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The Ecosystem of Success

We live in an era of specialization. The global marketplace is bursting with an ever-expanding assortment of personalized goods and services. If you need a visual, go to your local drug store and stand in front of the toothpaste display. Now try to find the one, you know, the regular one. Today, it’s not uncommon for us to view our world in this fragmented, vertical, independent, and disconnected format. In this view our job is our job, our health is our health, and the two don’t have anything to do with each other; unless we’re out of sick days.

This is actually a distortion and a limiting belief that won’t serve us well. The fact is it’s all connected in some way, to some degree. We have to back up from the verticals to see the bigger picture. This more holistic perspective is what I refer to as the Ecosystem of You. It’s a metaphor for the systems and interdependent functionality of your life. You, your physical, emotional and spiritual health, and the external world around you.

It doesn’t matter if your objective is weight loss, career progression, or repairing a valued relationship—the health and balance of your personal ecosystem is either going to help or hinder your progress.

Ecosystem Design


Consider the natural world around us and the diversity of ecosystems in place; there are oceans, rivers, streams, deserts, and jungles teeming with interconnected systems. An ecosystem is the smallest element of the biosphere with an open and integrated structure; it’s productive, it consumes and expels, it’s resilient and organized—it’s YOU!

One of the verticals we have created today is our separation from nature. We have isolated ourselves from our absolute origins. How long has it been since you took off your shoes and rested your feet in the grass, closed your eyes, and turned toward the sun’s life-giving energy? I am not trying to turn you into a naturalist! I want to demonstrate that we have abandoned many of the natural processes and mechanics that are designed to serve us! We ignore the system as if we are not part of it. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The metaphorical nature of any ecosystem means you can design it to suit your perspectives, needs, and strengths. It’s your design, it’s the free will we all possess to manifest our own reality. The question is; what do you want it to look like? How do you want it to function and serve you?

The health of your personal ecosystem colors everything you do. It enhances, or it dilutes your efforts to grow and prosper. It’s what you bring through the door at work and at home. It’s your energy, your productivity, the look in your eyes, it’s your world— it’s YOU.

Balance To Optimize


Ecosystems require balance to flourish. Interdependent elements must organize for stability; our ecosystem is no different. We are not immune to the laws of nature, the laws of attraction, or the fabric and rhythm of life. Because we are part of it, we can leverage its energy to fuel our Vision.


Every journey starts with an honest assessment of the status and well-being of our ecosystem. The metric we use to gauge its health is Balance.


Balance is dynamic, it’s fluid, it ebbs and flows with every new influence. Life isn’t a stationary bike, we need to be aware, balanced, and purposeful in our approach— so we don’t crash!

Organize To Stabilize


You can start the journey with a casual review of the key elements of ecosystem balance. Please notice I didn’t say Work-Life Balance. I would like you to back up from your life and take in the larger perspective. Use your Vision/Mission Statement or Goals as lenses to filter and evaluate for alignment and prioritization.

Career advancement, weight-loss, relationships; it doesn’t matter what the objective is, the fuel, the fix, or the fiasco, all starts with focus and balance. Rate yourself in each area from 0 to 5. Zero defined as a void, and five as a dominant element. Time will certainly come up in any conversation about balance. See the Time Warp blog for ideas and inspiration.

Is your life ORGANIZED to accomplish your goals?

Balance Assessment


Regardless of the nature of your objective the first piece of business is to evaluate the status of your personal ecosystem. You wouldn’t set out on a nationwide tour without making sure

the band’s bus was ready for the road. This is the same drill, although the questions are obviously different. Is your ecosystem in-tune, in-balance and aligned to your Vision, Mission, and Tactical goals (to review see Goals That ROCK)? In other words, are you living like you want to achieve your Vision?

If the rhythm of your life feels like the bus has a flat tire, you’re out of balance. If you are struggling to find the passion and energy for relationships and work, you’re out of balance. Balance doesn’t just fuel and energize the productivity of our ecosystem, it repairs it too! My perspective today is this: I start every personal or professional evaluation with an honest survey of the health and balance of my own ecosystem.




Finance - 0 1 2 3 4 5


This can be a huge contributor to stress and a loss of focus. It affects relationships, careers, and self-worth. Debt can dismantle your dreams quicker than just about anything. I haven’t met too many people that didn’t feel like a few extra dollars would hurt. That’s different from being derailed by financial concerns. If it is an area that needs your focus and a plan, acknowledge it.


Family & Friends - 0 1 2 3 4 5


Are you able to find time for those you care about? This was a challenge for me. The more focus and energy I put into my career, the less I invested in my relationships. It actually doesn’t need to be that way. This issue can be mitigated if you take an organized approach and look for opportunities to integrate balance into your day. Call somebody you love.


Physical - 0 1 2 3 4 5


Our physical health colors our demeanor. It is often one of the first nonverbal messages we send others. There is no growth without resistance. If your physical health is diminished, due to choices or neglect, it can be repaired. Exercise releases endorphins that ease pain, create euphoric bliss, and encourage us to come back for more. It takes physical health to stay in the game, sustain positive energy and focus.


Me Time - 0 1 2 3 4 5


This can be a real challenge for stay at home parents, dual-income families, and those with more complicated ecosystems. I found meditation to be an amazing solution. I like it because it takes very little time but the benefits are huge. Taking an integrated approach is often the key. For example, a walk can be an investment in balance in the areas of Physical health and "me" time.


Fun - 0 1 2 3 4 5


Are you having any? If not, what is keeping you from enjoying yourself more? Are you having too much fun and wondering why you can’t get things done? Either way, seek balance and organize for success. This is your reward, you deserve it and need it for inspiration. This is the laugh zone, your smile time, share it with friends and family for a compounding effect.


Spiritual - 0 1 2 3 4 5


We are the only life forms on earth that have a spiritual curiosity. It burns inside of us, we look up, we look down, searching for the answers to the bigger questions. Spirituality isn’t religion, but it can be. Spirituality isn’t church, but it might be. Whatever it is, find something bigger than yourself to keep you calibrated on a human level. You will be more fulfilled if you fill this void.


Community - 0 1 2 3 4 5


Hey lone wolf, join the party! There is fulfillment in a sense of belonging. There is pride in serving others, and wisdom in collaboration. Family can be an all-access pass to community engagement, but if you don’t have kids you might need another approach. Professional associations, clubs, and philanthropic activities can be a great way to get involved and network too.


Learning - 0 1 2 3 4 5


Knowledge fuels personal and professional growth. Knowledge stimulates and energizes your ecosystem. This isn’t necessarily about formal education, universities, and student loans. This is about a thirst for knowledge; books, videos, seminars, workshops, masterclasses. Study, grow, and share. It may be a book on relationships or a professional certification course. Lean into learning the things that will make your Vision a reality.


Romance - 0 1 2 3 4 5


Ah, Mi Corazon—it seems so simple, so natural, but finding that special someone to share with can be really challenging. Finding the time to meet someone is just the first obstacle, then what? This is where you have to be honest with yourself. The laws of attraction are absolutely in play. If your ecosystem is weak, unfocused and out of balance, you are not going to be sending strong, positive vibrations to others. If you are having emotional or spiritual health issues, it’s very hard to present a captivating demeanor. It is unlikely your doorbell will ring and someone will present themselves for your consideration. Although, it could happen, so get dressed and be ready! Organize and take action. Online social opportunities, church, clubs, courses, seminars. The commonality is the foundation you are looking for, so go where your interest takes you! Birds of a feather!


Closing Thoughts


How did you do? Did any opportunities present themselves? We are just trying to narrow down the areas that might need focus. I want to reiterate how important it is to think about improving balance given your Vision, Mission, and Goals. It can help you get there. Focus, fuel, and curate your personal ecosystem for success. Keep it in a state of readiness. We want to create more opportunities and capitalize on them.

There is a path that leads to greater measures of success, happiness, and joy. Join me here for the inspiration, perspectives, and tools to break free of the status quo, reimagine your life, and take control. Subscribe and follow and we’ll keep the conversation going.


Go F.A.R.,


Rich

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