your wallet creates a limit of its own. Online communities are beneficial tools for finding peering and support groups as well as outlets in trying out new social models. If you are a newbie in the online world, start by interacting in private groups within your comfort zone. I come across people regularly who are authentic and genuine in building ‘deep-mind’ networks.

The importance of redefining your identity

Our world is in a constant state of development. Every generation is more hyper-connected than the previous one. The digital immigrants gave room to digital natives who need to adapt to the coming digitally immersed, advanced and integrated technological societies.

During the past years, I have supported talented individuals in private or at work to overcome obstacles and challenges in integrating their identities to any given circumstances. If there is anything, I have learned so far, it is this: success is overrated and a surreal concept to people who are in distress or “workaholics.” We have set the bar so high in the business world and social media that younger generations have difficulty to understand the difference between success and prosperity, and the genuine person behind the scene.

Why do I underline identity over success instead of the other way around?

You can have all the success in the world and still be an unbalanced individual. The only way to feel comfortable with you and your life is to understand the multidimensional individual you are. You are the variable, not the constant.

Some time ago I had the opportunity to attend a webinar hosted by JV Crum III, the author of Conscious Millionaire. I was genuinely surprised by his authenticity. I realized that whatever I did to succeed had to make me ‘feel’ successful. It did not matter if I addressed a volume or a niche market as long as I understood the audience I was addressing. The dialogue inspired me. Although the webinar did not make me desire to be a millionaire, it motivated me to dive into the omnichannel networks of social media and online communities. I wanted to understand more so that I could better support people finding their empowerment. For any person to grow and prosper you need a feeling of empowerment.

The key is finding your ‘discomfort zone’ and connecting with people who encourage you to grow on your path. I have never begun a new project without a feeling of uncertainty. It is the only way to ensure that I have enough challenge ahead of me to keep me interested.

Why place prosperity over success?

“We cannot seek achievement for ourselves and forget about progress and prosperity for our community… Our ambitions must be broad enough to include the aspirations and needs of others, for their sakes and for our own.” 

~ Cesar Chavez

The reason why people can reach success and feel that the world is not enough is very simple. If we are not aspiring to be better people, we ultimately fail as human beings. No success in today’s world comes without a cost to someone else’s resources. Keyword ‘poverty’ in search engines will give you the current status in no time. The following quote is from The World Bank Group, an overview on understanding poverty:

“Despite the progress made in reducing poverty, the number of people living in extreme poverty globally remains unacceptably high. And given global forecasts, poverty reduction may not be fast enough to reach the target of ending extreme poverty by 2030.”

About a year ago I came across a fast-growth, hard-sell trading company who managed to convince me to transfer money to their account. Cleverly they moved a bonus on top of my investment to stop me from withdrawing funds.

I faced a severe illness in between but managed to recover some of the funds back just before I went into the hospital. To this date, I still have not been able to reclaim the rest of it. I am drained of energy every time I speak with them. If there was a part of me that did not care for making loads of money before I fell under my health circumstance – it was more dominant after I spent three months trying to earn enough muscle power to lift up my camera. For the first time, I felt truly blessed to live in a country that had national healthcare. Otherwise, I would be selling my property by now. Same applies if I had ventured to be an entrepreneur, or believed in fast-return trading houses that really did not care about my personal situation.

When diving deeper into recreating your identity and learning what you need for success – you will discover that prosperity will become your number one goal. Why? Because prosperity implies that you are thriving in every measure of life – it comes with financial benefits but not at the cost of your or other people’s well-being. Prosperity has no predefined monetary figure, and it includes your family, friends, overall, who you are.

How to redefine your or your team member’s identity?

If you are asking the above question as a leader – you may be facing many challenging circumstances either directly or indirectly around you. When I come across a person with an imbalanced work & life situation or insecurity about current role and future steps, I start out by mapping out self-awareness in one-to-one meetings. It could include, e.g. the following questions below:

  1. Is there a defined value framework? Can you name mentors, visionaries, books, authors, movies, people who have and are making a difference in your life?
  2. What is the preference in communication? Analytical or emotionally driven. If I say: ”Many people said so and so about success …” i.e., does the other person react to what I said, or how many people have said it? This guides me to know how specific I need to be in the dialogue and follow-up.
  3. Is there a feeling of empowerment? Is there space to grow the identity in private and work conditions. In other words: identifying empowering and limiting factors among colleagues, peers, family, management, spouse, finances, facilities, resources, etc.
  4. Is there a sense of self-expression? Defining if the person has a willingness, time, space, natural channels to express themselves in different ways, especially creatively.
  5. Is there a big enough storage of emotional intelligence? If there is a limited response to self-expression, it implies to me that it has to be discovered, created, encouraged or realized. In many cases, I would find ways to increase emotional intelligence directly or indirectly through mentors, coaches, tools, peering teams, etc.
  6. Is there a bucket list, i.e., what are the most critical aspects, to-do’s, dreams, wishes, studies? The answers would lead me to discuss priorities, possibilities. I would present options for different routes and give the other person time to decide what felt most appropriate for them. Very often the intuition already knows, but it takes time for the conscious mind to realize the best course of action.

After identifying the first six steps of identity awareness, I would address the next levels of identity development, career steps and pathways to success. If you find a positive response and roads to explore in all factors, you have a framework for the path to prosperity.

If you are married or live with a partner – never suffocate the other person from recreating and developing their identity.CLICK TO TWEET

Last, but not least, if you are married or live with a partner – never suffocate the other person from recreating and developing their identity. After two decades of marriage, I can say with confidence that I never regretted letting my spouse try out his wings – even if the anticipated outcome was not always favorable.

I always consider: “What if I was not here tomorrow – how would the other person succeed? Have I done the most to help them out on their path?” I consider the same with any of the people I work closely with.

The best thing you can offer to another person is to let them feel they are enough for the world, and they have everything it takes to live prosperously. If you are looking for inspiration or exchange of thoughts about this post’s topic, you know where to find me. I am always interested in learning new concepts.

“Dif-tor heh smusma.”

 “Live long and prosper.”

~Vulcan salute, Star Trek

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s